In the beginning
Last Word On Sports was created by CEO Mike Kovacs one evening in August, 2011. The original intent of the site was to get family and friends to blog together and share their thoughts about sports. Of the few earliest writers, several have stayed with the site including Ben Kerr (COO) and Kevin Gamble (CTO), who were friends at McMaster University.
Traffic was sparse in the earliest days, with 100-200 views being a regular day. It wasn't until April of 2012 that our fortunes changed. Ben Kerr was writing a new series of articles called "Top Shelf Prospects", where he gave reports on the top junior hockey players eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft. The first few did well, but by his fourth article (on Alex Galchenyuk), there were hundreds and eventually thousands who visited us to read his reports. He has continued the series to this day, and has only gained in notoriety.
Early in 2012, @LastWordOnSport was registered on Twitter, and in the spring our Facebook page was launched.
In May, 2012, an article written by Jack Stone on Didier Drogba (then from Chelsea FC) exploded for 16,000 views in a matter of 48 hours, proving that what we were doing was working. We still had fewer than 20 writers at the time, and only a handful of editors, but we were at least headed in the right direction.
In those early days, LastWordOnSports.com was merely a small-time blog, and we had no real aspirations for grandeur. It was a hobby, one which we hoped would grow into something special. However, we added some key components who have stuck by us to this day.
Later that same year, @LastWordMKovacs was created, which was the precursor to the current world account @LWOSWorld.
LWOS began a partnership with a radio show out of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada run by three MMA fans. Steve, who coincidentally Mike knew from middle school, Greg, who was a writer for LWOS at the time, and Dave, who both Mike and Ben knew from their university days at McMaster University, hosted a show called Hammer Radio. LWOS began promoting their show and publishing articles based on their UFC rankings, for which they are part of the organization's official voting group.
As months passed, we slowly added new writers, began covering more sports, and added new editors. We also started to show the earliest forms of a proper company administration as we added to our expanding managerial team. We started to build a quality nucleus, adding Russ McKenzie, Mitch Tierney, Arslan Siddiqui, Shawn Wilken, and Jack Moon Perrin.
Until Aaron Wrotkoski joined the site, we hadn't seriously considered adding professional wrestling to our coverage, mainly because of the stigma attached to the "is it a sport or isn't it" debate. Aaron plugged away at writing, and slowly started to build a team around him. After some time, he petitioned to get pro wrestling added to our main coverage. After some back and forth, it was added, and we couldn't be happier with the results.
Adding a few important pieces from overseas really helped improve our coverage of sports that are more followed outside of North America. Hugo Jennings (World Football and Cricket Department Head), Seb Segarra, Kyle Willoughby and Tommy Farr provided a much needed backbone for which the department could thrive. It was Kyle who really pushed the boundaries to grow our Rugby Department, and Hugo who insisted on the necessity to delve into Motorsport Department.
2013 was also an important year for us because we started attending professional sporting events as official members of the media. This marked a real turning point for us as we started to build the belief that we might be able to turn this site into a prosperous business.
In 2014, LWOS made a very conscious effort to become a global brand. With the introduction of several popular sports around the world to our repertoire, including cricket and boxing, Last Word On Sports was reaching an audience from every corner of the planet. To help assure readers were getting the stories most suited for them, the site introduced a dual-homepage system whereby the homepage each reader saw upon visiting LastWordOnSports.com was unique based on their geographical location.
One section of LWOS seemed to spring out of nowhere. As the year went on, fantasy sports articles seemed to be finding their way into our editing queue with more regularity. Chuck Amspacher slowly started bringing others on board, and built a team of baseball and football writers.
Having stable, quality leadership is important to success, so the first LWOS World Council was formed to help the site extend its coverage and reach. The council consisted of Hugo Jennings, Seb Segarra, Jack Pitt, Ryan Jordan and Rob Mitchell. It has since disbanded so each member could focus more solely on their respective departments.
Another important development in 2014 was the re-launch of Last Word Radio in September. With help from experienced Internet radio personality Mike Fabber, LWOS launched its own 24-7 radio station at LastWordOnSports.com/radio with several in-house shows added to the schedule, notably Last Word Soccer Club and Tape to Tape Hockey, in addition to existing partnerships with Thursday Night Tailgate and Overtime Ireland.
Over the next several months, new shows were added: The Sporting Gentlemen, Sweet FA, and Treble Radio.
On December 30, 2014, a new updated, sleeker LastWordOnSports.com was launched with a more efficient design, bolder graphics and new features.
In January 2015, the new hockey radio show "On the Powerplay" was launched.
On March 17, 2015, Last Word On Sports was incorporated and became known as Last Word On Sports Inc.