Sports Is Changing: To Win Content Reigns Supreme
Podcast with NBA player & Investor Thad Young + how content is fueling the future of sports (especially in college).
Sports is changing.
The media landscape is changing.
In this new era, content will be king.
Let Me Explain 👇
As the media landscape shifted from the internet → mobile devices & social media we saw sports get impacted directly.
Athlete-driven media has taken over:
Pat Mcafee ($85M w/ ESPN)
Brandon Marshall ($$ w/ SiriusXM)
Travis Kelce (~$3M w/ New Heights)
Adam Breneman (co-founder Mercury)
Will Compton ($3M w/ Barstool Sports)
Many of the higher-end athletes have even gone straight to building production studios.
Peter Chernin's new venture North Road Co. invested ~$10M in Peyton Manning's Omaha productions, valuing them at $400M.
So where’s this going?
Downstream to College
This shift in media will be most apparent in college sports over the next several years.
And for an array of reasons:
As we’re all aware…
Athletes can monetize their name, image, and likeness.
This has created a frenzy to start building brands — which naturally happens on social media.
From there, monetization occurs on the content athletes create (which is mostly achieved through video content).
2️⃣ Transfer Portal
NIL money is having a massive impact on where players decide to go play.
This has created an interesting dynamic…
Schools need to innovate — to attract players (and also retain the current ones they have).
It’s about becoming more appealing beyond just paying athletes (as donor money from collectives isn’t sustainable).
3️⃣ Conference Realignment
Conferences are all competing now and need to be more than just a “name” with schools that represent them.
Proof of this happening…
Brett Yormark was named the Big 12 Commissioner to help the conference compete with the SEC and Big10 (moving on from his role as COO at Roc Nation).
Something I firmly believe…
Conferences that invest in storytelling and original content will win over the next several years.
With paying college athletes on the horizon, conferences need to act more like media companies (just as the NBA and NFL have done to great success).
Companies to Watch
Which companies are at the heart of this downstream movement?
Mercury, which labels itself as the college sports company, is one of the most fascinating.
It was co-founded by former football star turned sports media entrepreneur Adam Breneman.
Mercury is doing a bunch of interesting things from:
NIL deals with athletes
original content series
I would also keep an eye on Barstool Sports, The NIL House, The Player’s Lounge, Altius Sports Partners, Fanatics, and even athlete production companies to start exploring the collegiate space.
Media is now innovating at a rapid pace!
LinkedIn’s Creator & Community Manager Daniel Markovits laid it out best:
2000 - 2008: The Internet disrupted media distribution 🌍︎
2008 - 2016: The rise of mobile and social disrupted media consumption📱
2020 - now: AI is disrupting media creation 🎨
Throw in NIL, increased interest in sports, athletes entering media, and massive media rights deals and things get interesting.
Sports has always been about entertainment — but it’s more so NOW than ever before.
Great opportunity lies ahead for those that can crack the code of…
“Eyeballs, Eyeballs, Eyeballs”.
Today’s guest is Thad Young, NBA Player and Founder of Reform Ventures.
Thad was the 12th pick in the 2007 draft and has built an impressive 300+ investment portfolio over his 16-year career.
You’ll enjoy this episode as we discuss:
Rising salaries and the upcoming NBA media contract
Thad’s investment portfolio + what he looks for in companies
How he’s preparing his kids for success both on and off the court
Check out the podcast episode here.
Thad has a unique mindset and provides several great insights you’ll want to hear. You can’t get this type of content anywhere else.
Thanks for reading & listening today!
Have a great rest of your day.
It’s been wild following the recent PGA and LIV Golf Merger…
Which opens up a floodgate of other opportunities I may touch on in a future newsletter.
I called this merger 11 months ago ⬇️