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Online sports journal featuring scholars & writers from around the globe, who look at how sport impacts communities and shapes culture. Read more

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$15,463
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Online sports journal featuring scholars & writers from around the globe, who look at how sport impacts communities and shapes culture.

About this project

The Allrounder will be the online journal for fans, athletes and enthusiasts who know that there’s more to sport than preseason predictions, arguments over missed calls, and highlights of fantastic finishes. We won’t break down last weekend’s action or make predictions for the upcoming season. Instead, The Allrounder’s writers will look at the broader meanings and impact of our games. 

The Allrounder will be distinct from existing sports media sites in covering the whole world of sport. The site will feature writers from different countries, whose expertise ranges from basketball, cricket, and hockey to all codes of football. And The Allrounder will aim for the global fan—for the Indian who is up in the middle of the night watching the Champions League, the American who follows Six Nations rugby, the Brit who cheers for the Maple Leafs, the Brazilian with a LeBron jersey, and the Aussie who loves baseball novels. 

The Allrounder will also offer a different take on sport. Most of our contributors are academic researchers at universities around the world. The site will bring their insights out of the seminar room and make them available to educated, curious fans—without getting overly theoretical or ponderous. We’ll be smart without being stuffy or snide. 

What will The Allrounder offer? 

When The Allrounder launches in September 2014, it will offer original pieces of analysis, opinion, and in-depth research, presented in an engaging and accessible way. 

The Allrounder has a large pool of contributors who cover the globe. Here are just a few of the topics they’ve written about for academic presses and media sites: 

  • white owners, black players, and racial politics of the NBA
  • NFL Films and the development of sports media 
  • fútbol and politics in Pinochet’s Chile 
  • female fans of Australian rugby 
  • IPL matches on YouTube and the future of online sports broadcasting
  • cycling in the Middle East 
  • German politics and the 1972 Munich Olympics
  • Canadian hockey poetry
  • the neuroscience of fandom 

In covering topics like these, The Allrounder will offer a deeper look at how sport shapes our world. We expect that you’ll learn something new, and that you’ll gain a different view of your favorite games.

The Allrounder will also serve as a digest of insightful sports writing from around the web. The site will present a curated selection of essays drawn from an international pool of blogs, journals, and media sites. By offering original content as well as a digest of worthy reads, we expect The Allrounder to be regular reading for sports enthusiasts who look beyond scores and highlights. 

We’ll also have some diversions, such as killer trivia—since all sports fans love trivia (especially fans with graduate degrees). 

Why are we running a Kickstarter campaign?

The Allrounder will feature the work of experienced researchers, journalists, and authors. Their writing regularly appears in academic journals and sports media. They speak at international conferences, and they're interviewed for radio and TV. Kickstarter pledges will allow us to compensate their work for the first year.

Donations to the Kickstarter campaign will also meet our start-up costs: site design, programming, hosting, legal fees, etc. 

Who are we?

The Allrounder is led by a team of four editors who have been researching and teaching about sports for years: 

Bruce Berglund is a historian and director of the Honors Program at Calvin College. A two-time Fulbright scholar in Eastern Europe, he has written about nationalism, architecture, religion, and cultural geography in that region. He has interviewed more than 125 scholars and journalists for the podcast New Books in Sports, which is downloaded by listeners in 112 countries. 

Michael Buma is an analyst at Info-Tech Research Group in London, Ontario, and a former faculty member in English and kinesiology at Western University. He is the author of the book Refereeing Identity: The Cultural Work of Canadian Hockey Novels. His writing about the cultural meaning of sports has appeared in periodicals such as Aethlon and Canadian Literature

Yago Colás teaches sports and culture at the University of Michigan, where his courses include "Global Sports Cultures" and "Cultures of Basketball." His writing has appeared at Salon, The Classical, Free Darko, and his own blog Between the Lines. He is currently completing a book entitled "Ball Don't Lie! Myth, History, and Invention in the Culture of Basketball." 

Jean Williams is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University in Leicester. She leads the MA distance program in Sport, History and Culture and teaches modules on sport and literature, mega events, and the Olympic Games. Jean's most recent books are part one of A Contemporary History of Women's Sport and Globalising Women’s Football

The Allrounder’s contributors are specialists in a variety of academic fields—people like philosopher Emily Ryall, economist Stefan Szymanski, sociologist David Rowe, film and media scholar Victoria E. Johnson, biochemist Chris Cooper, historian Tony Collins, anthropologist Meghan Ferriter, and cultural studies scholar Juan Poblete. And we’ll feature the work of journalists, bloggers, and authors, like former BBC correspondent Nicholas Walton (the voice of our video), ESPN Cricinfo contributors Siddhartha Vaidyanathan and Firdose Moonda, novelist Geoff Herbach, Hockey in Society editor Mark Norman, and John Harms of The Footy Almanac and ABC television’s Offsiders

For an introduction to a few more of our writers, and to see samples of their work for other sites, please visit the Line-Up page on our preview site.

