The best way I think to explain what is happening to the Undefeated is they want the black experience at ESPN and Disney but in a way that is less straightforward, if that makes sense.
They want to blend in those black dollars within the company, but not have it seem separate from what they are doing, and since when you think The Undefeated, you think the Black ESPN, they have decided for it to broaden its reach they will re-brand to something new that has no attachments to it.
So they can smoothly transition into the Disney machine.
Here is how the Editor-in-Chief Raina Kelley.describes it.
As of March 1, what was once The Undefeated is now Andscape.
I want to share two facts and a hunch about this change.
Fact One: We did it for a reason that I think y’all will understand. We needed a name that stretched what we thought we should be into whatever we wanted to be. Over the last five years, we blew through the intersections of sports, race and culture into the myriad intersections of Black and Everything. We do a lot now. But we want to do more and we need a name that can grow with us.
Fact two: We’ve always been about that not-conventional, never-boring life, so we knew that besides illuminating the nuance and beauty of Black life, we needed a name that leaves behind dulled and dusty paradigms and creates space for new meanings. We’re not going to engage in conversations that measure our humanity as if it were in doubt.
In certain ways, it makes sense because the website itself isn’t a huge traffic driver unless the stories are linked by ESPN.com or the social media pages (for example, the Undefeated had 1.1 million visits in Dec 2021 vs. BSO 2.2 million, and I am more or less a one-person operation where all my traffic comes organically).
This says to me that the site itself isn’t going to be the focus anymore. The black stories they want to tell will be via social media, TV, podcasts, etc. This means, at least for the time being, you are stuck with me as one of the only true black-owned sports and entertainment websites not afraid to handle the topics others are afraid to tackle.