Hurrdat, LLC announced today that on April 1, 2017 the company made a strategic investment in Hail Varsity, a media company based in Lincoln, NE, that caters to Husker athletics fans. Founded in 2012 by Aaron Babcock, Hail Varsity produces a premium magazine, the state’s largest drive-time sports talk radio show, and a website that reaches thousands of Husker fans every day. Hurrdat, also based in Lincoln, provides full-service digital marketing, social media, website design, and film production services.
The transaction, led by Bill Hipsher and Brandon Taylor, co-founders of B² Interactive in Omaha, NE, which purchased Hurrdat Social Media in 2015, aims to expand Hurrdat and Hail Varsity’s marketing services while amplifying Hail Varsity’s existing multimedia efforts.
Hurrdat Social Media, which builds social media and marketing strategies for clients across the country, will work to expand Hail Varsity’s already robust social media efforts, meaning fans can expect even more social coverage of the Huskers in the coming months. In addition to expanded social media content, Nebraska fans can also look forward to continued upgrades to Hail Varsity’s online coverage, including more content, more coverage, more forum and social interaction, and a better website experience. Hurrdat Films, the video and film offshoot of Hurrdat Social Media, will bring a new film and video component to Hail Varsity coverage, while B² Interactive will continue to serve Hail Varsity’s website and SEO needs.
“Over the past four-plus years, I’ve had the chance to sit on the sidelines of Aaron’s business and watch it grow from startup to a publication with thousands of subscribers and hundreds of thousands of monthly website visitors,” Hipsher said. “It’s been exciting to watch.”
“This is an exciting partnership for Hail Varsity,” Babcock said. “Hail Varsity has always strived to produce great content across a variety of media. We already have an amazing team, and now the talented people at Hurrdat and B² Interactive will help make sure we are maximizing the reach for our great content. Integrating our marketing services and products will be a great benefit for clients of both companies.”
With a five-year relationship as client and vendor/advertiser, the two teams are no strangers to one another, so teaming up will be a smooth process in the coming weeks.
“Hail Varsity has a long-standing relationship with both B² Interactive and Hurrdat,” Babcock said. “We were one of Hurrdat’s early clients five years ago, and B² Interactive has delivered great results for our website and SEO efforts. I have great respect for their ability to deliver measurable results along with exceptional service. The Hurrdat team helped shape Hail Varsity’s social media approach, which has resulted in building one of the most engaging and entertaining social media platforms in college sports.”
For Hipsher, the attraction to Hail Varsity was immediate.
“The first time I held Hail Varsity magazine, I knew Aaron and his team were building something different and unique for Husker fans,” Hipsher said. “Looking back, I’m fairly confident I knew I wanted to be a part of what they were building from that first experience with the magazine. Not only did the magazine feel different, but the quality of the content was beyond anything I’d ever been exposed to. The writing was deep and focused. The photos seemed to pop off the page. This is an exciting venture for our teams and will be another example of Hurrdat’s ability to drive social interaction and conversations can take an already great business to another level.”
As part of the transaction, Hail Varsity will move its primary operations into the new Hurrdat offices in Lincoln’s Haymarket District. Renovations are underway to accommodate both teams and expected to be completed within the next six weeks. Babcock will continue his role as CEO, overseeing day-to-day operations, while his team will continue to produce excellent magazine, radio, and online Husker coverage.
“The value Aaron and his team bring to the table is what makes this deal so attractive,” Hipsher said. “I told him from day one that we wanted his entire team to continue producing great work. Hail Varsity provides excellent Husker coverage, and our expertise is in digital and social media marketing. Let’s allow both teams to excel at their strengths. So the deal was, ‘If we can amplify what your team is doing in these areas, the same way we do for our other clients, then let’s do this.’”
More on Hail Varsity
Founded in 2012, Hail Varsity is the only locally-owned magazine dedicated to Husker athletics. Hail Varsity believes the greatest fan base in the country deserves coverage that equals that commitment and combines world-class photography, unforgettable stories, cutting-edge analysis, and commentary in handsomely designed packages (both print and online). Hail Varsity magazine is the only locally-owned publication dedicated to Husker athletics and boasts subscribers in nearly every state. Hail Varsity Radio is the largest drive-time sports talk radio show in the state, airing Monday-Friday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Lincoln (1480 AM), Columbus (900 AM), Kearney (1460 AM), Hastings (1550 AM), and North Platte (1410 AM).
More on Hurrdat, LLC
Founded in 2010, Hurrdat was Nebraska’s first social media agency and has assisted more than 100 businesses with specialized social media strategy, web design, and short films. Hurrdat was acquired by B² Interactive in 2015. Its talented team has the experience and creative expertise to build and implement custom digital marketing campaigns from ideation to full-scale execution. Most recently, Hurrdat has excelled in sports partnerships, working with the Omaha Storm Chasers, Victory Fighting Championship, UFC Fight Pass, The Pinnacle Bank Golf Championship, The Rimington Trophy, Pink Gorilla Events, and Planet Eclipse Paintball.
More on B2 Interactive
Founded in 2012, B² Interactive is a web design, SEO, and local search optimization firm. B² Interactive serves local, regional, and national clients with innovative website and SEO solutions. Co-Founders Bill Hipsher and Brandon Taylor both have more than 20 years of experience in web development and internet marketing. B² Interactive has been awarded Best of Omaha B2B™ Winner for “Social Media Consultant” and multiple entrepreneurship awards from the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration, Midlands Business Journal, and Millard Business Association.
Aaron founded Hail Varsity in 2012 with the goal of building a premium media experience for Husker fans. He has enjoyed a career in sports for over 20 years, working for the Kansas City Royals, UNK and UNL athletic departments and for the New York Yankees. An accomplished photographer, Aaron’s photos have been published in Sports Illustrated and ESPN magazine. When not roaming the sidelines with his camera, he’s probably planning his next trip to Europe.<br />