Non-profit side-project in which I participated throughout two distinct stages. Born in 2004, enCancha’s mission is to offer an independent space to journalists in training who want to practice sports journalism without relying on traditional media practices. Also, at a time when social networks such as Instagram did not yet exist, enCancha began the construction of the largest independent basketball photo gallery in Spain, until then limited to one or two photos per game published in the traditional media.
From that premise, I built a website using PHP and MySQL thanks to Dreamweaver. This website also included its own internal CMS to provide autonomy to all enCancha’s collaborators, whether journalists or photographers and to ensure that the contents were updated quickly. We were very quick and became one of the three most visited basketball websites in our country.
From the beginning, enCancha had the mentality of working remotely, for which it had digital tools such as chats to work as a team, as well as forecast tables for publishing content and monitoring games. At one point in the project, we had one collaborator per team in Spain. Today, some of these collaborators work for professional basketball clubs in their communication departments.
Second phase: 2020
The advent of social networks and blogs means that the journalist is becoming more and more relevant to his or her own, so the number of collaborators has been reduced. Faced with this situation, two paths were considered: recovering collaborators and trying to compete with the rest of the media which are already fully integrated into the digital world, or innovating again with a product that revolves around basketball. We chose the second.
Although enCancha will continue to publish content, this does not have to be just reports or interviews. I find an unmet need in Europe, as opposed to the United States, with advanced statistics, and I begin to investigate it. In these times, because of both sports betting and fantasies, there are a large number of fans who make good use of statistics. These data are very basic, without providing a broad context to help understand the real impact of a player on a particular team in a particular situation. That’s where the advanced statistics that make many teams win games in the United States come in, and in Europe it seems that they haven’t settled down yet.
I am currently focused on building an advanced statistics platform that will allow any fan to understand the data and improve their perception of the impact of their favorite players on the field.