The UFC and betting are deeply intertwined, and ESPN is ready to capitalize on that relationship with a new show. Brett Okamoto and Ian Parker are the hosts of Best Bets on the ESPN MMA YouTube channel, airing before every pay-per-view UFC card.
“The UFC fan base continues to grow, and we need to keep raising our game to best serve them,” ESPN vice president of production Glenn Jacobs said in the announcement. “These three new shows give fans a lot of unique content to enjoy across a variety of ESPN’s platforms. Our MMA team is excited to add a betting show to the mix, with the addition of Ian Parker, which will give fans the latest information they need to get ready for Fight Nights and PPVs on ESPN+.”
Parker is joining ESPN in a more defined role after appearing on multiple Professional Fighters League broadcasts this year. Previously part of the Florida Panthers sales team in the NHL, Parker has busted down obstacles for 12 years, waiting for this chance.
“When Brett and I break down each matchup, the goal is to educate the audience and provide information that is easily understood,” Parker said. “We don’t just say who will win, but how. Also, we explain how to find value based on the odds of the various prop bets that are based on how the fight will be decided and when…It’s been years of hard work. Sometimes, you have to keep grinding until you get your shot. This is the opportunity I’ve been working for.”
Fans shouldn’t expect to hear Parker rip any fighter too much if they don’t cash a ticket for him and the viewers.
“I never call any fighter a loser or a bum,” he continued. “I have too much respect for the blood, sweat, and tears behind their journey to get in there.”
The first live version of the show airs next week.
Scottie Pippen Writes That Michael Jordan Ruined Basketball
“I may go as far to say Mike ruined basketball.”
Scottie Pippen has had a lot of ridiculous things to say about former teammate and NBA legend Michael Jordan, and it seems that he is not done yet.
Pippen recently released his memoir, Unguarded which challenges a lot of what Pippen believes was wrong in The Last Dance documentary, which Michael Jordan had editorial control over.
You have to buy the book though to read Scottie Pippen’s most shocking critique of Michael Jordan.
“I may go as far to say Mike ruined basketball,” Pippen writes. “In the 80s on the playgrounds, you’d have everyone moving the ball around — passing to help the team. That stopped in the 90s. Kids wanted to be ‘Like Mike.’ Well, Mike didn’t want to pass, didn’t want to rebound, or defend the best player. He wanted everything done for him.”
This sounds like the same type of people who say Stephen Curry ruined the game of basketball with how many three-point attempts he makes every game. On the contrary, both of them transformed the game of basketball into a game where guards are much more of a focal point than before.
And that is just on the court. Off of it, Jordan transcended the game of basketball and brought it into the spotlight. Without him, it is extremely possible that we wouldn’t view the game the same way in the national media as we do today.
Scottie Pippen also said that he was a far better teammate than Michael Jordan, which is just as hard to believe as his first statement considering Scottie wouldn’t take the court in the final seconds of a playoff game against the Knicks because the winning play was drawn up for Tony Kukoc and not him in the year Jordan retired.
Plenty of sports media commentators have said that Scottie seems very jealous in the passages of Unguarded that have been released.
Barstool CEO Erika Nardini Offers Career Advice On Instagram
“Nardini has been the CEO at Barstool Sport for a little over five years after the company relocated from Boston to New York City.”
Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini has a wide range of experience in the business world and offered some advice over that time to curious Token CEO podcast listeners on Instagram.
Nardini has been the CEO at Barstool Sport for a little over five years after the company relocated from Boston to New York City. Here are a few of the advice nuggets she handed out on the AMA.
“Never!!” Nardini said when asked how late is too late for career switching in the corporate world. “Do your thing; just have reasonable expectations about how hard it’s going to be & how long it will take. Also, have expectations for learning/growing and having fun. Change is good.”
Nardini graduated from Colby College in 1998 with a B.S. in sociology and philosophy and immediately jumped into a career at Fidelity Investments after interning at the company.
“Definitely!” Nardini’s said when asked if it’s ok to DM someone at a company after applying. “Only once tho or they’ll think you’re creepy.”
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy named Nardini the company’s first CEO in 2016 while appointing himself chief of content.
“Be experimental,” the Barstool Sports CEO said when asked about general tips for moving up in a career. “Be highly communicative, listen, make a plan, and execute.”
Nardini left Fidelity in 2001 and has since worked the majority of her time in the tech field before joining Barstool Sports. She has had stints with Microsoft, Yahoo!, and AOL.
“I struggle with this,” Nardini said when asked how to set and reach milestones. “It’s hard to create structure when you’re growing so fast. I’m trying to improve here. A small number of goals and clear metrics seems to work best; we’ll see…”
Learfield Launches Business To Include Team Branding In NIL Deals
“The company has added a litany of its partners to the program including, Duke University, Florida State University, and the University of Florida.”
Learfield announced a new program to make it easier for student-athletes to associate school logos with NIL deals. Learfield Allied is aimed at bringing NIL deals and university intellectual property together.
The company has added a litany of its partners to the program including, Duke University, Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Kansas, University of Louisville, St. John’s University, Syracuse University, University of Utah, and the University of Wisconsin.
“From the very first stages of NIL, our job has been simple – to listen, learn, and help schools, brand partners, and student-athletes maximize opportunities,” Learfield president and CEO Cole Gahagan said in a press release. “By building a nationwide, consistent framework, we’re ensuring that the invaluable IP of our school partners remains under the highest level of commercial safeguard, while at the same time, significantly widening the opportunities for student-athletes, universities, and corporate brands alike. Learfield Allied is truly a solution that benefits all stakeholders in NIL.”
The entire program is aimed to be a national solution towards combatting the blockades in current NIL deals. The Supreme Court allowed the practice to start this past July. In many cases, athletes have been unable to associate their NIL deals with their school’s mascots and logos at places like the University of Wisconsin.
“Learfield Allied is a win for all parties involved, and I am especially happy that this will expand NIL opportunities for our student-athletes,” said Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh. “Our athletic department is deeply committed to helping our student-athletes and corporate partners maximize opportunities in this space. This new initiative will greatly help and I am pleased to have Wisconsin Athletics at the forefront.”
Learfield Allied is the next step in the company’s NIL game plan. They also launched Compass this year, which helps educate student-athletes on the ins and outs of NIL deals.
“As a leader in intercollegiate athletics, we have a responsibility to listen to the market and lead with solutions. Our brand partners are interested in utilizing student-athletes in their marketing campaigns but there hasn’t been a secure and turnkey way to facilitate those opportunities using school IP, until now,” said Learfield CRO John Brody. “The unveiling of Learfield Allied is a gamechanger for those brands who are leaning in on student-athlete NIL, and we are proud to be at the center of the industry’s evolution and development.”
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