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A Little Ego Can Be Your Amigo

“Ego can fuel success and also destroy potential. It’s about identifying where ego helps and where it hinders.”

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Our biggest strength can also be our biggest weakness. One of the qualities that made former NFL quarterback Brett Favre so great is that he was a risk-taker. Favre’s aggressiveness is a huge reason why he’s a three-time league MVP, has a Super Bowl ring, and is one of only four quarterbacks to throw 500+ career touchdown passes. Of course you know the rest of the story. Due to Favre’s gambling ways, he also leads the league in career interceptions with 336. That’s a whopping 59 more interceptions than the next guy in line, George Blanda.

Packers: Brett Favre's Hall of Fame career was about big risks at big  moments | Pro football | madison.com
Courtesy: Morry Gash

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul provides another example of a strength also being a weakness. Paul is one of the best point guards of all time. He unexpectedly led his team to the doorstep of an NBA title this year. CP3’s intensity and great competitiveness have directly fueled his solid career. However, that intensity and competitive fire are the same qualities that have alienated some of his ex-teammates like James Harden and Blake Griffin.

We know that what works for us can also work against us. But it’s not good enough to shrug our shoulders like, “Hey, you win some and lose some.” If we can identify and minimize our biggest flaw, we’ll be in a much better position to succeed.

I recently conducted Q&A interviews with sports radio heavyweight Mike Golic and Seattle rising star Stacy Rost. This sounds like a shameless promotion for Barrett Sports Media, or at the very least a humble brag, but it’s really not. I don’t think. Golic and Rost made comments that caused me to look at ego a little differently.

First off, saying that ego is involved in sports radio is like saying that water is wet and concerts are loud. It’s obviously a big part of the industry. Ego can be your best friend or your worst enemy as a sports radio host. The comments from Golic and Rost highlight the areas where ego is helpful and hurtful.

Mike Golic has been a sports radio free agent since his reign at ESPN ended just over a year ago. I wondered if Golic finds it baffling that another company hasn’t carved out a prime position for him yet. He told me, “Does everybody have an ego and would love the networks to give you their top spot? Well sure, but that’s unrealistic.” 

Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports

Keeping your ego in check is step one of ego maintenance. Golic is telling his ego that it’s not allowed to do the thinking for him. That’s very important. If he allowed his ego to take over and say, “You’re a beast, Golic. How are these companies going to disrespect you like that? You should be back in morning drive by now.” What would those thoughts lead to? Anger, frustration, and impatience. None of those things will cause an employer to open a door either. It’s useful to tell your ego to shut up when it’s leading you down the wrong path.

Ego isn’t all bad though. Stacy Rost said something that caused me to look closer at the benefits of having an ego. “The most important thing you can do as a radio host is be confident and think your opinion matters and people should hear it,” Rost said. “It’s this weird kind of thing that might not always play in real life if you were with your friends, and it makes for a fantastic radio host. Someone who’s confident, thinks he or she has something to say, and everyone needs to hear it right away. But that’s the stuff that draws people to you. It’s like a magnet.”

She’s right. Her thought also ties to the very definition of ego — a person’s sense of self-importance. Ego is the only way you can think everyone needs to hear your opinion. This is where it helps. There is a peacock quality — a look at me element — that benefits radio hosts. We can’t tippy toe around and command attention. Pro wrestlers typically don’t have meek personalities. Think of Stone Cold Steve Austin cracking open cold ones, having convulsions on the top rope, giving double-bird salutes, and driving a beer truck inside Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York. That’s not exactly a meek approach.

A pro wrestler doesn’t crack the mic and timidly say, “I’ve got some things on my mind. Maybe you’d like to hear them. I don’t know, maybe not.” That wrestler oozes confidence. Radio hosts need to exude the same. There is a showmanship quality in sports radio. It’s the entertainment world; you’re literally putting on a show. It doesn’t mean hosts have to be bouncing off the walls like Ric Flair or Macho Man Randy Savage as if they drank nine pots of coffee, but coming across like people need to hear your opinion is a winning approach.

