Kristen Balboni’s career has seen her fill a variety of roles for ESPN, FOX Sports and Stadium, but next up is what she categorized as her “dream job,” moving back home to cover the Carolina Panthers.
Last month, Balboni announced her departure from Stadium, where she was most recently a full-time studio host and reporter on the multi-platform sports network. After spending the last three seasons on the sidelines covering college football, the North Carolina native is heading to the NFL, joining the Panthers as their team reporter.
“Since graduating from UNC, I’ve lived in Connecticut (while working for ESPN), Los Angeles (as a host for FOX Sports) and Chicago (as a host and reporter for Stadium),” Balboni wrote in her introductory story with the Panthers. “But no matter where I was living and what I was doing, I’ve always been able to take one little piece of home with me – Panthers Sundays (or Mondays or Thursdays).”
From 2011-15, Balboni made a name for herself working behind-the-scenes and contributing on-air to ESPN’s Mike and Mike. She left ESPN to join FOX Sports, working on their digital show The Buzzer before her most recent sportscasting tenure with Stadium.
“Whether I’m watching from home and live-tweeting the entire time (#KeepPounding) or meeting up at a bar with a bunch of other displaced Panthers fans, this team has kept me feeling connected to my home state of North Carolina,” Balboni added.
Women Downloading Sports Betting Apps Faster Than Men
“Mobile sports betting apps saw a massive increase of over 4.6 million new female users in 2021. That represents a 115% increase, year-over-year.”
The sports betting space saw a surge of new participants come into the realm last year. The fastest growing population? Women.
According to data compiled by Global Wireless Solutions, a mobile insights consulting firm, new female participation in the online sports betting market is nearly doubling the pace of their male counterparts. In their findings, mobile sports betting apps saw a massive increase of over 4.6 million new female users in 2021. That represents a 115% increase, year-over-year. New male users were up too from 2020, coming in at a 63% increase in 2021.
These very large spikes start to make the $4.3 billion made in sports betting revenue in 2021 seem like just the beginning.
Some of the numbers can be explained by the sheer volume of new available legal bettors. In 2021, five states launched online sports betting (Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Virginia and Wyoming).
This year stands to see even more of an increase with several more states implementing online sports betting (New York came online in January) and adding to their already legal retail offerings or at least deep into negotiations attempting such a feat as soon as possible.
Global Wireless Solutions also found the most effective sportsbook to bring new female users into the fold was by far and away FanDuel. That company signed up 1.7 million new female users while DraftKings attracted an estimated 900,000 new female customers. Men, according to GWS, still outpace women by 250% as a consumer base.
Mike Francesa: Chris Russo Will Be On My Podcast
“When things rev up in the fall, I would definitely have Dog over as a guest and do a whole show with him. I would say you count on that.”
WFAN legend Mike Francesa is settling into his new podcast opportunity with BetRivers, and has left the door open for a reunion with his longtime colleague and friend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.
Francesa was responding to questions on his show, with the newest episode out Monday, when he said he would be able to book Russo for an appearance down the road.
“Listen, I’ve gone on Dog’s shows a couple of times. I could definitely get Dog as a guest one time,” Francesa said.
The last time the two shared a stage and microphone was back in March at the BSM Summit. Francesa said he will make sure whenever Russo does come on, it will be at a time that makes the most sense.
“We will do that at an opportune time,” he said. “Maybe right before the football season or maybe late in the baseball season. When things rev up in the fall, I would definitely have Dog over as a guest and do a whole show with him. I would say you count on that.”
Whenever the reunion happens, best believe it will be a must-listen. It will mark the first time the two have been on a podcast together.
Andy King To Lead Buchwald Agency’s Podcast Division
“The hiring of King is expected to bolster Buchwald Sports, the division of the company that represents athletes, coaches, and broadcasters.”
Veteran sports programmer Andy King is entering the podcasting world. He has joined the Buchwald Agency. He will help clients develop and sell podcast ideas.
King comes from SiriusXM, where he had been since 2015. He was the director of sports programming and helped create podcasts for the company featuring high profile talent including Let’s Go with Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald and Digging Up the Past with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.
Prior to joining SiriusXM, Andy King spent 15 years in Miami. Before leaving, he had risen to program director at 560 WQAM.
The Buchwald Agency largely deals with clients from the entertainment world. The hiring of King is expected to bolster Buchwald Sports, the division of the company that represents athletes, coaches, and broadcasters.