12/06/21: Thirty Five Ventures CMO breaks down the company’s growth and vision

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Monday December 6, 2021

Flush with content that ranges from TV shows to documentaries to podcasts, as well as boasting partnerships with companies such as NBA Top Shot, Coinbase, Postmates and other investments across multiple industries, Thirty Five Ventures, continues to push the envelope in sports and entertainment with its projects. Fronted by Kevin Durant, the company includes sports business media network Boardroom; an investment portfolio with over 70+ companies; a film/TV arm with projects including the documentary series Basketball County: In the Water (SHOWTIME), the Academy Award-winning Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), and the scripted series Swagger (premiered 10/29) on Apple TV+; equity partnerships with Master & Dynamic and Just Women Sports; a minority stake in the Philadelphia Union, not to mention management of Kevin Durant’s on-and-off court business.

Overseeing the voice of the company is CMO Sarah Flynn, who chatted with Cynopsis about the company’s strategy and vision.

Flynn on taking the job: I started at Thirty Five Ventures when the company was brand new, but I’d already been working with Rich Kleiman and Kevin Durant for several years prior. I loved their business acumen, creativity, and the opportunity to build something together from the ground up.

On evolving the company: When the company started, there was a lot of self-education in the spaces we were starting to plant seeds, from investing to media. Now, we’re seeing the success of some of those early investments and finding ways to take those relationships to the next level. We also were careful about how we built Boardroom as a media network, and we did a lot of testing to ensure that we understood its audience and what that audience wanted to read, watch, and hear from us. Once we did that, we were able to focus on hiring the right team over the last year, which has been really gratifying to see come to fruition.

On new opportunities: We never want to do anything that feels forced or not the right fit – that has always been a major tenet of our company, and something that I’ve learned from Kleiman and Durant over the years. That pays off when it comes to strategic partnerships because we’re able to create real opportunities that make sense for us and our partners. Our recent partnership with Weedmaps speaks to that, and there are a couple of things that we’ve been working tirelessly on that will be announced in the near future that I’m very excited about.

On Boardroom: On the Boardroom front, it’s really been about building around two key truths: One, that the modern sports fan wants to know as much – or more – about the deals and the trends in the industry as they do about what happened during last night’s game, and two, that there’s a new generation of entrepreneurs who are gaining real knowledge from a much different set of sources. We really wanted to create something that speaks to both of those truths, and it’s clear that that’s working. Fans in 2022 can expect a lot more content from us that transcends the industry itself.

On the greatest challenge as CMO: I think finding and fostering great talent to help build our business is the number one challenge (but a great one!) additionally, as the world continues to adjust to new normals, finding ways to take the accessibility and ease of virtual events and combine them with the benefits of in-person experiential marketing.

PROGRAMMING

The college football postseason has its plans in place as contenders for the College Football Playoff and bowl game participants were revealed. With the national championship slated for Jan. 10 in Indianapolis (ESPN at 8p), semifinals will run on Dec. 31 with Alabama facing Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl at 3:30p, while Michigan and Georgia square off in the Orange Bowl at 7:30p. The New Year’s Six bowl games will see (all on ESPN) Michigan State/Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30 at 7p, with New Year’s Day games that will see Notre Dame/Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl at 1p, Ohio State/Utah in the Rose Bowl at 5p, and Baylor Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl at 8:45p. The postseason kicks off with a double bill on Dec. 17 with the Bahamas Bowl at noon featuring Middle Tennessee/Toledo on ESPN while Northern Illinois/Coastal Carolina battle at 6p on ESPN2.

Speaking of the college football playoffs, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated that expanding the College Football Playoff as soon as the 2024 season is “in some jeopardy” if an agreement on a new format cannot be reached soon, according to the AP. Bowlsby revealed that expansion talks have “slowed to the point where the chances of implementing a new format before the current 12-year agreement ends after the 2025 season are waning.”

FOX Sports is looking to pick up the Belmont Stakes. Front Office Sports writes that the company is expected to quadruple combined rights fees and sponsorship spending for the Belmont to $12 million, in a move to pick up the Triple Crown race from NBC. Sister company Fox Bet would then be expected to spend an additional $7 million to title sponsor the oldest of the three races.

Portland will officially play host to MLS Cup 2021, with the game heading to Providence Park, home of the Portland Timbers, on Dec. 11. The game will run at 3p via ABC and UniMas. The Timbers earned hosting rights for this year’s Audi MLS Cup Playoffs capper after beating Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday night in the Western Conference Final, and they will take on NYCFC for the crown.