Ego is like those warning labels that say handle with care. Caution and good judgment are needed to use it properly. Ego can be off-putting. It can also cause you to get lazy. Mike Tyson was once the baddest man on the planet. He didn’t think he had to do the dirty work leading up to a fight in 1990 against Buster Douglas. Turns out he was wrong. Like really wrong. Tyson was knocked down for the first time in his career, then knocked out, and lost his heavyweight crown in the process. Do you think there are one or two (or 200) sports radio hosts that have gotten lazy due to ego? Refer back to Tyson. It doesn’t end well.

For every horror story involving ego, there is an opposite example of an immensely successful rapper that brags about being around the prettiest women and driving the nicest cars. Ego isn’t automatically a bad thing; it all depends how it’s utilized. Ego can fuel success and also destroy potential. It’s about identifying where ego helps and where it hinders.

cat-lion-mirror-sm

Imagine if Brett Favre and Chris Paul were able to minimize their biggest weakness while maintaining their biggest strength. Success city. They would’ve been unstoppable. Believe it or not there are fiery leaders that don’t royally tick off their teammates, and risk-taking quarterbacks that don’t turn the ball over as much as Favre. It could’ve happened. That’s the challenge for all of us; identifying what helps and hurts us most, then weeding out the bad stuff while maintaining the good.

For sports radio hosts, ego can be a major asset. It also has the potential to be your biggest weakness. Don’t extinguish ego; point it in the right direction.

BSM Writers

Keeping Premier League Games Shouldn’t Be A Hard Call For NBC

“Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans.”

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NBC Sports is facing some tough, costly decisions that will define its sports brand for the rest of this decade.  A chance to connect with viewers in a changing climate and grow Peacock’s audience as well.  However, making the right choice is paramount to not losing to apps like Paramount+ (pun intended).

NBC is currently in the business of negotiating to continue airing the Premier League as their current deal ends after this 2021-2022 season.  NASCAR is contracted to NBC (and FOX) through the 2024 season.

NBC’s tentpole sports are the NFL and the Olympics.  

Negotiations for the EPL are expected to go down to the wire. Rather than re-up with NBC, the league is meeting with other networks to drive up the price. NBC has to then make a decision if the rights go north of $2 billion.

Should NBC spend that much on a sport that is not played in the United States? It’s not my money, but that sport continues to grow in the US.

If NBC re-ups with the Premier League, will that leave any coins in the cupboard to re-up with NASCAR? Comcast CEO Brian Roberts hinted that there might be some penny pinching as the prices continue to soar. This may have been one of the reasons that NBC did not fight to keep the National Hockey League, whose rights will be with Disney and WarnerMedia through ESPN and TNT, respectively.

“These are really hard calls,” Roberts said. “You don’t always want to prevail, and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, but I think the sustainability of sports is a critical part of what our company does well.”

Roberts was speaking virtually at the recent Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference. He told the audience that between NBC and European network Sky, that Comcast has allocated approximately $20 billion towards these sports properties.

Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh spoke virtually at the Bank of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference and echoed that the company is in a good position to make some strong choices in the sports realm. 

“The bar is really high for us to pursue outright acquisitions of any material size,” Cavanagh added. “We got a great hand to play with what we have.”

While the European investments involve a partnership with American rival Viacom, the US market seems to have apparent limits.

Last Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway was seen by around 2.19 million people. It was the most-watched motorsports event of the weekend. That same week eight different Premier League matches saw over 1 million viewers. More than half of those matches were on subscription-based Peacock. 

Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans. A game of typical soccer fan is used to a sport that is less than two hours long. The investment in a team is one or two games a week. 

My connection to the Premier League began before the pandemic.  When I cut the cord in late 2017, I purchase Apple TV.  Setting it up, it asks you to name your favorite teams.  After clicking on the Syracuse Orange and the New Jersey Devils, I recalled that my wife has family based in London, England.  They are season ticket holders for Arsenal, and that family redefined the word “die-hard” fans.

I’ve long been a believer that sports allegiances are best when handed down by family. I love hearing stories of people loving the New York Giants because their parents liked them, and they pass it down to their children.

