State of the Blog: New design, The Athletic

Four months ago, we started on a new path forward for UM Hoops. Today, I wanted to touch base about how things are progressing and provide a few exciting updates.

Four months ago, we started on a new path forward for UM Hoops. Today, I wanted to touch base about how things are progressing and provide a few exciting updates.

We’re extremely thankful for the support that we’ve received across the board over the last several months. We haven’t reached our original goal of $2,500 per month in subscriptions, but over 350 members have pledged and we are pleased with the progress that we’ve made during the offseason.

We’ve also made some improvements and changes that should only help the site moving forward:

New Design

As you might have noticed, we’ve refreshed the look and feel of the site. Our previous design wasn’t nearly robust enough to keep up with a membership model, so we’ve cleaned things up. Everything that you could do on the old site should still be possible on the new site, but we’ve worked to improve usability across browsers and devices.

The biggest update is that any UM Hoops subscriber will view UM Hoops without any ads when they are signed in.

We also have built the functionality to subscribe to UM Hoops directly from our site rather than through Patreon. It should now be more straightforward to sign up for an account, choose a subscription tier, and be on your way. This change also has allowed us to introduce yearly and lifetime subscription options to streamline the payment cycle.

Current members who previously subscribed through Patreon don’t have to do anything differently moving forward (but please note the first question in the FAQ section for a tip) and can continue their payments through that platform.

NOTE: We are experiencing some issues with logging in via Patreon. Hang tight as we work to get these resolved and don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments or on the message board. It also may take a minute for your pledge information to sync with the new site after logging in.

The Athletic

We’re also thrilled to announce a partnership with The Athletic.

I’ll be writing regular stories for The Athletic Detroit in addition to my work here. You’ll still find everything at UM Hoops that we’ve written in the past — recaps, previews, Five Key Plays, recruiting roundups and more — but I’ll also be doing some additional deep dives and statistical breakdowns over there.

Rest assured, the content and coverage at UM Hoops won’t change. We’re focused on adding more content this season, not less, and are excited about what is to come.

If you haven’t heard, The Athletic is an exciting new website focused on curating quality sports journalism. It is a project that I’m excited to be involved with because their mission is so similar to ours here and their focus on college basketball is unmatched. As one of the few basketball-only team sites on the internet, it is refreshing to see someone doing basketball right.

As a Michigan basketball fan, a subscription to The Athletic will provide you access not just to what I write over there, but also much more. That includes in-depth stories and features from Brendan Quinn — his most recent piece is a conversation with Caris LeVert — and even national college hoops content from names like Ken Pomeroy, Seth Davis and many others.

By signing up for a UM Hoops subscription first, you’ll receive 25% off a subscription to The Athletic. That subscription buys you access to everything on The Athletic’s local and national platforms.

If you are a current UM Hoops patron, we’ll be emailing you a promo code for 25% off of your subscription. If you sign up today, you’ll receive the code in your confirmation email.

Subscriber Tiers

Here’s an updated look at the options for subscribing to UM Hoops:

$4 per Month – Subscriber

  • Ad-free viewing at UM Hoops
  • Access to a weekly column (bi-weekly in offseason)
  • Access to a weekly recruiting roundup
  • Access to exclusive video breakdowns
  • Access to UM Hoops Subscriber Forum for monthly ‘Ask Me Anything’ Q&A
  • 25% off a subscription to The Athletic

$8 per Month – Merch

  • All of the Above Plus:
    • Monthly giveaways for UM Hoops merchandise (mug, t-shirt, framed photo)
    • 25% off from UM Hoops Store (coming soon!)

$40 per Year – Annual

  • Pay on an annual basis and save over the monthly rate

$250 – Lifetime

  • Pay once and get unlimited access to the site moving forward
  • Free UM Hoops t-shirt and mug


Q: I can’t stay logged in when I use the option to ‘Login with Patreon.’ How can I fix this?

A: Visit the Reset Password page and enter the email address that you used to sign-up for Patreon. Complete the reset process and set a password for UM Hoops. From now on, log in with that user name and password and click ‘Remember Me.’

Q: I login with Patreon and am sent to a subscription page or can’t view content

A: We’re looking into a potential bug with the login system. Please let me know in the comments or via email if you have this issue and we’ll get it figured out.

Q: Is there any reason to sign up through Patreon instead through UM Hoops? Should I switch?

A: Nope. If you are signed up through Patreon, then you can keep paying through Patreon. If you haven’t signed up yet, the easiest way to sign up is through UM Hoops right here.

Q: Something doesn’t work, what should I do?

A: Please let me know either in the comments or via email.

Q: I paid by check, PayPal or another payment method previously, but I can’t access content.

AShoot me an email and I’ll get your account activated on the new site.

Q: I still want to sign up with Patreon. Can I?

A: Sure, use this link and complete the process here

Q: Why are you charging for content?

A: We are charging for subscriptions because this site has always been driven by user support and it is the best (only) way to move forward.

There’s not a sustainable model for this site to survive in its current form based solely on advertising revenue. Rather than run one-off fundraising drives, a subscription model gives us the ability to project and plan into the future. That allows us to focus on providing quality content and going above and beyond in our coverage of Michigan hoops.

Thank you, as always, for your support to the site and our mission to provide the best Michigan basketball coverage and analytics out there. We’re excited for what’s to come for the 2017-18 season!

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