April 18, 2021
SMPR
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This Week We Reach
This week we reach MLS kickoff, Asian Wrestling Championships, Asian Weightlifting Championships, European Judo Championships, ATP Monte-Carlo Masters, WTA Charleston, NASCAR Richmond, Indy Car California, LPGA Hawaii, PGA Hilton Head edition of the newsletter.

Best Moments is going well. My "requests" for input from our group are sometimes hit-and-miss, but I want to try another one, inspired by NPR's "It's Been A Minute." We are still turning this very long corner in our business, and many are still struggling. That being said, let's inspire. It can be about work or personal, we can have your name and affiliation or not, we can post one or 100, which would be a great problem. So, send me a note, short and sweet. Let's see if we can lift each other. Email your ideas to me. Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram. My site is joefavorito.com. We always try to have some great best practices to share as well!
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Prepare for the business of sports with a master's degree from Northwestern. Learn from a faculty of sports industry experts and build essential skills for working in college, amateur, and professional sports. Study online or on campus. Learn more.
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Thought for the Week
"You talk about vision and most people, they think about a stairwell, they look up and say, 'OK, this is where we're going.' With him, it's just the opposite. He looked at every step up the stairs, and said, 'We're going to go here, and then here, and here. But I promise you, eventually we will get to the top.'"
-- Matt Driscoll on Baylor coach Scott Drew
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Best Moments of the Week from You
I served as VP of Communications for a Major League Baseball team for 20 years. It ended when the team thought they were better off without me. It was difficult but I accepted their decision gracefully and have moved on, grateful to have worked in the game when I did. My successor and I had worked together for eight years and I was so pleased when the team named him to my vacated post. We've continued to talk often about some of the challenges he's faced as a VP. Recently, he received a career opportunity that was too good to pass up and he too, is leaving. As I was doing my Saturday yard grooming last weekend my phone pinged. It was a text from him telling me he was sitting in the home dugout preparing to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on his last day. He started it by saying he was texting me because he would never get through what he had to say to me in person. The incredibly thoughtful, heartfelt message of thanks that followed was as meaningful to me as any I have ever received. A keeper for sure and one I will never forget.
-- Anonymous

In my 20-plus years at the USGA, I met many very nice people. Those I met from Japan were ALWAYS polite and respectful -- I vividly remember hotel chefs, wearing their toques, sitting in an hours-long meeting reviewing the World Amateur Team tournament handbook but paying rapt attention to every detail. Watching Hideki Matsuyama win the Masters to fulfill the dreams of the multitudes of devoted golfers in Japan drove me immediately to my phone to send messages of congratulations to all of my golf friends there. It felt like THEIR win too. Made my day.
-- Pete Kowalski

In 2014, I founded The Capital Club, a business networking group that features notable sports figures sharing their journeys and stories about their strategies, struggles, tactics, training regimens, and mental disciplines; lessons that members can apply both personally and professionally. Longtime PGA golfer Tom Lehman joined the group this week and told his tale of joining the tour as a young man only to lose his playing privileges shortly thereafter. His story of traveling the world playing on minor tours in an effort to regain a spot in the PGA and the lessons he learned along the way was compelling, motivating and inspiring. Sometimes we only see the fame and fortune professional athletes enjoy and don't appreciate the tremendous sacrifices they made to get there.

-- Patrick Klingler
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The Week That Was
The Week That Was
(Sean Dennison)
This week we talked tech innovation and media with colleague Dan Cohen, got a chance to talk about the "new normal" of hybrid events for media with SBJ, and how new promotions are "seeding" the path to sustainability.
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Some Articles You May Have Missed
Sports and Technology
FUTRSPRT #SportsTech Rundown

FUTRSPRT and the Sports Marketing and PR Pros SmartBrief newsletter have teamed up to provide a weekly rundown of the week in sports/technology. In each edition, we will update the most newsworthy events from the industry as well as who we connected with on our twice-a-week podcast hosted by Bram Weinstein. If you'd like to get in touch, feel free to email at simon.ogus@futrsprt.com.

To subscribe, head over here. To connect with us on social media, visit and follow our Twitter and LinkedIn feeds.

This week we spoke with Ashton Eaton, a four-time Olympian and CEO of Sports Innovation La‪b‬. She connected with Bram to discuss her initiative in helping other female executives get opportunities in sports. Plus, we discuss the red-hot NFT marketplace.

