Thursday September 28, 2023

New Owner of Immaculate Grid Baseball Game Eyes Football, Other Sports

  • Baseball Reference parent company has acquired popular online game Immaculate Grid.
  • Additional sports like football, basketball, hockey, and soccer will be available soon.
Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
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The free online trivia game that has taken baseball fans by storm this summer will soon be expanding to additional sports under its new owner, Sports Reference.

Immaculate Grid sees 200,000 users most weekdays, challenging them to name players that match metrics like their teams or their notable stats. Seen as the “Wordle of baseball” — playing off the popular game acquired by the New York Times for more than $1 million last year — it was created in April by Brian Minter, a software engineer from Atlanta.

Last month, Winter approached Sports Reference — owner of Baseball Reference and other similar data sites — as he looked for a company to acquire his game. “There were other talks, but they were certainly No. 1,” Winter told Front Office Sports.

With Immaculate Grid now integrated into Sports Reference’s website, the company plans to add new sports like football, basketball, hockey, and soccer to the game by the end of this month. 

“We’ve tried to implement it in a way that easily expands to our other sports,” Sports Reference president Sean Forman told FOS. “I’m confident we can do it pretty quickly.”

The price Sports Reference paid for Immaculate Grid wasn’t disclosed, but Forman is confident the deal will be a win for both the company and Winter. There are plans to place ad units on the game page and potentially offer special features under a subscription model — but Immaculate Grid will remain free to all and is already seen as a money maker. 

“It’s also driving a significant amount of traffic to our existing site, which we’ve gotten reasonably good at monetizing,” Foreman added.

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