With NWSL Season Cut Short, Orlando Pride Take On Cheerleader Role

  • While it ultimately was forced to withdraw from the 2020 Challenge Cup, the NWSL’s Orlando Pride won’t be sitting quietly from home.
  • The club, which changed its social media name to “Challenge Cup Stan Account,” is looking to cheer on its competitors who are still playing this season.

In being the first U.S. contact sports league to return to play, the NWSL and its nine teams had a massive opportunity to reach new fans and establish itself further.  By the time the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup opened on June 27, one team was not included in the festivities: the Orlando Pride. Less than a month following the NWSL’s return-to-play news, six players and four staff members with the Pride tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the club to withdraw […]

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Jason Whitlock Drives New Readers To Rebranded Outkick

  • Whitlock attracted 3 million unique visitors in just 10 days - crashing the website.
  • New Operating Partner Sam Savage predicts 7 million uniques in June, 15 million in July, and 100,000 VIP subscribers by the end of the year.

Digital media executive Sam Savage got a surprising endorsement of his decision to invest in Clay Travis’ Outkick media company on what should have been a sleepy summer Friday. Newly hired columnist and equity partner Jason Whitlock attracted so many readers that he crashed its website on June 26. Within hours, the site was back up. But Savage was shocked Whitlock’s debut content helped drive 3 million unique visits in 10 days.  “There’s been so much traffic it’s been insane,” […]

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Q&A: Jemele Hill Opens Up on Bubba Wallace, NFL Protests, and ESPN

  • Regardless of FBI’s Wallace investigation, ‘racism in NASCAR is an issue,’ warns Hill.
  • Once games return, Hill expects players from multiple sports to kneel for racial justice.

Jemele Hill has become a multimedia brand since leaving ESPN nearly two years ago. She serves as a contributing writer for The Atlantic and hosts a weekly podcast on Spotify dubbed “Jemele Hill is Unbothered.” In April she launched a podcast devoted to the HBO drama, “The Wire,” for Bill Simmons’ The Ringer. This summer, she and former ESPN colleague Cari Champion will co-star in a weekly Vice TV talk show called, “Disruptors with Jemele Hill and Cari Champion.”  Along […]

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Request For Sports Photobombs Makes Penn State Assistant AD Goes Viral

  • On the night of June 21, Chris Grosse, Penn State’s assistant AD for marketing, asked his Twitter followers: “What is your favorite sports-related, unintentional photobomb of yourself?”
  • Grosse’s post, which has inspired quote retweets from people ranging from Adam Schefter to Nick Mangold, has generated more than 1.5 million impressions and 600K engagements.

To his more than 4,500 Twitter followers, Chris Grosse might be known best for his role as Penn State’s assistant athletics director for marketing, as he uses the sharing some insights about his career. But despite working for one of the most prominent institutions, he also uses the social media platform to talk about other topics – as well as frequently poll his followers random innocuous questions. Recently those have ranged from “You’ve got ONE song to pump up your […]

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NBC Sports Follows Sports Media Trend By Joining TikTok

  • While the TikTok-in-sports trend dates back years, NBC Sports is just now getting involved with the app.
  • The sports network joined the ByteDance-owned platform on June 15 and has since accumulated more than 23,600 and 120,000 followers and likes, respectively.

Since the early stages of 2019, sports media company after sports media company flocked to TikTok as the next social media app to tap into. But while some sports properties have been using TikTok for as many as three years, NBC Sports is barely a week into its own launch on the ByteDance-owned platform. The reason for the long launch is that NBC Sports never tries to create another social media account without having already done its homework, according to […]

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LeBron James, Maverick Carter Raise $100 Million Investment to Drive Media Aspirations

  • The investment is led by Guggenheim Investments, UC Investments, SISTER and SC.Holdings.
  • The newly formed board includes Serena Williams, Elisabeth Murdoch, Marc Rowan, Paul Wachter, Michael Rapino, B.Scott Minerd and Tom Werner.

Lebron James and longtime business partner Maverick Carter have raised $100 million to build and expand an already growing media conglomerate. The company, which will be called SpringHill Company, will combine the three companies previous built by James and Carter: UNINTERRUPTED, the athlete empowerment media and consumer product company; SpringHill Entertainment, the film and television production company; and the Robot Company, a brand and culture agency. Carter will serve as the company’s CEO, while James will be its chairman. SpringHill […]

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FuboTV to Add ESPN to Streaming Lineup as Part of Deal With Disney

  • Both live and video on demand ESPN content will be available through FuboTV’s base $54.99 package.
  • FuboTV has relied on its catalog of news and entertainment options to keep viewers entertained during the pandemic.

FuboTV has inked a multi-year distribution agreement with Disney Media Networks, a move that brings all of ESPN’s linear channels to the over-the-top streaming service for the first time. While FuboTV has categorized itself as a sports-first OTT platform since its founding in 2015, the omittance of ESPN on its service was a noticeable difference between itself and competitors YouTube TV, Sling, and Hulu.  Both live and video on demand ESPN content will be available this summer as part of […]

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NFL TV Partners Debate Showing Player Protests

  • TV coverage of NFL protests dropped the last few years. This season, will the NFL's TV partners largely show it or cut to commercial?
  • Jemele Hill warns it would be ‘journalistically irresponsible’ for news networks not to cover breaking news.

It appears to be a given that many NFL players will protest against racial inequality during the playing of the U.S. national anthem and presentation of the American flag during the 2020 season.  The question now is: Will the NFL’s TV partners cover these protests live on the air, or will they cut to commercials and mostly ignore kneeling players as they have the past two seasons?   That strategic question is being debated behind the scenes at NBC Sports, CBS […]

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Bleacher Report Sees Shakeup As CEO Howard Mittman Departs

  • Daniels is assuming business control of Bleacher Report from CEO Howard Mittman, who's leaving the company
  • Under new interim management structure, Turner doesn't currently plan to replace Mittman as CEO

Bleacher Report CEO Howard Mittman is leaving the company, according to sources. Turner Sports President Lenny Daniels is taking over business control of Bleacher Report, and there are no current plans to replace Mittman as CEO.  Under the new interim management structure, Bleacher Report COO Alex Vargas and CMO Ed Romaine will directly report to Tina Shah, Turner’s senior vice president of business affairs. Shah and B/R Chief Content Officer Sam Toles will report to Daniels. On the revenue side, Bleacher […]

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With Focus On 2021, Professional Fighters League Pivots Toward Digital

  • After canceling the remainder of its 2020 season, the PFL is looking towards growing through its digital and social media channels.
  • The PFL recently launched its PFL Studios content platform and is working on 20 original series to produce this year.

While seemingly all professional sports leagues and properties are looking for unique ways to salvage this year in some way, the Professional Fighters League has decided to focus on 2021. After the PFL initially put its second season on hold in March, the MMA league officially pulled the plug in late April. While the PFL remains optimistic for one-off events outside of its standard season format in the fourth quarter of the year, the organization is using this hiatus as […]

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