Thinking About Sports provides fans with access to knowledge and insight about the business, culture, and operations of sports. The audience is an intelligent fan - someone who consumes a lot of media, not just sports. They are a New Yorker, NPR, Mad Men, Vanity Fair, etc. type of reader/listener/watcher - who also happens to love sports. This is their chance to get deeper into aspects of sports that they find interesting, analyze stats or hear from experts. Focus on the 'thinking about' and the way to serve the intelligent fan and bring that to life.
The goal and focus of the project is on knowledge - depth of engagement, intelligence, ability for smart fans to get more than just game coverage. This is not a competitor to ESPN or Sports Illustrated, its designed to complement and supplement what kind of stories they share and coverage they provide. So, in terms of visual presentation, less important is the emphasis on just sports (and especially the obvious, cliche representations or sports - e.g. balls) and more important is on the learning aspects, the idea of fans exploring their curiosity, getting smarter, accessing knowledge and intelligence about sports that aren't otherwise available.
See attached logo for little m media as a possible guide for the type of design concept that is appealing.