Topic of the Week: If there's one topic in sports and technology that has dominated the nation's attention in 2021, it is likely the meteoric rise of NFTs. This has been chiefly accomplished through the soaring popularity of NBA Top Shot and providing nonfungible tokens of highlight plays throughout the season and then selling those digital assets to fans through the Ethereum blockchain. A lot of the attention has come from the soaring prices that these digital moments have gotten in recent weeks, with many NFTs selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars and often reselling in a matter of days for prices many times the initial purchase price. But what often is surprising about this NFT space in sports is the domination of the marketplace and capital invested by the NBA through NBA Top Shot. The NBA has dominated the NFT space with many of the other pro leagues playing catch-up. It was reported on Monday that SeatGeek is looking to have a nonfungible token prototype in time for the 2021 NFL season as well as the 2021-22 NHL season. While there is no certainty of what the NFT marketplace will look like this fall, it was intriguing news to see a market player trying to capitalize on Dapper Lab's success and bring the digital assets to other sports. In a Sportico piece, Eric Waller, SeatGeek's Chief Product Officer, said an inhibitor to entering this space was transaction costs. SeatGeek has been very forward-thinking in applying blockchain technology to its core ticketing practice and clearly sees a strong future in the area. It likely views this market as a way to diversify its offerings when competing with other ticketing resellers like Stubhub. News like this shows that SeatGeek and likely many others are actively working on how blockchain can impact sports in the near future. Capitalizing on the NFT wave could be one of the many byproducts that a provider can take advantage of to reach the ultimate goal: full-scale digitalization and utilization of blockchain technology throughout the world of sports and all of its onramps.

Three links from the week that was:
  1. Topps to Launch Official MLB NFTs in Bid to Best NBA Top Shot
  2. Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews teases first NFT collection ahead of launch
  3. Women breaking ground in MLB, sports tech
Full Story: FUTRSPRT (4/21) 
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Worth a Look or Listen
The Best in Biz
JohnWallStreet by Sportico is located at the intersection of sports and finance. The franchise's daily email newsletter -- a must-read for those in the industry -- serves up a daily dose of news, insight and analysis on the biggest stories affecting sports executives. Sign up for the free publication by joining the Sportico "community" at sportico.com.

