Matador Network

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Matador Network
Type of businessPrivate company
Type of site
Travel & lifestyle
Available inEnglish, Spanish
FoundedApril 28, 2006; 13 years ago (2006-04-28)
Key peopleRoss Borden, CEO
Kelly Faddis, Director of Finance & Operations
Laura Reilly, Managing Editor
Current statusActive

Matador Network ("Matador") is a North American digital media company based in the San Francisco, CA Bay Area focused on travel, outdoor adventure, food, nightlife, language learning and culture.


Matador Network was founded in 2006 by Ross Borden and Ben Polansky as an early social network aimed at travellers. In 2008 the company shifted its focus to digital publishing and media.

In 2009 the company launched, an online school for travel journalism with courses in travel writing, travel photography and filmmaking.[1]

In 2011, Matador published the book No Foreign Lands: 100 of the Most Inspirational Travel Quotes of All Time[2]. In 2012 the company published 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Partying Around the World,[3] a collection of stories documenting music festivals and party culture around the world. The book was published by St. Martin’s Press and carried by Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble.[4]

During this period, the company also began creating branded content for country-, state- and city-level tourism boards.[5]

In 2014 the company launched the Matador Ambassador team, a network of YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram travel personalities who represent Matador's influencer marketing campaigns.

In 2015 Matador launched Matador Studios,[6] its in-house video production division, which produces video for advertisers. Matador currently publishes more than 500 videos per year with more than 70 million video views per month on its social channels and website.[7]

In 2017 Matador launched its Matador Originals video series, which consists of original long-form video programming, including episodic series, talent-driven shows, and stand-alone documentaries.[8] Films include; In Her Shoes: India,[9] Surfing With Sugar,[10] Jacob's Journey: A Maasai Warrior’s Journey Home[11] and Trawen: Travels to the Future Patagonia National Park.[12]


Matador Network has received the following awards:

  • The 2010 and 2011 Lowell Thomas Award in the category of Online Travel Journalism Sites.[13]
  • The 2013 GoMedia Awards in the category of Online Video (Canadian and international media) for Robin Esrock's, The Calgary Stampede.[14]
  • A 2014 Skiftie award for Best Social Media Presence – Travel Media.[15]
  • A 2015 Skiftie award for Most Effective Brand on Social Media – Travel Media.[16]
  • A 2018 award for Best Documentary at the Top Shorts film festival for the Matador Original film, Jacob's Journey.[17]


  1. ^ "Matador Network launches new travel writing school - Gadling". Gadling. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  2. ^ "No Foreign Lands". Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  3. ^ "The Ultimate Travel Guide to Partying Around the World". Goodreads. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  4. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Partying Around the World". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  5. ^ "Matador Network CEO on Creating Human-Driven Travel Stories". Skift. 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  6. ^ "Matador Media House is open for business!". It's Katka. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  7. ^ "matadornetwork YouTube Stats, Channel Statistics -". Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  8. ^ Matador Network (2018-01-16), Introducing Matador Originals, retrieved 2018-07-05
  9. ^ Staff, Scroll. "Watch: A day in the life of a sex worker's feisty daughter in episode from 'In Her Shoes'". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  10. ^ Inertia, The. "How Rescuing a Special Dog Helped This Surfer Cope with His Past and Learn to Love". The Inertia. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  11. ^ "JMU research analyst rediscovers roots in Kenya | Samrack Media". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  12. ^ "More than a brand: This documentary details the fight to preserve Patagonia". Digital Trends. 2017-12-22. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  13. ^ "2010 List of Winners". Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  14. ^ "GoMedia Canada Online Newsroom". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  15. ^ "WINNERS | Skifties, from Skift". December 17, 2014.
  16. ^ "Announcing: The Winners of Skifties 2015 Social Media Awards for Travel Brands". Skift. 2015-09-01. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  17. ^ "Top Shorts April 2018 Winners". Top Shorts. Retrieved 4 May 2018.

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