*Editor’s note: HawkeyeDrive.com was created in June 2010 and officially went into business in August 2010. I also have an official U.S. trademark registered for the name “HawkeyeDrive.com” that is currently in effect. Below is a list of questions & answers that I hope explain everything I’m trying to accomplish with the site.*
Q: Why did you decide to create HawkeyeDrive.com?
A: In the midst of searching for jobs and summer internships, I got plenty of advice from other reporters, but the two pieces of advice that stick today came from when I was covering the Orange Bowl for The Daily Iowan.
Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette gave me the best advice while we were down in Miami: “Do what you love.” I found over the past year that covering the Hawkeyes and being able to reach out to everyone who read my articles in the DI is something that gave me so much satisfaction and I didn’t want that to just disappear.
The other piece of advice came from Todd Brommelkamp from Voice of the Hawkeyes, who told me to never become phony & be original. My goal is to be as original as I can be with this site while also trying to find stories and conduct interviews that readers will grow to appreciate over time.
Q: What credentials do you have for creating such a site?
A: In other words, what separates me from others? Well, I was born and raised in Iowa City, so I grew up a fan going to Kinnick Stadium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena as a kid. I graduated from the UI with Bachelor’s degrees in both Journalism and Communication Studies. I worked at The Daily Iowan for five whole years and covered both Iowa football and Iowa men’s basketball while there. My work has been featured in a book the DI put out that chronicled the 2009 football season.
I have the connections & sources in various areas that make a reporter successful. I also believe I have earned the respect of everyone I’ve been in a working environment with. Most importantly, I feel the fans know me and trust that I will do my absolute best at making this a place they’ll want to keep coming back to.
Q: What is your intent with HawkeyeDrive.com?
A: HawkeyeDrive.com is geared towards trying to provide fans with as much as possible on both the Iowa football and men’s basketball teams.
Q: What type of content can we expect to see?
A: Lots. Stories from every football game, most men’s basketball games, every press conference featuring Kirk Ferentz or Fran McCaffery, audio podcasts with coaches, athletes & other Iowa reporters, video, and for subscribers, a chance to participate in live chats.
Q: Wait. Subscribers?
A: Yes. In order to access everything, including the opportunity to access our live chats to discuss Iowa football and basketball, a subscription will be needed. There will be a 3-day free trial option available for anyone visiting the site for the first time. Then there will be monthly or yearly rates.
Q: What will the subscription rates be?
A: Monthly subscriptions will cost $9.99 per month. Yearly subscriptions will be $89.99 per year, about a 25 percent discount from monthly rates. Both types of payments will be recurring, meaning unless you opt to cancel your subscription, you will continue to be billed monthly or yearly, depending on which subscription you chose to pay for.
Q: Why make people pay & what comes with subscriptions?
A: My goal is to make this my business, my livelihood. There will be some free content on this site (for instance, all videos will be processed through YouTube, so those can be viewed for free on the site. Also, if there is any breaking news or if a release is sent through Iowa’s sports information department pertaining to something newsworthy, those sorts of things can be viewed free of cost.) Subscriptions guarantee you access to everything, including any stories, columns, podcasts, live chats, that will be put behind a pay wall. Those who subscribe to HawkeyeDrive.com will be emailed links to every bit of content, as well as dates/times of live chats on a regular basis.
Q: What about these live chats you keep bringing up?
A: My view is this: Instead of trying to establish a message board like other sites, I believe this is a great opportunity not only for myself to interact with subscribers to my site, but also for Hawkeye fans around the world to be able to interact with one another. This is a great platform for this to happen.
Q: Will there be a set time as to when the chats take place, or will they vary?
A: They will vary. Again, those who subscribe to HawkeyeDrive.com will be informed frequently on everything pertaining to the site, including dates and times of all live chats.
I can also say that during these live chats, I will not tolerate the use of profanity nor discussion of something completely off topic. First time this comes up, there will be warnings. Second time I have to bring it up to a subscriber, they will be banned & their subscription will be cut off.
Q: What’s the cancelation policy regarding subscriptions to this site?
A: All subscriptions (both monthly and yearly) are paid for up front, so once you’ve ordered a subscription, you will not be refunded. HawkeyeDrive.com will notify subscribers ahead of time when the next monthly or yearly recurring payment is scheduled to take place with your account. Members can cancel anytime. If you chose to cancel a subscription at any time, you won’t be refunded for your previous payment, but you also won’t be charged for whenever the next payment was scheduled to be. This is something I want to make clear to everybody ahead of time.
Q: Why only football and men’s basketball?
A: As of right now, this is a one-man show, and while I can’t do everything, I’ll do everything I can with covering the university’s two biggest revenue sports. My hope is some day, this becomes profitable enough that I can eventually hire reporters to cover other sports such as women’s basketball and wrestling. To be fair, however, I will tolerate other Hawkeye sports being discussed in live chats, but will attempt to keep the focus on the two sports I cover so I can answer any questions subscribers may have during those live chats.
If you have further questions, please contact me via email at email@example.com, and I will be happy to answer any more questions you all have about my site that I maybe didn’t address here.
— by Brendan Stiles