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Diversity with a purpose: PHNX staff reflects teams we cover, community we serve

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September 9, 2023
PHNX Sports is celebrating its two-year anniversary.

In the past two years, PHNX Sports has grown exponentially. We have built a healthy and vibrant subscriber base. Our live shows have generated about 8 million views on our YouTube channel, and those numbers have grown 2,603 percent since our first month of existence back in 2021.

Multiple stories across our beats have generated more than 10,000 reads apiece. To top it off, our parent company, ALLCITY Network, has grown as well, expanding into Chicago with plans for more growth soon.

While PHNX is by no means a traditional sports journalism site, a significant part of what we do constitutes traditional journalism. We have beat writers who cover the Suns, Cardinals, Coyotes and Diamondbacks, along with contributing writers on the Mercury, Rising, Arizona State University and University of Arizona beats. We deliver comprehensive stories, features and game coverage. We break our fair share of news. We provide in-depth analysis and opinion.

The element that differentiates PHNX from other media outlets is the community that we have built — whether it’s our regular show watchers, our regular readers, or our Diehards, whose subscriptions afford them access to exclusive content, our Discord channel, special events and cool merchandise.

PHNX Sports celebrated its two-year anniversary this week.
A group of Diehards bought the PHNX staff an overwhelming collection of gifts, cards and sweets to celebrate our outlet’s two-year anniversary.

We like to interact with that community in person, at games, at meet-ups, through our live chats during shows, or at special events such as the NHL Draft in Nashville where a dozen people flew across country to join us for a handful of events including a sunset riverboat cruise.

We try to grant that community a voice in what we do, but an equally critical part of community building is assembling a staff that is reflective of both the sports and teams that we cover, and the community that we serve. Whether you’re white, black, Latino or a member of the LGBTQ+ community, PHNX has voices that speak to you. 

Why? Because diversity doesn’t just mean assembling a staff with different racial, socioeconomic or gender backgrounds. It means diversity in the way that we actually communicate. Some outlets take great pains to assemble diverse staffs, but then force them to conform to an established means of communication or writing. Some outlets don’t even bother pursuing diversity, relying on a uniform body of white male voices.

We have worked diligently at PHNX to bring diverse voices into the fold, and to allow everyone to communicate in their own voice and vernacular. That’s not being woke. That is, in fact, the only way to truly reflect the teams that we cover and the community that we serve. 

There is a steep learning curve in everything that we do because we are experimenting so much; finding what works and what does not. We’re going to produce some duds. We’re going to make some mistakes. We made some this past week, but we always want to be responsive and responsible to our audience.

We want to listen to their voices, their passions and their concerns. We want to understand their perspectives. We want to know when we blow it; when we step out of line. We want to be held accountable for our mistakes, we want to display accountability for our mistakes, and we want to learn from them.

As PHNX Sports celebrates its two-year anniversary this weekend, we hope you’ll consider joining our growing community. Whatever your background, as long as you are open to other voices and perspectives, we promise that you’ll have a voice here. We may all come from diverse backgrounds, but a love of sports is the tie that binds us.

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