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Sports Mockery, Founded By St. Rita Alums, Builds Huge Social Audience

By Justin Breen | August 10, 2015 5:41am
 From left: Sports Mockery's Matt Eastman, Matt Zawaski, Kevin Giltmier and Chris Burhans hang out with a winner of a uniform (center) at a company promotional event.
From left: Sports Mockery's Matt Eastman, Matt Zawaski, Kevin Giltmier and Chris Burhans hang out with a winner of a uniform (center) at a company promotional event.
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Chris Burhans

CHICAGO — Chris Burhans and his buddies from St. Rita High School never intended Sports Mockery to be anything more than a site where Southwest Side neighborhood friends could talk Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Bears and Hawks.

But the website organically took off after it launched in April 2013 and now has more than 100,000 Facebook and 30,000 Twitter followers.

"I think the site has been successful because of our team that works extremely hard to give the Chicago sports fans all the information they need, via social media, on a daily basis," said Burhans, 32, Sports Mockery's president/CEO who founded the site with fellow St. Rita graduates Matthew Eastman, Kevin Giltmier and Matthew Zawaski.

The site now employs a staff of 15 part-time employees and freelance writers, producing about 50-75 stories per week, said Burhans, a Mt. Greenwood native who was a football and track captain at St. Rita and graduated from DePaul with a master's in computer information security.

Justin Breen says the site's traffic has grown quickly in a short time:

Burhans said Sports Mockery's mission is to "provide Chicago sports fans with an alternative choice for everyday sports news." Story examples include a roundup of ridiculous Chicago jerseys, pictures of a lingerie model who threw out the first pitch at a recent White Sox game and a video recap of Jay Cutler bashing. Despite its name, Sports Mockery does not write satirical pieces, Burhans said.

Eastman, who played baseball and basketball at St. Rita and is Sports Mockery's chief editor and COO, said he's been thrilled by the company's success.

"Sports are a huge part of my life and helping build Sports Mockery from the ground up has been one of my most enjoyable accomplishments," Eastman said.

Burhans said Sports Mockery's two main future goals are to continue to build and develop relationships with local advertisers — the site is currently filled with ads and all of its scribes are paid, Burhans said — and to expand the staff while training and developing aspiring sports writers.

"This will help us improve the quality of our site’s everyday offerings to create the best Chicago sports experience possible," Burhans said.

And Burhans stressed how ecstatic he was that Sports Mockery played a part in Chicago's media scene.

"Considering everyone is debating sports on Facebook and Twitter every day, we feel fortunate to add our voice to the conversation," he said.

"The passion that the fans in Chicago have for their teams is second to none. The ability to write content for those fans and be fortunate enough for them to read our work is a privilege more than anything."

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