New Sports Website Partners With ESPN

The Shadow League, an online magazine from former ESPN exec Keith Clinkscales, brokers a new deal.

Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli (Claudio Villa/Getty Images Sport)
Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli (Claudio Villa/Getty Images Sport)

(The Root) — A new online destination for sports fans announced this week that it has arranged a partnership with premiere sports network ESPN.

The relationship between the Shadow League, a sports-and-lifestyle website run by former ESPN executive Keith Clinkscales, and ESPN will consist of “funding, as well as the potential to develop various content opportunities.”

More details of the deal have yet to be disclosed. “We have not identified specific crossover opportunities at this time, but as the site evolves, we will continuously explore ideas,” an ESPN spokesman wrote in an email to The Root

The Shadow League, which currently features stories about racism faced by black Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli and African players in American sports, says that it will maintain an independent voice.

“We are creating an online community of thought leaders and tastemakers who understand that sports, pop culture and race are common threads that are intricately interwoven into many aspects of life,” Clinkscales, who was instrumental to the launching of Vibe magazine in 1993, stated in a press release. “ is a platform where a dialogue about these subjects and how they co-mingle with each other is fostered. We aim to delve into areas of culture and perception that are often overlooked, under-reported or simply dismissed.”