Our digest of worthy reads is already running. You can follow it at @theallrounderco or facebook.com/theallrounderco

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New to Kickstarter?

If you’re new to Kickstarter, here’s how it works. 

We are the creators of the project, and we’re asking for your donation to help get it started. If you decide to give, hit the green “Back This Project” button at the top. You’ll be asked to select an amount of money to pledge, and the corresponding reward you wish to receive. In order to pledge, you will then be asked to set up an account with Kickstarter. It’s quick, painless, and allows you to visit Kickstarter again and support other project. 

Kickstarter explains the whole process on their Backer Questions page.

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Please visit The Allrounder site for credits and source information for the images used in our video. 

Risks and challenges

Kickstarter funding will help us get established for the first year. But the big challenge we'll face--like other online media sites--is setting a strategy for long-term sustainability. In our first year, we'll work at building revenue sources. This includes partnering with appropriate advertisers for The Allrounder site. We are also making plans for print publications that we will produce in the first year. Like The Allrounder site itself, these publications will feature top international writers and will be marketed to readers around the world.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • With a Kickstarter campaign, the project creators do not get ALL of the money they're requesting. Kickstarter takes a fee, as does Amazon for handling the money. Then we have to procure and ship the rewards. A few of the items we're offering were donated to us, but not many. We've been careful in budgeting the cost and shipping of our rewards, even checking the postage costs to send every package to Oregon, England, and Australia.

    For example, for every $100 pledge, we'll get just under $75 to work with after the fees and costs. This leaves us with less than the budget we need for our start-up costs and first year of bare-bones operation. We set our funding goal lower than what we need, at a target we hoped to get (we looked to the successful KS campaigns of The Classical and Howler as examples of sports media projects that had raised more than $50,000).

    What will the money pay for? Writers. We have the novel idea that writers should get paid for their work--not a lot, but enough to show that we appreciate their time and expertise. Part of the money will pay the editors, who will split a half-time job four ways, to work with the writers and manage the site. The rest will go to the start-up costs for getting the site designed and running.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    2 backers

    We appreciate any amount you can give, and we'll tweet a word of thanks.

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    Pledge $5 or more

    24 backers

    We’ll thank you in the old-fashioned way, with a handwritten card, and in the new-fangled way, with a tweeted shout.

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    Pledge $15 or more

    24 backers

    Every fan needs a clip to keep the bag sealed and the snacks crisp. The official Allrounder snack-clip will do the job.

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    Pledge $25 or more

    48 backers

    Along with the snack-clip, we’ll send you the full set of six Allrounder fridge magnets featuring striking sports photographs from every continent (Antarctica excluded). Visitors to your kitchen will be impressed with the exhibition on your fridge and the crisp snacks.

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    Pledge $50 or more

    22 backers

    You can carry the makings of an all-around healthy meal in a sturdy Allrounder shopping/tote bag. Keep track of the shopping list with the fridge magnets, and keep the snacks sealed with the clip.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    19 backers

    We’ll send you the fridge magnets, snack-clip, and a long-sleeve performance t-shirt emblazoned with The Allrounder logo, in your choice of either men’s or women’s cut. The shirt looks cool. How cool? When the teenage son of one of the editors saw the design, he blurted out: “Can I get one of those?”

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    Pledge $100 or more

    10 backers

    One of the contributing writers to The Allrounder is John Coy, award-winning author of books for children and young adults. You’ll receive an autographed copy of John’s most recent book, Hoop Genius, which tells the story of how James Naismith invented basketball. The book features the full-color illustrations of Joe Morse, whose art has appeared in The Times of London, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone. You’ll get a hardcover copy of the book signed by John.

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    Pledge $150 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Ultimate Birthday Package: give your favorite young fan a signed copy of Hoop Genius and an adidas 2014 Brazuca Glider soccer ball.

