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Michael Kay’s Army Is The Reason You Do A Sports Media MVP Bracket

“The point of this exercise was to motivate media people to vote for the industry’s most valuable, and give the personalities involved something to have fun with and rally their fanbases around. No one did that better than Kay, which is why he is your champion.”

Demetri Ravanos

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I will own up to what happened the weekend before we rolled out the Sports Media MVP bracket. I don’t mind acknowledging that I was shortsighted. JB and I had a list of 72 potential entrants that we needed to get down to 65. When he asked who should go, I said “Well, Michael Kay, no question.”

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To my way of thinking, he was the voice of the Yankees on YES Network and he was leading the afternoon drive ratings in New York and those two things make him a star only in New York. It’s not that he isn’t well-known or that I don’t put an added value on success in the country’s largest media market. It is that his impact isn’t the same the second you exit the Tri-State Area. That puts you squarely on the bubble and likely ends with a 1-seed in the Sports Media MVP NIT.

But look, I was wrong. Not about my thoughts on Kay. The truth is his star power nationally will never be what it is in New York. Where I was wrong was in how I thought about the Sports Media MVP bracket. Were we looking for the most valuable person in all of sports media? I mean, I guess so. Were we ever going to find him/her with a public poll on Twitter? Almost certainly not.

Michael Kay was in the Sports Media MVP bracket because the point of this whole exercise was to motivate media people to vote for the industry’s most valuable, and give the personalities involved something to have fun with and rally their fanbases around. No one did that better than Kay and that is why he is your champion.

The #KArmy showed up big every single day. He told them that he wanted to win and they made it happen no matter who the opponent was, no matter how little sense it made that Kay would be deemed more valuable than that person. His wins over Mike Greenberg, Shannon Sharpe, Kevin Harlan, Rich Eisen, and Adam Schefter never produced nail biting moments due to Kay’s army stepping up and leading him to 75-25 blowouts.

This is no different than a group of teenage girls on a social media platform banding together to make sure BTS won an online survey for greatest band of all time. And you know what? That is ok. It’s proof of your value to your fans.

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Value is such a subjective term. To me, the day Adrian Wojnarowski told a sitting Senator to f*** off and ESPN didn’t even pretend like it was going to consider firing him gave me the answer to the question of “who is the most valuable person in all of sports media.” And you have to admit, that makes him a lot cooler than anyone else in the field of 65. But if we all agreed that was the right way to measure value, there would be no need to do this exercise.

What is value? Simply put, in this business, value is the ability to cause a reaction. Michael Kay said “I’m in this, so vote for me” and his audience reacted. The idea of Kay as the most valuable person in the sports media may seem silly to some outside of New York, but Michael parlayed the passion of his followers in a way no one else did. Scoff all you want. There was a way to win, and Kay and his army cracked the code. They should be applauded for that.

We saw this last year when we did our SportsCenter bracket. Just like Kay this year, Matt Barrie came into that tournament as a double digit seed that barely made the field, but he worked every connection he had – the Morning Men on SiriusXM, various Arizona State Twitter pages, anywhere he could get love, and he rode that wave into the Final Four.

In the grand scheme of things, these polls mean nothing. We don’t go into them with an idea of who we want to see win. We do our best to put together a field we think is a fair representation of the industry, and then we hope everyone involved has fun and creates their own content with it. Who occupies the 64 slots and where they get seeded is always a debate, but four weeks after the tournament starts, people usually look back and say ‘that was fun’.

That is what Michael Kay did better than anyone. He had fun with the tournament, and brought his audience along for the ride. If value to an audience is judged on whether or not people enjoy interacting with you and your content, then Michael more than proved his worth over the last three weeks. In fact, he was better at it than 63 well recognized, and highly successful sports media people.

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BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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