About BOOM Sports Media
Lawrence Gunnells, Founder/President: After a lifetime of working in various forms of media, Gunnells decided to form Boom to fuel a passion for sports and creativity. What is being birthed, however, goes well beyond that simple mission.
Gunnells spent the last 13 years as sports editor of two newspapers in Cheatham County. Over that span, he built relationships with a number of coaches who left positions in Cheatham County to take jobs in Montgomery County. On numerous occasions, those coaches expressed a frustration with the lack of media coverage in Montgomery County, and those conversations began the planning process for the formation of Boom Sports Media TN.
The first question most people ask is…
In addition to being a sports writer, Gunnells has been a salesman and a marketing consultant. Several years ago, he read a book that impacted his view of marketing, particularly branding, called “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
One of the laws is called “The Law of the Mind,” which essentially states that if you can “own a word” in the mind of the consumer, the you’ve won half the battle of marketing.
BOOM is a sports word if there ever was one.
- Someone sinks a 30-foot putt…BOOM!
- Someone hits a towering homerun…BOOM!
- Someone knocks someone out with a right cross…BOOM!
- Someone obliterates a quarterback on a safety blitz…BOOM!
The objective is quickly being met, as early in the life of the company, those familiar with our work have shortened the name simply to Boom.
“How are things going at Boom?” we are often asked.
Very well, thank you, and getting better.
Another important part of the mission: giving kids their start in the business
Gunnells recalls his start in sports media, and makes a pledge.
“I started writing sports when I was 16 in Sylacauga, AL. I fell in love with sports writing by reading Sports Illustrated, and dreamed of being on their staff,” Gunnells said. “The only problem was, I had no idea how to make that happen. I did not know anyone in the business, and frankly didn’t know anyone who knew anyone. So I started with two local newspapers, and wrote stories every week for two years.”
“I knew that many of the writers for SI went to the University of Missouri Journalism School, but that was like another world to a kid who grew up in a town of less than 10,000 people,” Gunnells recalled. He ended up attending a private religious college, which gave him a great education, but again offered few opportunities to break into the journalism business.
So at the advice of several friends, Gunnells went into sales. Several of his jobs got him into publishing and printing roles, but none fueled his passion for sports media.
In 2004, Gunnells moved to Cheatham County, Tennessee after meeting his wife Vonda on eHarmony. It was the first time he had lived in a small town since college, and after decided to phase out a business that had him travelling all over the southeast, he went back to his first love: sports writing. After several inquiries to local papers, he started a relationship with the I-24 Exchange in Pleasant View. After 12 years with the I-24 Exchange, the paper was sold to Main Street Media, and Gunnells moved on to work with the new paper, the Cheatham County Exchange.
In December 2017, the Gunnells family moved to Clarksville, and the wheels went in motion to start Boom, an idea that had been brewing in Gunnells’ mind for several years.
As plans began to formulate, opportunity after opportunity was presented to team up with “kids” who were looking for a chance to get started in the business—as writers, photographers, videographers, and broadcasters. It was clear one of the reasons Boom was to exist—and hopefully thrive—was to be a launching point for the careers of young people looking for real world experience.
That mission is being fueled by new relationships with, among others, the Rossview High School Media and Technology Academy; Austin Peay State’s Department of Communication; and Cheatham County’s Director of Schools Cathy Beck.
Boom is set to “explode” thanks to partnerships that will benefit our communities in many ways.
What “media” will Boom be using?
Boom Sports Media TN will cover high schools, middle schools, community sports, and APSU through:
• A comprehensive website, Boomsportstn.com: Obviously if you’re reading this page, you found us!
• Social media feeds through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Generally look for “@boomsportstn” on any of those sites and you will find us.
• In late September, we hope to launch Boom Radio, featuring an afternoon radio show on a local station. Details will be released when they are finalized, but the content will be about local sports.
• In mid-November, we hope to launch Boom Magazine, a preview/review type publication to both review the previous sports seasons and preview the upcoming ones.
Currently, Gunnells is assisted by:
Matt Gabell, Director of Marketing—Gabell has spent his entire career in mobile phone business sales, but like Gunnells, is passionate about sports. After working as a freelance writer with him, Gunnells offered him the chance to be a part of Boom. Gabell jumped at the chance, leaving a good job behind. Now that’s faith!
Tabitha Brewster, Content Manager—Brewster has worked in the healthcare and education fields, and brings her administrative and organizational skills to an important position with the company. She is Grand Central Station on where we are to be, and is enthusiastically doing a great job.