• Fanatics -

    Thank you for your patience today and welcome to the newest version of Cyclone Fanatic!

    Most of the changes we have made are very simple, but will greatly improve your user experience while visiting the website.

    We have upgraded our forum software to speed things up. Our homepage is much cleaner and should be even more mobile friendly than before.

    We appreciate your loyalty and are committed to not only keeping Cyclone Fanatic in tip-top shape, but continuing to build this community for the next decade and beyond.

    We ask that if you are experiences any glitches to let us know in this thread . Will will be diligently working on the site all day.

    Thanks again.

    Chris Williams - Publisher
Basketball

Announcing a new business model/initiative at Cyclone Fanatic

Dear Cyclone Fanatics,

First of all, I hope you and your families are staying safe during these uncertain and frustrating times that we all are going through together as a society. 

I’m writing you today to give an update on where we stand at Cyclone Fanatic and how our company is navigating through turbulent waters in our industry. 

Cyclone Fanatic is much more than a media outlet that exhaustively covers your favorite team. We are a community. I’m proud of that. Because of it, I always want to be transparent with our users. 

We simply have no choice but to pivot our business model in order to exist a year from now.

As the site’s publisher, the way I am choosing to look at all of this is as a great challenge, but one that could make us stronger in the long term. 

Across the world, media is being slaughtered for all sorts of different reasons. This was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s now being accelerated.

I personally believe the massive conglomerates owning so much of the media in our country is a big reason why.

I don’t blame the good people working in newsrooms across the country. In fact, my heart goes out to them. It’s why I continue to subscribe to local publications and encourage others to do so as well.

Cyclone Fanatic, on the other hand, is 100 percent locally owned. That sometimes presents its own challenges, but it also allows us to be flexible during trying times, like these.

The other thing about Cyclone Fanatic that’s different from most publications in the sports realm is that we have always remained free. I want to make this point very clear before moving on: We will continue to be free in the future. Anyone who wants to read Cyclone Fanatic articles or listen to our podcasts will still be able to do so if they choose. 

So what is going to change and, most importantly, why are we doing this?

THE WHY:

We pay our expenses and employees exclusively off of advertising dollars. About half of our revenue comes from great local companies that you see on the site and hear about on our podcasts. The other half comes from what we in the industry refer to as “programmatic” ads. These are ads served by national platforms that allow Cyclone Fanatic to make money by simply placing a code on the site. 

We have seen a 60 percent decrease in programmatic ad revenue since COVID hit last month. Most industry insiders see an 80 percent drop in revenue industry-wide over the next year. 

In addition to that, many of the great small businesses that have supported Cyclone Fanatic for years are currently not open. They have much more to worry about right now than supporting Cyclone Fanatic, and our collective heart goes out to them.  

As a result, I am projecting AT LEAST a 50 percent drop in our company’s revenue because of COVID. 

That is not sustainable for a company our size.

THE VISION:

It is worth mentioning again that we will continue to do what we already do for our readers 100 percent free. 

But we now want to provide added value and exclusive experiences to those who choose to support our company via Patreon or with a premium forum membership. These options will be listed out below. 

THE ULTIMATE GOAL:

— Provide our business sustainability during brutal times. 

— Ultimately help us create better content and grow in the future. 

That is really the key here. 

During tough times, we can either sit around watching Netflix or we can try to find a way to make a positive out of this and ultimately grow. If our loyal users can support the site more, it is my belief that we will spend less time chasing advertising dollars and more time creating the Cyclone content you all crave. 

We should be able to decrease the amount of intrusive ads on the site as well.

My goal is that when this is all behind us, Cyclone Fanatic will have actually grown to be a better, stronger product than it was before. 

So as much as we hate doing it during troubling financial times for many, I do need to ask for the help of our users today. 

So here is THE WHAT:

We’re rolling out two different initiatives: A Patreon Initiative for those of you who enjoy our website for the columns and content but not necessarily the message boards, and a Forum Initiative for those of you who frequent the message boards.  If you enjoy both aspects of Cyclone Fanatic and want to be part of both initiatives, feel free—you’re one of the true Super Fanatics. You will notice that many of the benefits are shared between the two.

Patreon Initiatives 

$20 or more a month

Everything from the tier below, plus:

— An exclusive, monthly video chat (on the Zoom platform) with Chris Williams and other select Cyclone personalties. This will allow person-to-person interaction and opportunities for fans to ask questions directly about the Cyclones and other topics. 

— Be featured as a Cyclone Fanatic Super Patron. You and your family will receive a shout out on a podcast, as well as a recording of it to share with your friends and family. We will also thank you and recognize publicly on Twitter, Facebook and the Cyclone Fanatic forum as well. 

— Saved seating at Cyclone Fanatic events/game watches, per your request. 

$10 a month

Everything from the tier below, plus:

— Invite to twice-annual Cyclone Fanatic supporter meetings at central Iowa establishments. These will include special Cyclone guests who will speak. Plus, name tags, etc. and fellowship with other Iowa State fans. NOTE: That we will attempt to broadcast these remotely for our patrons who are out of the state and unable to attend. 

— Receive a special “I support CF” koozie. 

— Before noon on Mondays, receive a weekly “Insider” blog or video from Chris Williams with a behind the scenes look at Iowa State athletics and Cyclone Fanatic. Will include insider information on all things Iowa State and Cyclone Fanatic! Think of it this way: Much of the stuff that CW can’t say elsewhere, exclusively for our supporters. 

— Receive access to an exclusive preview and breakdown of every Iowa State football game this fall from our guru, Jay Jordan. 

$5 a month

Cyclone Fanatic patron merchandise discount code for 10 percent off of anything in the store. Unlimited uses. 

Become a Patron!

Forum Premium Initiatives 

Super Fanatic, Tier 2, $11.99 a month:

— Everything included in Tier 1. 

— Access to an exclusive, premium members message board, that will be moderated by and consistently viewed by Chris Williams (for questions, comments, etc.).

— No ads on the forums. 

— Invite to twice-annual Cyclone Fanatic supporter meetings at central Iowa establishments. These will include special Cyclone guests who will speak. Plus, name tags, etc. and fellowship with other Iowa State fans. NOTE: That we will attempt to broadcast these remotely for our patrons who are out of the state and unable to attend. 

— Before noon on Mondays, receive a weekly “Insider” blog or video from Chris Williams with a behind the scenes look at Iowa State athletics and Cyclone Fanatic. Will include insider information on all things Iowa State and Cyclone Fanatic! Think of it this way: Much of the stuff that CW can’t say elsewhere, exclusively for our supporters. 

— Receive access to an exclusive preview and breakdown of every Iowa State football game this fall from our guru, Jay Jordan. 

Super Fanatic, Tier 1, $4.99 a month:

— Access to an exclusive dark website theme. 

— Custom emojis on the forum. 

— Extra avatar banner swag on the forum. 

— Extra styled posts. 

— Custom user title. 

 THANK YOU:

Again, because of you, our loyal users, we’re more than a website–we’re a community. I can’t thank you enough for your support for more than a decade, and with your help I’m confident Cyclone Fanatic will emerge through this crisis stronger for decades to come.

If you have questions about the why, the vision, or the what, let us know.

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