03/07/22: Michele Beadle talks about her journey

Medias First Morning Read
Monday March 7, 2022

Michelle Beadle return to the proverbial airwaves saw a proverbial one-two punch in 2021 as she returned home to join the Spurs’ broadcast team as the team’s “special correspondent” in addition to launching a new podcast and podcast network with The Athletic, titled “What Did I Miss,” running three times a week and covering sports and pop culture. Beadle was previously a reporter and broadcaster at ESPN, where she hosted NBA Countdown and Get Up!, before leaving in 2019. Her return to the microphone has kept ears perked, driving conversation and garnering headlines for her views on topics that include Paul Pierce’s wheelchair game to LeBron James to James Harden’s future with the 76ers.

Beadle on her podcast: I can honestly say this is the most fluid project I’ve ever been a part of. Television always had a beginning, middle, and end. I understood the rules, as the kids say. With podcasting, I’m learning something new every single day. I like that I sometimes feel like a fish out of winter. The forum itself has all the freedom of radio with the safety of taping. Live media can sometimes kill a career, or so I’ve heard. I haven’t compiled a dream guest list yet. Because we’re all operating from our computer screens, my friends have been my favorite people to have on. The familiarity erases any awkwardness that could arise with strangers.

On San Antonio: San Antonio loves its Spurs. I don’t think that will ever waver. Through the good and the bad, the fans have always been loud and proud. San Antonio, while growing every year, still carries a smaller town vibe. There’s a comfort and friendliness in the people here. And the Spurs have always been an adopted family. It adds to all the warm feelings when national media always overlooked great teams here. The ‘us against the world’ is strong in these parts.

On her legacy: I have no idea! I’m not sure we’re ever aware of what we leave behind. I know financially, we broke through a few of those gender-specific ceilings, something that should always be moving forward, never back. There have always been opinionated women in sports media. Earlier you had to make a real effort to hear from them. I think I was part of amplifying female voices in ways that are genuine to each of us. The message, hopefully, was always that being yourself works. Embrace that. Don’t apologize or back down.

On the evolution of sports media: Sports media, like everything we consume these days, has changed so dramatically in such a relatively short period of time. Not just the content itself, but how it’s delivered. The speed with which we take it all in. Even the quality of the videos are night and day from just a few decades ago. Through it all, the trends and the changing faces, it’s the games themselves that forever reign atop the mountain.

On which new sport she wants to work: Formula 1. That’s it. I’m a new fan and that world fascinates me.

PROGRAMMING

Apple is reportedly exploring the possibility of going beyond recent headlines of just picking up NFL Sunday Ticket. According to Front Office Sports, the company is mulling the chance to nab all of the NFL’s available rights in a single, multibillion-dollar deal that could include an equity stake in NFL Media, the “NFL Sunday Ticket” package for out-of-market games, as well as livestreaming games on mobile devices.

Contentious negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association continued on Sunday with MLBPA making a proposal for a new CBS. The marks the first since MLB commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two series on the 2022 schedule last week, ESPN reported that the league wants to “institute a 14-second pitch clock with the bases empty and a 19-second timer with runners on,” as a means of improving the pace between pitches. Meanwhile, the union reportedly lowered its request on the pre-arbitration bonus pool, from $85 million to $80 million. The owners previously proposed a $30 million central fund.

Monday Night Football’s Brian Griese will reportedly leave the broadcast booth for the waters of the San Francisco 49ers as their new quarterbacks coach. Griese spent more than a decade after his playing career as a college analyst at ESPN before joining MNF in 2020. Griese was expected to be replaced in that role by Troy Aikman.

PBR rolled out the event schedule for the 2022 PBR Team Series season with teams in Austin, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Glendale, AZ; Kansas City, MO; Nashville, TN; Oklahoma City, OK; Ridgedale, MO; and Winston-Salem, NC. The PBR Team Series’ inaugural 11-event season will include a three-day homestand event hosted by each of the eight founding teams. The 2022 season will begin with neutral site games in Cheyenne on July 25-26 and will culminate in a team championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas November 4-6, 2022.

The Basketball Africa League revealed its roster of broadcast partners as the 2022 season tipped off over the weekend. The second BAL season will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 14 languages through free-to-air and paid TV broadcast partnerships with Canal+, ESPN, NBA TV, Tencent Sports, TSN, American Forces Network (AFN) and Voice of America (VOA), and livestreaming on the NBA App, NBA.com and NBA.com/BAL. “The BAL is back with an impressive group of world-class broadcast distribution partners for our expanded second season,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “As the competition intensifies and travels to more cities in Africa, we are excited that BAL games will reach more fans across Africa and the world on devices and platforms they use most through our partners and the official BAL website.”

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Coconut water brand Vita Coco is partnering with The Big Ten Network, marking the brand’s first collegiate sports partnership. Vita Coco will be featured at select upcoming Big Ten Conference events throughout the 2022-2024 seasons, including the Big Ten Football Championship Game, Big Ten Men and Women’s Basketball Tournaments and more. “We’re excited to offer feel-good fuel to consumers in new markets who are exploring and expecting new functional beverage options,” said Jane Prior, Chief Marketing Officer at The Vita Coco Company. “The demand for better-for-you beverages continues to sweep the nation, with no exception in the world of collegiate sports. We’re proud to make Vita Coco more accessible to passionate fans in the Midwest, giving them the boost that they need to cheer on their teams to a Big Ten Championship.”

Youth Athletes United named 2021 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, Trinity Rodman, a former Amazing Athlete’s program participant, as a Brand Ambassador for all of the Youth Athletes United programs. “Sports have always been a part of me and my family’s life,” said Rodman. “Experiencing different sports at an early age is what allowed me to find my passion for soccer. To be able to take my experiences and partner with Amazing Athletes and Soccer Stars to impact kids all across the country is very exciting. I hope I can inspire more youth athletes to continue to be active and follow their own path in sports.”

