Two years ago, Yahoo veteran Jamie Mottram was recruited to USA Today’s sports group. His task: quickly build the newspaper’s digital audience.

Mottram came up with For the Win, a standalone digital media brand that would take its cues from viral publishers like BuzzFeed, Upworthy and others. It would be squarely focused on social and mobile. The result after its first year: FTW has now drawn an average monthly audience of 9.1 million, two to three times what ballyhooed new digital sports media brands like ESPN’s Grantland and Sports Illustrated’s MMQB.



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