Adrian Wojnarowski is the king of NBA scoops for a reason, and Ethan Strauss gave NBA fans insight into how he stays at the top this week. The former ESPN and The Athletic writer posted on his House of Strauss Substack a “packet of documents” Wojnarowski reportedly sends out to “agents and NBA team employees, as part of a personal campaign.”
ESPN did not create the social media promotion material for Adrian Wojnarowski, despite its logo being front and center.
The documents also state that Woj is “is the undisputed top NBA media talent in the business,” and “his combined reach of 7.0M followers across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook is more than every other NBA media personality from the below comp set.”
The peek behind the sourcing curtain doesn’t violate any journalism ethics, like some believed Adam Schefter did when his conversation with a source was leaked. Although, it does paint the picture of how competitive the scoops game is at the highest level.
Strauss reached out to ESPN and Adrian Wojnarowski about the story. ESPN declined to comment, and Wojnarowski did not answer. The writer did unveil the creator of the documents to be the Creative Artists Agency. CAA represents Wojnarowski along with NBA players, coaches, and executives.
CAA also represents non-news breakers that appear on the list, including Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose.
Wojnarowski’s social media presence is basically a business unto itself, but it will always need sources to keep things booming. “No matter [Woj’s] power level, he needs [his sources] more than the other way around,” Strauss wrote in the article.
Strauss has also noted the interesting parallels between CAA talent at ESPN and star NBA players represented by CAA, flocking to the coasts.
“I dislike how much of the game behind the game is shielded from readers,” Strauss wrote last month about the league’s business dynamics. “For example, Creative Arts Agency (CAA) happens to represent key media personalities at ESPN NBA, which was by design and accomplished with the subtlety and tact of the Red Wedding.
“The way it’s presented to the consumer is the mere reporting on a rising star in New Orleans [Zion Williamson] wanting to play in New York. You’re not supposed to know that ESPN wants this to happen because ESPN is CAA and CAA is ESPN, which means that CAA is the Knicks, meaning that the Knicks are ESPN.”
Strauss is taking advantage of all the perks afforded to independent journalists, and lifting the curtain on sports media along the way.
Twitter Seriously Looking At Sports Betting Options
“The company is learning that fans want to talk about sports on Twitter and not necessarily watch games there.”
Twitter is experiencing growth in sports, and it’s sparked considerations on the sports betting front as well. According to Front Office Sports, tweets sent on the social media platform during NFL games are up 11% this year and unique college football tweeters are up 35%.
The company is learning that fans want to talk about sports on Twitter and not necessarily watch games there.
“We’ve learned significantly over the years of what is the best use case for live on Twitter for our users,” Twitter U.S. Sports Partnerships manager David Herman told FOS. “It’s not like ‘live’ doesn’t exist with our partnerships, it’s just not necessarily the full game like it was in many of those early executions. That’s from learning both what our users like and what advertisers are interested in.”
One example Herman brought up is Twitter’s airing of the first five minutes from FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff. The stream features a fan poll that picks which camera that broadcast is shown on.
Another large growth area for engagement has been sports betting. Twitter told FOS that sports-betting-related tweets are up 22% this season.
“Every single day, there’s more and more conversation and more and more happening in the sports betting world,” Herman said. “We think Twitter is a platform that plays well into gambling-related conversations. We’re live. We’re real-time. That’s what betting is. Betting and gambling have long been a core component of sports conversations on Twitter. Now things are legalized, more sports betting brands can be advertisers on Twitter than in the past, and as leagues are partners with official betting operators, it’s getting more visibility and exposure on a daily basis.”
Don’t be surprised if the social media platform experiments with its own sportsbook technology.
“We are consistently looking for new ways to enhance the user experience, and at some point, as it relates to betting, that could be great,” Herman said. “There are a lot of complicated components for us. There are only certain states where it’s legal so far, so we are still evaluating the space as a whole.”
Read the full story from FOS here.
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…”
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