The United States Hockey League and Bauer Hockey locked in a five-year extension of their exclusive partnership. The partnership will continue to position Bauer as the exclusive provider of on-ice equipment, including gloves, helmets, visors, sticks and pants as well as off-ice equipment, including warm-up jackets and pants, workout gear, hoodies, hats and polos for the next five seasons.

The Vegas Golden Knights inked a multi-year extension to the team’s partnership with Caesars Entertainment as an Official Casino Partner and Caesars Sportsbook as an Official Sports Betting Partner of the Vegas Golden Knights. The partnership between the Golden Knights and Caesars Entertainment will feature in-arena brand exposure on Knight Tron during all home games at T-Mobile Arena.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Sportradar and Bowl Season locked in a partnership designating Sportradar an official partner of Bowl Season, starting with the 2022-23 season. Sportradar will act as an advisor to Bowl Season as well as identify ways for Bowl Season to participate in the overall value chain through a variety of commercial opportunities. The agreement includes sponsorship of Bowl Season’s Annual Meeting with a focus on educating the organization’s membership the world of sports betting.

Wave Sports + Entertainment unveiled its content strategy for its flagship media brand BUCKETS. Among the talent signings was John Nichols, known as LaJethro Jenkins, as a host for “Outta Pocket” and lead producer for BUCKETS. Nichols reunites with former Yahoo! Sports’ “Dunk Bait” co-hosts Josiah Johnson and Zach Schwartz, who both re-upped with WSE.

Fanaply partnered with the Colonial Athletic Association to release a series of NFTs supporting the 2022 Colonial Athletic Association Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships, scheduled to take place through March 8 and March 10-13 respectively. An open edition 2022 CAA Tournament NFT drops on the first day of each tournament and be available for purchase throughout the duration of the events. As an added perk, fans who purchase the 2022 Tournament NFTs will automatically receive an exclusive 2022 CAA Championship collectible NFT, commemorating the tournament champions.

ESPORTS

Xfinity signed on as the official internet and mobile partner of the Twitch Gaming dedicated channel on Twitch. The deal hands the Comcast brand with access to in-stream branded integrations, category exclusivity, co-marketing rights, custom segments, an entitlement event and media and product placement.

Nerd Street Gamers is launching a new amateur esports tournament circuit titled Nerd Street Champs. The circuit will be sponsored by candy brand Mike and Ike along with gaming chair manufacturer Mavix Gaming with participants competing in titled that include Madden NFL 2022, VALORANT, Apex Legends, and Halo Infinite.

Esports Entertainment Group announced that the company raised $13.6 million from its public offering of common stock and warrants. Funding will reportedly be dedicated to building its working capital reserves and to repay part of its debt.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

Cindy Parlow Cone was re-elected as president for the U.S. Soccer Federation, winning the election with 52.9% of the weighted vote from the National Council. Her new four-year term runs until 2026. “The moment of division is now in the past. We are one Federation. We are one team. I promise to be the leader for all of us soccer,” Cone said following the vote. “I have never been more excited and more hopeful about the future of our beautiful game. Our national teams are young, exciting and full of promise. Our professional leagues are at the vanguard of driving our sport for the grassroots soccer as vibrant, healthy and changing lives every day. And we are assumed to host at least one World Cup and show the world what we have to offer.

SMAC Entertainment, the production company, talent management firm and business incubator co-founded by Constance Schwartz-Morini and Michael Strahan, named FredAnthony “Anthony” Smith as Vice President and Head of Non-Scripted Development. He had spent 17 years at the NFL, most recently serving as Original Content Lead and Senior Coordinating Producer.

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ON THIS DAY in
1996: Magic Johnson reached 10,000 career assists.

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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which NFL team has been featured on Hard Knocks the most times? Answer: Dallas Cowboys. What was the names of Andre the Giant’s character in The Princess Bride? Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Art Salisch-Nielsen/NJ; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids; Jason Brist-Outdoor Sportsman Group/Chicago; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Larry Hutchings/San Luis Obispo; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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Assist sales team in positioning the CW (Linear & Digital) to new/existing clients. Maintain files, records & reports. Solve short term inventory needs. Serve as liaison between CW Traffic/Finance to resolve discrepancies. Prepare expense reports & assist in planning events. Communicate with clients daily. Full info HERE (3/21)

RESEARCH ANALYST
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Produce linear network/program profiles for broadcast/cable nets; data input/analysis of episodic digital and VOD metrics; Must be detail-oriented, well-organized, able to multitask. 1-2 yrs experience. Proficient in Excel and research tools/systems (Nielsen, MRI, ComScore). Full info HERE (3/21)

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CSI SPORTS/JERSEY CITY NJ:
Negotiate and close deals as we expand our distribution and increase sales in designated territories. Establish and enhance relationships in various territories. Drive revenues from new and emerging markets. Monitor the marketplace for changes that affect sales activities. 7+ yrs of prior proven exp as an international media sales executive. Full info HERE (3/18)

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Define the YES App strategy & prioritized roadmap, providing analytical insights & defining success metrics & KPIs. Coordinate w/ internal & external stakeholders on executing app roadmap. Assist with preparation of annual budget, forecasts, & monthly. 2-4 yrs exp in business development, consulting, strategy, product management and/or finance. Full info HERE (3/11)

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FilmRise/NYC, NY: Assist the International Sales team with all administrative duties: scheduling meetings, schedule department calls, managing conference/festival schedule & appointments, coordinate travel bookings for department, prepare and submit expense and budget reports, reach out to new contacts as needed, coordinate internally with various departments. Full info HERE (3/11)

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