White Sox Set to Make Millions in Non-Baseball Revenue - NBC Chicago

White Sox Set to Make Millions in Non-Baseball Revenue

The company quietly launched in January 2009



    White Sox Set to Make Millions in Non-Baseball Revenue
    Getty Images / Johnathan Daniels

    In an attempt to generate additional revenue for future free agent signing, the White Sox franchise has launched a new digital media firm -- that has nothing to do with baseball.

    They're beginning with an iPhone app for the Southeastern Conference that features up-to-the minute football score updates, news and highlights. 

    It's official: The White Sox have officially tapped into the rest of the sports world.

    Silver Chalice Ventures will initially focus on developing digital platforms for clients before branching outside the media world, Crain's reports.

    The company, which operates out of U.S. Cellular Field, has developed Bulls TV for the Chicago Bulls' Web site and downloadable games for mSpot, a mobile music service.

    But all this tech is just a way for the White Sox to afford players.

    "Our ultimate challenge these days is to grow revenues," said Brooks Boyer, Sox chief marketing officer, whose franchise is reportedly eyeing expensive free agents.  "This is one way to accomplish it.  The revenue we earn is going to go back to the team."

    The company unofficially launched in January of this year, stalling a formal announcement until it had some clients in place, said Brooks Boyer, who will serve as CEO of the company.  Boyer said the new venture is taking a different approach than the Boston Red Sox, whose Fenway Sports Group -- launched in 2004 --grosses an estimated $200 million annually.

    "The White Sox have a powerful brand, and we have a great name in Jerry Reinsdorf," Boyer said.  "We took the concept to Jerry, and he bought into it."

    Boyer added that the company might consider other platforms beyond digital if it has "the right people in place," Crain's reports.

    Jason Coyle, former president of digital media for Chicago-based Intersport will be chief operating officer; and John Burris, formerly of Sprint, will run Silver Chalice New Media, a subsidiary firm.

    "It's hard for me to say right now what we're capable of," Boyer said.  "Our upside is endless.  Very significant.  That's what is so encouraging for us," he said.