A to Z Sports

Zach Bingham, CEO & Co-Founder

Nashville, TN
The A to Z Sports co-founders at Nissan Stadium in Nashville A to Z Sports Website
A new-school sports media company

It isn’t always easy turning sports fandom into a career. But by their early 20s, diehard sports fans Austin Stanley and Zach Bingham had worked their way up the sports media ranks as hosts of their own ESPN Radio show that covered all things Tennessee Titans football.

“We were just pursuing the sports broadcasting dream, trying to sell ads and keep ourselves on the air,” explains Zach. “But we soon started to realize we couldn’t just make it on the radio ‒ we also had to get our content on people’s phones.”

So in 2016, Zach and Austin left radio and started A to Z Sports, a digital sports media company that focused on NFL news and analysis. The name is a clever play on their names, Austin (Stanley) to Zach (Bingham) becomes A to Z.

“We took our morning show format and adapted it to live broadcasts, which we streamed on Youtube and Facebook,” says Zach. “We figured that we would do what worked in Nashville and try to expand to a broader community of NFL fans.”

And in 2017, just a year after starting the site, they hit a million page views. “This early success gave us proof of concept that our broadcast concept was working,” says Zach. “So now it was time to expand our business and push into other markets.”

The A to Z Sports leadership
Ads change the game

In order to achieve their national ambitions, A to Z Sports had to start generating revenue. So Zach and Austin’s first idea was to include ads on their site.

“We wanted to cultivate an audience that didn’t feel like they had to purchase something to be a part of the A to Z Sports community,” says Zach. “I always say that when you become friends with someone at a dinner party, you don’t ask them for money. You have to sit there and figure out if you like each other.”

“Instead we wanted to show our audience we had something of value to offer them ‒ reliable content, really good articles, and smart opinions on their favorite teams. We wanted to offer them all of that, then use the advertising platform to supplement the cost of growth.”

And in the sports world ‒ where news moves fast and subpar opinions will quickly be tuned out by passionate fans ‒ trust is key. “We felt that keeping ourselves free and easily accessible with ads was the best way to build trust with our growing audience,” says Zach.

A to Z Sports partnered with STN Video, a Google Certified Publishing Partner with a deep knowledge of the digital video industry that uses Google Ad Manager to serve ads running on its online video platform used by publishers like A to Z Sports. STN’s expertise, official league video content and platform was an invaluable resource as A to Z Sports built out their ad monetization efforts.

“When we onboarded STN’s video player to our site, we got accepted to run STN’s officially licensed NFL highlights,” says Zach. “This was huge for our credibility and gave us access to content that our viewers wanted to watch after they finished reading articles on our site. Plus, STN is a great partner. They’ve always kept our best interests in mind and really value our relationship.”

Feedback was strong from fans, who didn’t mind sitting through an ad or two before watching some highlights. “It added a whole new experience to the site,” says Zach. “Overall, STN created an additional video revenue stream that wasn’t there before.”

The A to Z co-founders accept an award
Winning over fans

Monetizing their business through well-placed ads has given A to Z Sports that hard-won reader trust that they were after. “Ads are the core revenue driver of our business. Those earnings have allowed us to scale and put more resources into making the best content for our audience. Ultimately, that ad revenue and reinvestment in the business has helped us build a respected reputation that can be so hard to earn in this industry,” says Zach.

The scale Zach mentions is no joke - the team publishes about 75-100 pieces of content per day. “Now we have press credentials for covering the Titans, Predators, and other local teams,” says Zach. “And it’s expanded so that now we can send reporters to practices in Boston, covering the Patriots. It’s helped us become a reputable source across different markets and leagues.”

Ads have also helped the A to Z Sports team supercharge their growth. “Our business has just catapulted,” says Zach. “We’ve doubled our revenue in each of the last two years and ads have been a driving factor. Simultaneously, we’ve been able to grow our staff from 15 to nearly 50 employees over the last two years, 20 of whom are full time.”

“I love working in sports media ‒ and I really appreciate the ability to give my employees the same opportunity to do something that they love. I believe in chasing happiness and want to afford that opportunity to as many people that I can within our company.”

“We’ve doubled our revenue in each of the last two years and ads have been a driving factor. Simultaneously, we’ve been able to grow our staff from 15 to nearly 50 employees over the last two years, 20 of whom are full time”
Keeping their eye on the ball

A to Z Sports’ partnership with STN has put them on the path to continued growth. “Just a few years ago, we had a million page views in a year,” says Zach. "Now we are on track for 100 million views."

It’s all about building trust with their millions of readers. “A to Z Sports wants to be the #1 place NFL fans can trust, read and interact with reliable content.”

This trust will help A to Z Sports continue to grow their team, their revenue, and the coverage of the fast-moving sports landscape. “We’ve really started to gain steam and momentum and we now feel like we have a roadmap to be the New Age, all-sports digital media company that we know we can be.”

Building this business has been the experience of a lifetime for Zach and Austin. “We are so proud of the jobs we provide to our employees. They have a passion for what they do and work extremely hard,” Zach says. “We’re a company full of people chasing their dream.”

About the Publisher

Zach Bingham is the CEO and Co-Founder of A to Z Sports. Prior to college, Zach launched one of the first live-streaming audio platforms for high school sports in the state of Tennessee. After graduating from the University of Mississippi, he began his career in sports talk radio selling advertising and covering the Tennessee Titans. Zach's passion for sports, sales, and business was a driving force in helping create this new-age digital media company. In 2022, A to Z Sports received the award for Best Startup in the Music, Sports, and Entertainment category from the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Outside of work, Zach enjoys playing basketball and tennis with his wife and traveling to go deep-sea fishing.
Zach's headshot