I’ve successfully given my allegiance to the Devils to my young daughters. 

By telling Apple TV that I liked Arsenal, I get alerts from three different apps when the “Gunners” are playing. The $4.99 is totally worth it to see Arsenal.

Whenever I told this story, I was amazed to see how many other American sports fans had a Premier League team. Students of mine at Seton Hall University rooted for Tottenham Hotspurs, while an old colleague cheers on Chelsea.

Global Is Cool': The Growing Appeal of Premier League Soccer in America
Courtesy: Morning Consult

This is not meant to say that NBC should sign the EPL on my account. The key for any US-based soccer fan is that between Bundesliga, Serie A, and other leagues, there will be no shortage of soccer available on both linear television and streaming services.

Besides, Dani Rojas did say that “Football is life.”  NBC, originator of the Ted Lasso character, should make keeping its Premier League US connection a priority.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise – Episode 45

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Today, Demetri is joined by Tyler McComas and Russ Heltman. Tyler pops on to talk about the big start to the college football season on TV. Russ talks about Barstool’s upfront presentation and how the business community may not see any problems in working with the brand. Plus, Demetri is optimistic about FOX Sports Radio’s new morning show.

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BSM Writers

6 Ad Categories Hotter Than Gambling For Sports Radio

“Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life.”

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For years sports radio stations pushed sports gambling advertisers to early Saturday and Sunday morning. The 1-800 ads, shouting, and false claims were seedy, and some stations wouldn’t even accept the business at 5 am on Sunday.

Now, with all but ten states ready to go all in on sports gambling, sports radio stations can’t get enough of that green. Demetri Ravanos wrote about the money cannon that sports gambling has become for stations. Well, what if you are in one of those ten states where it isn’t likely to ever be legal like California or Texas? Where is your pot of gold?

A Pot of Gold Articles - Analyzing Metals
Courtesy: iStockphoto

Or, let’s face it, the more gambling ads you run, the more risk you take on that the ads will not all work as you cannibalize the audience and chase other listeners away who ARE NOT online gambling service users and never will be. So, what about you? Where is your pot of gold?

Well, let’s go Digging for Gold. 

The RAB produces the MRI-Simmons Gold Digger PROSPECTING REPORT for several radio formats. In it, they index sports radio listeners’ habits against an average of 18+ Adult. The Gold Digger report looks at areas where the index is higher than the norm – meaning the sports radio audience is more likely to use the product or service than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. The report, generated in 2020, indicates that sports radio listeners are 106% more likely to have used an online gambling site in the last thirty days. That’s impressive because the report only lists 32 activities or purchases a sports radio listener indexes higher than an average adult. I looked at those 32 higher indexes, and I think we can start looking for some gold.

Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life. The gambling companies who commit significant money to get results will continue advertising and chase the others away. So, the future of sports radio needs to include other cash cows.

If it is evident to online sports gambling services that sports radio stations are a must-buy, who else should feel that way?  I looked at the Top 32 and eliminated the media companies. ESPN, MLB/NHL/NFL networks, and others aren’t spending cash on sports radio stations they don’t own in general. But Joseph A Bank clothing, Fidelity, and Hotwire should! Here’s your PICK-6 list I pulled together that’s hotter than sports gambling:

  • Sportscard collectors, Dapper Labs, Open Sea- read about Sports NFT $.
  • Online brokerage firms-Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Robinhood, Webull, TD Ameritrade
  • Golf courses, resorts, equipment, etc.- we play golf at home and vacation
  • Hotwire.com, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Carnival Corporation, and Priceline.com- we’ve used Hotwire in the last year.
  • FedEx, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle-we wired or overnighted $ 
  • Jos. A. Bank, shein.com, macys.com, nordstroms.com- we went to Jos. A. Bank in last three months

The sports card/NFT market is 32% hotter than the sports betting market for sports radio listeners. Everything on the PICK-6 is at least 100% more likely to purchase than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. All listed are at or above indexing strength compared to sports betting. The individual companies I added are industry leaders. Bet on it! Email me for details. 

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