Get in and stake your claim! Next week we are proud to present “Masters of the Metaverse”? A new virtual event, in partnership with Super League Gaming, taking place on Dec. 14 that will give you the blueprints to successful activation in this hot arena. New companies are confirmed including Super League Gaming and Cire Games. Click here now to register and get more details!

Fubo Sports Network will offer Lights Out Xtreme Fighting 7 live from Commerce, California, on December 10. In the main event, the Vacant LXF Welterweight Championship is on the line. UFC veteran, Roosevelt “The Predator” Roberts (10-3-0 MMA), is up against the rising welterweight prospect ranked one of the top in the country, Darren ‘Hollywood’ Smith Jr. (20-11-0 MMA).

Join us next week to discuss the Metaverse

 

As the metaverse continues to emerge at a rapid pace, understanding the opportunity and challenges in this new sector is vital to your business. Join the Esports Business Community including experts from ViacomCBS, GreenPark Sports and Supersocial on December 14th from 1-3:30 PM ET for a Masters of the Metaverse webinar.

 

REGISTER TODAY

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

With the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One Venture X set to return to Pasadena on New Year’s Day, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and CLEAR (announced a partnership to streamline proof of vaccination by using CLEAR’s Health Pass technology. All fans attending the 2022 Rose Bowl Game will be able to use the CLEAR app and Health Pass feature to show proof of vaccination or test results. “CLEAR’s experience working with major events and sporting venues is a great fit for the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One Venture X,” said David Eads, CEO and Executive Director of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. “Their Health Pass technology will help fans of The Granddaddy of Them All enjoy their game day experience, and we are thrilled to be partnering with them.”

Premiership Rugby locked in a multi-year extension with Gallagher, which has served as the org’s global insurance broker since the 2018-29 season. “Gallagher Premiership Rugby has never been more compelling and exciting as it is today and together, with Gallagher, we have found new ways to keep fans engaged, expand our audience and attract ever greater numbers, as we have continued to work together to grow the game,” said Premiership Rugby, Chief Commercial Officer Mark Brittain.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

iNDEMAND is launching its first streaming PPV platform, a website and app entitled, PPV.com that will supplement its existing cable PPV infrastructure. PPV.com will offer a variety of live PPV events, original material, archived content, and live event replays. The site will offer dozens of PPV events throughout 2022 in categories including boxing, wrestling, MMA, soccer, music, comedy, and additional sports.

RealResponse, the feedback, monitoring and anonymous reporting platform for athletic teams and organizations, announced that five new colleges and universities have been added to its roster in the month of November, bringing the number of partnerships to well-over 100 colleges and universities across all collegiate divisions. The new partners include the University of Arkansas, Boise State, North Carolina A&T, UC Davis and the University of San Diego.

ESPORTS

Boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is punching his way into the esports and gaming scene, announcing the launch of his own company titled Team Pacquaio GG. The org will focus on community, competition, and charity as its pillars, and it partnering at launch with global esports and racing organization Veloce Esports. “Esports is not just an online phenomenon, but also a legitimate growing sports industry, with a lot of job and business opportunities,” he reportedly said at the announcement.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

The National Women’s Soccer League detailed plans for the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft presented by Ally and the 2022 NWSL Draft presented by Ally, including the current draft order. Selection order for expansion clubs Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC was determined via a coin flip involving members of the league and representatives from both teams. San Diego will have pick No. 1 in both the first and third rounds of the draft, while Angel City will select first in rounds two and four. Angel City will also have the first pick in the NWSL Expansion Draft. In addition, each expansion team will receive a compensatory pick at the conclusion of the second round of the NWSL Draft. The coin flip determined that Wave FC will select the first compensatory pick at No. 25, and Angel City will make the second pick at No. 26. Additionally, the board of governors voted to increase the number of draft-eligible players ahead of the 2022 NWSL Draft.

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ON THIS DAY in
1990: The NHL grants conditional membership to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

IN THE KNOW
Alex Ovechkin scored NHL goal #750 over the weekend to join what elite trio to also have that claim? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who was the last Notre Dame player to win the Heisman Trophy? Answer: Tim Brown. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; Michael Narracci-NESN/Watertown; Mark Lehman-Braves/Atlanta; Willy Gibson-WTG Sports/Columbus; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Brian Robin-South Coast Repertory/Costa Mesa; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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