Partnership With Bluffton Icon Announced


Two Bluffton websites that keep their fingers on the pulse of community activities linked together this week to provide easier access for viewers to both sites.

The sites are and

This partnership means that viewers win. All Bluffton High School sports are now on Bluffton Icon, and, provides its viewers to an easy link to all news items about Bluffton posted on the Icon.

In a joint statement Sam Brauen and Joshua Steiner of and Fred and Mary Pannabecker Steiner of Bluffton Icon said: “We are excited to announced this partnership. These two Bluffton sites are important news providers to our community.”

They added: “We are all life-long Bluffton residents. We live in the Bluffton school district. We participate in community events and take seriously our efforts to make Bluffton a great place to live, through the information we provide.”

In addition, Brauen is the public announcer for BHS football and boys' and girls' basketball games.

While the two sites are now linked, ownership of each remains separate from the other.

During a recent 12-month period experienced nearly 43,000 views. The Bluffton Icon’s recent 12-month viewership is over 225,000.

Not only is the partnership a win for viewers, advertisers will soon have the opportunity to reach more viewers through affordable combined advertising on both sites. was created and is maintained by Brauen and Joshua Steiner, both Bluffton High School grads who have serious interests in Pirate sports.

Brauen, a 1997 BHS grad, is a commercial underwriter at Auto-Owners Insurance, Lima. Joshua, a 1999 BHS grad, is an administrative systems analyst at Ohio Northern University. The two launched the site in September 2004.

Fred and Mary Pannabecker Steiner, also BHS grads, created Bluffton Icon in 2009. Ryan Lowry, another BHS grad, is the Icon’s technical advisor. In addition to Bluffton Icon (, the Steiners own Ada Icon (

Not only does the Pirates sport site provide scores and stories, it includes photographs by Marvin Foster and Troy Breidenbach. June Orr, Scott Hoff, Belinda Stevens and Mark Yoder provide other sports-related photographs. is in the process of adding a history page for each sport to list school record-holders. The Icon continues to add new features.

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