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    Pledge $150 or more

    5 backers

    We’ll give you all of the above: snack-clip, fridge magnets, a signed copy of Hoop Genius, and both the t-shirt and shopping bag.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $175 or more

    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    Our contributors have written a lot of books. Thanks to the authors and their publishers, we have a limited number of copies of some of their books to pass along to donors--Aram Goudsouzian’s biography of Bill Russell. John Bloom’s book on Howard Cosell, Brett Hutchins’ study of Don Bradman in Australian culture, Kasia Boddy’s cultural history of boxing, Samir Chopra’s reflections on Indian cricket, Josh Nadel’s survey of Latin American fútbol, Jean Williams’ history of women’s sport, or the new edition of Soccernomics, signed by Stefan Szymanski and Simon Kuper. We’ll add a copy of John Coy’s Hoop Genius, so the kids can have something to read as well. Copies are limited.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $175 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    New Reward:
    We have a couple of new books to offer. Allrounder contributor Michael Austin offers signed copies of his two edited books "Cycling and Philosophy" and "Running and Philosophy," from the popular series Philosophy and Popular Culture. You'll receive both books together, along with John Coy's book, and we'll add all of the rewards above--the snack-clip, fridge magnets, t-shirt, and bag. And we'll do the same for the other books by Allrounder contributors at the $175 level. Get a book, get some gear, and get smart.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $175 or more

    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    NEW REWARD: For fans of University of Michigan basketball. Two former students in Yago Colás' U of M course "Cultures of Basketball" have donated some items for our campaign. Take your choice of an autographed player card or color photo from Trey Burke, 2013 college basketball Player of the Year, now with the NBA's Utah Jazz. Or, from 2014 Player of the Year finalist Nik Stauskas, you can have an autographed maize-and-blue Canadian flag t-shirt. We'll also send you everything above: the snack-clip, fridge magnets, a signed copy of Hoop Genius, and both the t-shirt and shopping bag.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers

    Complement your t-shirt with an authentic, old-time flannel cap from Ebbets Field Flannels, stitched with The Allrounder logo. Along with the t-shirt, you’ll also get the shopping bag, John Coy’s book, the refrigerator magnets, and the snack clip.

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    1 backer All gone!

    NEW REWARD: Another veteran of Yago's "Cultures of Basketball" course is Glenn Robinson III. You'll get a signed Wolverines jersey from GRIII. And we'll send along the t-shirt, the tote bag, fridge magnets, snack clip, and a signed copy of "Hoop Genius."

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    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Another contributor to The Allrounder is art historian David E. Little, who curated the acclaimed 2012 exhibition of sports photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, titled "The Sports Show." The catalog of that exhibition is a large, handsome book that features more than 150 images, from the 19th century to today. You’ll receive a copy of the catalog, signed by David.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    NEW REWARD:
    Be part of the team. Join Fab 5 legend Jimmy ("Jam") King and Allrounder editor and University of Michigan professor Yago ("Bad Prof") Colás in their quest to defend their title and repeat as champions in Yago's Annual Cultures of Basketball Intra-class 3-on-3 tournament. In addition to playing alongside Jam and Bad Prof on the defending champion Old Skool Ballerz, you will receive an official tournament jersey (emblazoned with the number and nickname of your preference), a certificate of participation, and a game ball autographed by your teammates (and any other tournament participant whose autograph you want and who will not be sanctioned by the NCAA for signing the ball). We'll also send you home from Ann Arbor with the whole load of Allrounder gear and the books by Coy and Little.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $700 or more

    1 backer

    Along with David Little's exhibition catalog, we’ll send you a glossy print enlargement of one of the historical images that was shown in The Sports Show. The photo is mounted on foam board, and can be either framed or shown by itself. Together with the photo and catalog from the exhibition, you'll get the whole lot of rewards: the book by John Coy, the flannel cap and the performance t-shirt, the shopping bag, the fridge magnets, and the snack clip.

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    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers

    For the top donation, we offer the Exclusive Tour of the Sports Heartland of North America, led by The Allrounder’s editors! We’ll fly you to the Motor City. From there, you’ll visit nearby Ann Arbor, where Professor Yago Colás will lead you around the facilities of the University of Michigan, including the fabled “Big House,” home of the university’s football team and site of the NHL’s 2014 Winter Classic. Bruce Berglund will chauffeur you to Toronto, where Mike Buma will guide you through the Hockey Hall of Fame. We’ll dip back down into the US (stopping to see Niagara Falls) and stop at the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Since we’re in the neighborhood, we’ll also visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Depending on the season, we’ll take in a game or two along the way.

    If you have a friend who wants to join you for the Exclusive Tour, we can add that person for an additional pledge of $5000.

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Funding period

- (30 days)