This week is a look at how "Hot Mics" may alter access.
Full Story: Sportico (4/13) 
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Sports Cause of the Week – by @sportsandchange
Designed to create employment opportunities, further career advancement and drive greater economic empowerment in Black communities, the NBA Foundation has announced $3 million in grants. These grants will enhance and build upon the important work of national and local organizations that align with the foundation’s mission to provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development for high-school, college-age, job-ready and mid-career individuals in Black communities across the United States and Canada. Full story and list of grantees here.
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Diverse Voices - by Sportivo
Upcoming Networking Events
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Brands Looking to Connect
Send us a note
Have a cause, a special event, something looking to get the word out, a new platform launching? A meet-up in the Zoom space? Send us a note.
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Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is the most prevalent form of muscular dystrophy affecting men, women and children. It is an autosominal dominant type of muscular dystrophy that causes progressive muscle wasting and weakness. The disease initially affects the muscles of the face (facio), shoulder (scapulo), and upper arms (humeral). The degeneration of muscle can also spread to the back, pelvis and legs. For 10 years, Brooklyn Nets announcer Chris Carrino and his foundation have raised funds for awareness and research around the disease, which he battles every day. They continue along with their special events and will expand their work now that we are coming out of COVID. If you would like to find out how you can assist Chris in his quest, email info@chriscarrinofoundation.org
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First and Pen (www.firstandpen.com) is the new digital sports property from The Khanate Group. Led by media veteran Yussuf Khan, First and Pen connects audiences through the power of sports and voices of color. Harnessing the power, influence, and creativity of local storytelling, we connect, inform and inspire audiences by unleashing local voices of color in sports and amplifying them nationally. Do you understand the historical significance of LeBron James' ownership stake in the Boston Red Sox? Are you aware of the obstacles facing soccer clubs in Black and brown communities across Michigan? Do you know about the rich history of Black collegiate wrestling? What about the historical connection between baseball and Georgia? These are the types of original and powerful stories we tell at First and Pen. Follow us on social at firstandpen (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), email us (firstandpen@thekhanategroup.com) and join us on our journey to connect, educate, inform and inspire.
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Help Wanted
DAZN seeks a Revenue Strategy Manager to help define and deliver their long-term revenue strategy for all DAZN markets. You'll have the chance to provide a telling and visible contribution to strategic decisions within our fast-paced and incredibly dynamic business. This role focuses on driving the strategy for revenue growth across our Advertising, Commercial Premises businesses and Revenue Innovation (new potential business lines to launch). You will support the existing business unit teams as well as the VP-Revenue Strategy by providing and utilizing market intelligence/research and data analysis. Requirements: A minimum of 2-3 years' experience in either Tier 1 Strategy Consulting firm, Investment Banking, Professional Services, In-House Strategy/Corporate Development team. Strong proficiency with PowerPoint and Excel. Demonstrable experience utilizing strategic analytical skills, including financial modelling and forecasting, market situation / trend analyses, scenario planning, go to market / roll out plans and operational feasibility assessments. Ability to crystallize key insights from data and communicate analyses in an efficient and effective manner to a variety of internal audiences across departments and functions. Strong analytical capabilities with a track record of strategic development and implementation planning. Details here.
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Minute Media is a leading media technology brand focused on two main pillars -- platform and content. Minute Media's platform serves as the company's foundation, powering its content as well as enabling the evolution of other market-leading digital media brands. To date, Minute Media's owned and operated destinations include The Players' Tribune, 90min, DBLTAP, Mental Floss, The Big Lead, and FanSided. For more information, check out https://www.minutemedia.com/. They are looking for a Sr. Director of Commerce who will serve as a senior leader owning all aspects of our affiliate and commerce business. This person will act as the central point of contact and will manage the day-to-day operations of the commerce team. The ideal candidate for this role will be someone with an advanced knowledge of the affiliate and commerce landscape from the publisher side, and who has a proven track record of building and managing in-house affiliate marketing teams. Skills: 6+ years of relevant affiliate marketing and commerce experience for a publisher, affiliate network or media company. Proven experience managing an internal team as well as external relationships with partners and brands with a diverse team of stakeholders. High level SEO knowledge with proven experience using tools such as SEMRush, Google Search Console and more. Experience in analyzing data to draw conclusions and make recommendations using tools such as Google Analytics, Data Studio, Excel, Trackonomics and others. Details here.
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Sports Business Journal seeks a Director of Marketing. As a gifted communicator reporting to the CRO, this person will lead a team including a digital marketing manager, the design studio and a product marketer to take the marketing organization to the next level of sophistication around performance and content marketing. The list below suggests a few of the focus areas, but is not exhaustive of the scope; this person will have the autonomy to implement the most effective strategies and tactics. The role is located in Charlotte, N.C., where both the CEO and SBJ, the group's largest business unit, reside. We have a collaborative work environment with unlimited growth opportunities. If you like working with an entrepreneurial, curious, supportive, high-performing team, SBJ is the place for you. Duties: Plan and execute a multichannel marketing strategy for the organization and for new and existing products or services. Lead, manage and motivate the five-person marketing and design team including a digital marketing manager, designers and product marketing manager, ensuring that their performance meets business and personal goals. Oversee marketing automation programs that maximize on the technology in place ensuring personalized customer experiences meet business goals (cross-sell, up-sell, retention, acquisition and lead generation). Make data-driven decisions -- track and measure marketing outcomes including marketing activities, response, leads, sales, retention and ROI and make intelligent suggestions to optimize results Qualifications: Managerial: You have managed before and like to do it. You are good at getting teams to paddle in the right direction and know how to coach and develop staff on PR, content, product and customer marketing best practices. You enjoy developing people. Versatility: While you will lead and manage, you are also able to write. You need to be able to think strategically, but get your team focused on the tactics that will drive impact. Personality: You are a team player who likes to win. You are also a good human being. Data-driven: You are a fantastic communicator, but you also love data and will ensure accuracy. Adaptability: You are a builder. You can work to create new structures and processes while adapting to the realities of a small business on a growth trajectory.  8-12 years operating in relevant marketing disciplines. Details here.
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Independent Publishers Group seeks a senior publicist. The senior publicist's primary purpose is to coordinate and execute a variety of book publicity campaigns for high quality trade nonfiction and fiction titles for both adults and children, including titles from Triumph Books, America's top publisher of sports books; Chicago Review Press, a leading publisher of nonfiction books for children and adults; and Trafalgar Square Publishing, the leading North American distributor of UK publishers. Working closely with IPG's client publishers, the senior publicist's main objective is to garner attention for new frontlist titles each season in all media formats: print, online, TV, and radio. Requirements: Carries out 25-35 comprehensive book publicity campaigns per season, managing at least a quarter of the A-list and top-shelf titles for the season. Works strategically with publicity manager to determine which titles receive campaigns each season. Attends publishing, title and cover meetings with Chicago Review Press and Triumph Books as needed. Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in publishing, journalism, English, or other relevant field. 4-7 years of experience in public relations, preferably in book publishing. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, solid organizational skills, the ability to prioritize and juggle multiple responsibilities at one time. Strong media contacts, with a particular emphasis. Remote candidates will be considered. Must have a dedicated workspace and access to reliable internet. Details here.
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The University of Texas-El Paso seeks an Associate Athletic Director for Fan Engagement and Digital Strategy. The position directs, leads and supervises the external areas of marketing and community outreach, digital strategy, strategic communications, creative services and broadcasting. Reports directly to the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and External Operations. Serves as a key member of the senior leadership team, the successful candidate will be responsible for the design, development and implementation of an innovative and strategic fan engagement and digital strategy department. Essential functions: Conceptualize, draft and implement comprehensive marketing, sales and engagement plans that result in revenue generation growth for the department as well as increased fan affinity. Directs and strategizes the overall fan engagement and digital strategy unit while collaborating to support ticket sales, fundraising and other revenue generation initiatives through their respective duties and responsibilities. Organize a strong data strategy. Enhance marketing strategies through various apps/marketing programs, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Actively collaborate with media outlets and entities, identifying and creating opportunities for news coverage and advertising.  Identify community outreach opportunities. Manage the department's digital and video relationship with Conference USA. Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Seven years minimum experience working in collegiate athletics or professional sports and direct experience in marketing, digital media, communications, branding and storytelling concepts, principles, procedures, and techniques for a Division I athletic department. Details here.
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Thanks for all the input, stay safe, stay smart. Joe Favorito (@joefav)
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