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SB Nation

It’s not easy to make a name for yourself in a field dominated by global brands, but sports blog network SB Nation has done just that by taking a community approach.

What began as AthleticsNation.com, a blog created by Tyler Bleszinski to compensate for what he perceived as a lack of coverage of the Oakland A’s, SB Nation has grown to more than 250 team-oriented blogs. In April, the network drew 3.6 million unique visitors to its 21 most popular sites, according to comScore.

“Sports is a content type that’s inherently social and discussion driven,” Braccia says. “We look at this sports category from a bottom-up, grass roots perspective than top-down.”

The big boys have taken notice. SB Nation has entered into partnerships with Yahoo Sports and USAToday.com, and posts from its 29 hockey blogs now appear as linked headlines on the homepage of NHL.com.

Last summer, Comcast’s venture capital arm, Comcast Interactive Capital, led the second-round financing that delivered $7.95 million to SB Nation.