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Meet Brandon Saffel of Variety Sports Network

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandon Saffel.

Hi Brandon, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Variety Sports Network started in a place almost all small entrepreneur starts, in a basement. A few friends (Dillon and Jordan) and I started the whole thing as a way for us to talk about our minor fantasy football league, called the AFFL Podcast, back in 2020. We did a few shows here and there but never really got into a rhythm with it. We stepped away for a few months and came back with a new idea and a new name for the podcast, The Variety Sports Podcast, Which is how a sports talk show about different things in the sports world came into the scene. We called that show “All Around Sports” at the time. After a few of those shows, we had ideas of making the Variety Sports Podcast bigger and wanting to expand to more areas in the sports world. Once we had an idea of how we wanted things to be, I started to ask people interested in starting up their own podcast under the Variety Sports Podcast. I got a few people to join the 3 of us. One group would cover the St. Louis Cardinals and Major League Baseball, and the other would cover Nascar for us. At the time, I didn’t know why the rest of the team or I wanted to take this, so we had hours upon hours of discussion on what we needed to do. So we decided we wanted to make this whole podcast idea something different, so we added a Facebook page and a Twitter Page and got our podcast put on Anchor.fm for distribution across some podcast platforms such as Spotify and Google Podcast. Slowly but surely, we started picking up more listens, more views, and more people to cover topics for us. We went from 4 shows to around 8 shows in about a 2-week timeframe, so the podcast’s growth was quick at first. Once we started moving along, we added more groups, including a group from Denver, Colorado. After all of this rapid growth, we decided we needed a name change again, and since we had quite a few shows from different areas of the sports world, it only made sense to change from the Variety Sports Podcast to the Variety Sports Network. As of Sept 26th, we have around 25 people who are a part of the Variety Sports Network, and we produce and distribute about 20 different shows a year. As much work as I’ve put into the network, I couldn’t have done it without the hard work of the people putting in the position to make great content for us.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t been the most accessible road, but it’s been fun at the same time. There are always bumps along the way, especially with creating content for people to watch. There will be times when people who watch or listen disagree with what we might bring to the table regarding topics. We pride ourselves in ensuring we put out great content when we can but scheduling our shows can be challenging too. Most of the people who run shows and make range have full-time jobs outside of what we were doing at the Variety Sports Network, so finding time to get performances out to everyone can be challenging, but we make it work. Other than that, the road hasn’t been too terrible. I have a good group of people who like what they do and enjoy talking about sports, and I think as long as we have that, we’re going to keep putting content out and ride out the bumps along the way.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Variety Sports Network started as a small, one-show podcast and has grown to a bigger sports network over the last few months. We have around 20 different shows from people from all over the United States and from all over the world. We started covering the professional sports teams in St. Louis and a few other shows we did for fun when we had time. At this time, We have people covering multiple teams from across the country, such as the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, and many more. We also have groups covering Nascar, a D2 Football Conference, Fantasy Football, and other shows. We’re known for being the best place for independent sports podcasters (Thanks to Jimmy for that one). What sets us apart from others is the pride and determination of all our groups at the Variety Sports Network. I mean, they are consistently putting out content for everyone. Whether you are new to the sports world or old, we’re constantly bringing something to the table for our fans to listen to. I’m incredibly proud of the work and time our folks put in to make sure we become something more and something bigger down the line.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The most important lesson for me would be to be patient with the process. It’s not an overnight success like many assume or we all wish it would be. It takes time to grow something from the ground up like we have, especially in the now saturated sports network world. For anyone trying to start a new business or idea, be patient and keep working hard. It’ll all pay off one day.

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