Fight On State Debuts

Mark Brennan, longtime editor of a tabloid covering Penn State sports, and PSU Playbook, operator of a top fan publication and website, have formed an alliance in partnership with America’s No. 1 college sports network and publishing company to produce an all-gloss, color publication and new website.

This partnership means only a handful of top editors remain at Rival Networks, after nearly all top sites and writers have rejoined the founder Jim Heckman and his original team at network.’s 2.1 million unique users and syndication reach to over 35 million sports fans makes by far the largest independent sports online network in the nation, nearly twice the size of its nearest competitor. The new PSU property will be hosted by under the banner and will be published in print under the same name “Fight On State!”

Penn State is considered a top-five market in college football, with more than 440,000 people worldwide holding degrees and some 110,000 PSU fans packing Beaver Stadium each autumn Saturday.

Now all of them have a place to go for the most complete coverage of Nittany Lion athletics.

The web site debuts today and the premier issue of the magazine, the Penn State Recruiting Spectacular issue, hits mailboxes and newsstands in early March.

PSU Playbook Magazine will merge into the new publication as will the website,

The new will offer up-to-the-second coverage of Penn State athletics and recruiting, with four full-time recruiting experts contributing to the partnership, including nationally renowned recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg (host of both Foxsports television show, “Countdown to Signing Date” and the NBC nationally televised Army All-American Bowl); Bob Lichtenfels,’s Northeast football recruiting expert; Steve Curry,’s PSU specific recruiting guru; and Mike Sullivan, longtime nationally recognized basketball recruiting expert, based in the Northeast.

For nearly a decade, PSU Playbook has served as a voice to Nittany Lion fans and has been Penn State’s premier independent fan site, boasting the Nittany Nation’s fastest growing publication, The Playbook. Over the years The Playbook has brought fans worldwide extensive coverage of PSU athletics with unique content and exclusive one-of-a-kind interviews with PSU greats. In addition, PSU Playbook has also provided fans an online home to follow, discuss, debate and interact around Penn State sports. The PSU Playbook staff will provide a unique perspective to Fight on State and an added dimension to the coverage provided to Penn State fans.

Brennan intends to implement improved versions of the online audio, video and pdf technology he introduced at his previous company. The strength of the site, however, will be topnotch writing from staffers and contributors, as well as material from Scout’s extensive network of college and professional sports experts.

Fight On State The Magazine will be offered in an attractive glossy format, and will be held to the highest standards of design and writing. It will be driven by feature stories, personality profiles, in-depth analysis, accurate recruiting information and first-class photography. Brennan has lined up a talented corps of writers and photographers to make the magazine sizzle.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new style of covering college athletics,” Brennan said. “I know most Penn State fans will feel the same way. Scout’s model -- presenting timely news on a state-of-the-art web site while dedicating the polished magazine to high-quality feature material -- makes so much sense. The days of receiving game stories on newsprint a week after the fact are obviously behind us.”

Brennan brings credible reporting and editing skills to Fight On State. In his 16 years as editor of Blue White Illustrated, he was honored with awards for excellence in writing from the Football Writers Association of American five times. This while competing against publications of all sizes. He votes for the Heisman Trophy and Wooden Award, and sits on the media panels which select the All-Big Ten basketball team as well as the conference’s Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

He also brings his wife, Stacey, who served as office manager at Blue White Illustrated the past decade and a half. Stacey will handle the local business end of the new enterprise, coordinating strategic marketing and advertising for Fight On State. The business operator and lead editor from Blue White, combined with the power of the largest college sports network in America, partnered with the top fan site for PSU means a dream team for Penn State fans, hungry for better information and a strong community dedicated to PSU athletics.

“This truly is a family affair,” Brennan said. “Not only with Stacey and me, but also with all of the outstanding writers and photographers we’ve come to know so well through the years. We’re tapping into this talented ‘family,’ and know the results will be special.

“We’ve been well received from the folks at Penn State, too,” he added. “A day after teaming with Scout, we received credentials to cover all major sports. Within a week, we received dozens of personal congratulations, starting with the athletic director, and continuing with a host of administrators, coaches and athletes. Everyone sees the vast potential of this venture.”

J.C. Heckman, CEO and founder of Scout, was the first to see that potential. Now his vision for an improved style of sports coverage at Penn State has come to fruition.

“The Internet has completely changed the team publishing business forever,” he said. “It’s obvious to me the weekly tabloids are now entirely obsolete. The Internet, on the other hand, offers timely information by the hour, but nobody wants to read a 2,000-word article on his or her computer. The combination of the monthly gloss, feature magazine and daily online content is the ultimate package for the ultimate Penn State fan and we’re thrilled to be partnered with the Brennans and the PSU Playbook people, to offer this great product.”

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