Kayla Padilla is a third-year student at the University of Pennsylvania. She runs a digital sports publication called “The Sideline Post”. It is a platform where collegiate athletes can share their perspective on issues happening in the world. Padilla started it in April 2020. Her team of writers is also made up entirely of collegiate athletes who are located around the country. She said she recruits writers to submit their articles. Her team then works to edit them and publish them on the site. Padilla believes athletes are more just players on a team. Being a basketball player herself, Padilla said she noticed there was a void and that collegiate athletes needed a space to share their thoughts. At “The Sideline Post”, no topic is out of bounds.
“Our voices need to be heard. It’s an opportunity to provide an outlet for athletes to share their thoughts on things happening, especially with the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement,” she said.
Getting the ball rolling. Padilla said when she first started, it was tough trying to do everything virtually since her team was dispersed around the country and the Coronavirus Pandemic prevented them from meeting face-to-face. She said it was also tough getting buy-in from potential writers. But once the word got out, she started to get good feedback and people started applying to be a part of the team. “I just look at it like collegiate athletes have a lot of good stories. I’ve received great testimonies,” said Padilla. “It’s kind of a rewarding process to share to a wider audience,” she added.
Tips for a sure shot. When Padilla started “The Sideline Post”, she got lots of advice from people in her circle and from coaches as well. She said asking questions is the biggest piece of advice she would offer to any entrepreneur. “Be curious. Ask questions to people who can help you. Reach out before you turn your ideas into fruition,” she said.
Padilla also says communication is another key to her success. She says she stays in contact with her team to make sure everyone is sticking to the mission so that they all produce good, valuable content. “When you have a mission you’re passionate about and building your business around that, you’ll have good success,” she said.
Going the distance. Padilla doesn’t get too worked up on the numbers or analytics right now. She measures the success of “The Sideline Post” by the number of athletes can impact. Her ultimate goal is for the site to be the go-to platform for collegiate athletes to share their perspectives on a variety of topics.
To get there, Padilla says she could use the funds to go toward advertising on social media and to create videos. She said NCAA rules make it a violation for athletes to accept money for their own benefit. Padilla said she isn’t looking for money to pay its writers and would likely operate similar to a nonprofit to make sure she is in compliance with NCAA rules.
For now, Padilla is working to add more writers to the team. Any collegiate athletes who would like to reach out to Padilla and her team can do so via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view all content published to the site at www.sidelinepost.com. To connect with The Sideline Post on social media, visit @the.sidelinepost on Instagram and @sideline_post on Twitter.