State of the Blog: What’s new for 2018-19?

The year 2018 has been a whirlwind for Michigan basketball on and off the court, and it has been for us here at UM Hoops as well!

We introduced our new subscription model a year and half ago, and we’re really excited with how things have progressed. There was a learning curve, but we found our groove this summer and I’m proud of the content we’ve produced.

Not only did we make it through another deep run in the NCAA Tournament, we were also the only site to bring you video coverage of Michigan’s trip to Spain and keep you ahead of the curve on key recruiting targets like Cole Bajema.

Our goal is to provide the best Michigan basketball coverage on the internet, and everyone here is working hard to make sure that happens. I like to think that our subscribers are some of the most knowledgeable Michigan basketball fans around.

We want to build on that momentum and carry it into the season.

Due to a number of factors, this has also become my full-time gig for the foreseeable future. That makes this State of the Blog just a bit more important than previous ones, but it also means there’s a lot to be excited about for the upcoming season.

We’re very close to the point where UM Hoops is a sustainable operation, but we aren’t there yet. Here’s how we get there and what comes next.

1. November Pledge Drive

We’re running a pledge drive for the month of November. Our goal is to sell 500 new subscriptions by the time Michigan plays Purdue on December 1st.

To reach this goal, we’re offering our lowest public price on an annual membership. For just $32, you can get all of our content for the next year. That’s just $2.67 per month, less than a cup of coffee or a hot dog at a Michigan game.

We think that’s a pretty awesome price for all of the members-only content that we produce.

Remember: subscriptions give you access to all of our premium content including: in-depth analysis, recruiting updates and video breakdowns, AMAs and much more.

If you are already a subscriber, you can participate in the drive by gifting a subscription to a friend or family member who loves Michigan hoops — just in time for the holidays and basketball season.

If you don’t have any friends, or just don’t want to share, you can upgrade to a lifetime membership. We’ll be counting any new lifetime members as three subscriptions toward our 500 goal.

November Pledge Drive Progress

Subscribe Now | Give a Gift | Go Lifetime

2. New writers

We are excited to welcome Rian Ratvanale and Bailey Johnson to the team as Orion Sang and Ethan Sears move on to new gigs. You might have already noticed their work popping up over the last few weeks, and they’ll be providing all of the day-to-day content that you’ve come to expect.

Make sure to follow Bailey and Rian on Twitter and look for more of their coverage throughout the season.

3. Expect more content

I don’t have a full-time job and won’t be writing regular features at The Athletic this year, which means that I’ll be publishing a lot more content here for our community.

I’m bringing the Big Ten Power Rankings back to UM Hoops and will provide more Big Ten content that many of you told me that you missed last year.

We’re also be introducing other new features throughout the year. One of those is an in-depth look at the X’s and O’s behind Michigan basketball. We’re calling it Film Room.

More X’s and O’s content was a common request when we conducted our summer survey, so we’ve brought Gibson Pyper on as a regular contributor to break down the game. Pyper is an expert at diagramming and explaining offensive and defensive sets. He’ll be posting breakdowns of the Wolverines or the teams they play. His first post, a look at Michigan’s defensive principles, is available here.

We’re always looking for new types of content to add, so don’t hesitate to suggest an idea and expect more to come during the season.

4. T-Shirt design contest

We launched a merch store earlier this summer, but it is only stocked with gear featuring our logo. That’s pretty cool, but we want to do more.

We are going to run a T-shirt design contest. Anyone can submit a design. If we choose to produce your shirt, we’ll provide a UM Hoops lifetime membership and ship you a copy of your shirt.

Please be mindful of rules and regulations preventing the use of copyrighted materials or player names or likeness. Submit any designs to

5. Gift subscriptions

We are excited to introduce gift subscriptions! You can purchase an annual or lifetime subscription for friends, family members, enemies or acquaintances right on our website.

You don’t have to provide any information about the gift recipient, just make a purchase and check your email for a message that includes a redemption link to pass along to the recipient.

Bundle it with some merch, tickets or anything else to make the ultimate Michigan basketball gift.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support!

Notable Replies

  1. downtownljb

    Hi - so as a $4 early Patreon subscriber… my options are:
    a) continue $4 a month
    b) upgrade to lifetime
    c) ? cancel the $4 a month and do a new $32 annual?

    The new content ideas sound great!

  2. kturnup

    Awesome to hear about all the extra content and that you are moving forward! Although I wasn’t an Athletic subscriber last year but now I am…

  3. umhoops

    You still get everything if you stay on Patreon, correct. We are glad to have you on board!

    Yep, you can sign up for a lifetime membership and never pay again! We’ll also send you a UM Hoops mug.

    Technically, you can do option C and score yourself a discount on the next year. The promo is designed to be for new members, but there’s nothing that is going to stop you. Obviously it is cheaper and some people prefer paying annually (which wasn’t an option with Patreon).

  4. eric_shap

    Not sure how flexible you are with this, but I have a suggestion. In the past, what has really got me hooked to subscribe to certain sites (Cleaning the Glass, the Athletic, for example) is a free trial where I can truly understand the quality of the content and become hooked, to an extent. So when it is taken from me, when the trial ends, I am more inclined to subscribe. Obviously, I’m already a subscriber here, but you may want to consider something similar; where you provide a free trial to all for the first week or two of the season, before inquiring about full-time memberships again. Just a thought.

  5. tarverine

    Agreed, a free trial for like a week with some promotion on mgoblog from people here would go very far in letting that crowd know what they’re missing by allowing them to have a taste.

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