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24 minutes | May 19, 2021
Dene Schonknecht: Founder & CEO, ACE
Launched in 2020, ACE allows fans to connect directly with their favorite celebrities for a fee to receive exclusive content such as short and personalized video messages. The company operates in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and is also expanding into other countries in Asia. Dene found a marketplace gap in Asia and has been growing the business ever since. With full disclosure, Octagon is a proud partner of ACE, firmly believing they have cracked the code in a key region in the world. He has recently added a business offering for corporates to interact directly with local talent and the increase of attention and businesses revenue continues to go up and up.
89 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Trading Cards: Jason Howarth, Eric Doty, Marshall Osborne & Josh Ong
A three-part trading card podcast with Panini executive Jason Howarth, Loupe Founder Eric Doty and active trading card buyers Marshall Osborne and Josh Ong. We dig into the current craze and what is different now so that there is long-term success and not just a fad. There is a lot of learning throughout the conversation (especially for me) about friction points being solved for consumers, how to understand the value of each card, grading, ripping, breaking, junk wax, PSA population count, ebay, what sport is undervalued and what to expect next.
24 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Darren Heitner: Founder & CEO, Heitner Legal
Darren Heitner joins me on the pod discussing the booming athlete legal business, including right of publicity, trademarks, copyright and patents. Admittedly, he even corrects me in the conversation for a misuse of the words. He has one football player now who is applying for 19 different trademarks. We also dove into NBA Top Shot and what people are actually owning. Stay for his immediate legal recommendation for all athletes. Darren is the Founder/CEO of Heitner Legal and is a go-to-source for athlete/legal work. Check him out at @darrenheitner.
29 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Andy Loughnane: President, Austin FC
Andy Loughnane is the President of Austin FC, the newest MLS expansion team that will begin their first season in a matter of months. Andy shares what the last 24 months have been like with boots on the ground, putting shovels into dirt for a new stadium and building a fan base during COVID. He gives insight into the fan experience he so hopes to deliver on and team goals of year one. The Club will be the first professional sports team in Austin. I love him expressing the need and competition for attention and love in a fan. Stay to the end to hear how much soccer he will be able to watch on night one versus making sure 20,000 rabid fans are having the time of their life.
29 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Brian Steinberg, Variety & Michael Jacobson, ITB
Variety’s Brian Steinberg and ITB’s Michael Jacobson join me for a post-Super Bowl advertising recap. We dig into creative choices and which influencers were worth the dollar spent. 40+ commercials used talent ranging from Peloton Emma to Martha Stewart a lot of others in between. There is a lot to chew on here. Brian has covered the business of advertising, media and TV for Variety for almost a decade after time at Advertising Age and the Wall Street Journal. Michael Jacobson leads the influencer/celebrity procurement (strategy/negotiation) business at ITB.
19 minutes | Nov 23, 2020
Chad Knaus: Vice President of Competition, Hendrick Motorsports
Chad Knaus is the new Vice President of Competition at Hendrick Motorsports. He is a 30 year veteran of NASCAR and the only crew chief in history to win five consecutive NASCAR Championships with #48 Jimmie Johnson… and seven titles in total. We explore leadership from a crew chief perspective and the Head Coach and QB relationship he had with Jimmie. We dig into how he earned respect at the track, what he would do differently if he got to start all over again and new traits he is learning in his executive role at Hendrick. Make sure to listen to his phone tree team building he created during COVID too.
22 minutes | Nov 9, 2020
Mary Wise: Head Volleyball Coach, University of Florida
Mary Wise is the head coach of the University of Florida women’s volleyball team. She is entering her 30th year at Florida and 34 years as a Division I head coach. Incredibly, she is nearing 1,000 collegiate volleyball wins (currently at 958)! We focus the discussion on leading through tough times and the learnings along the way that have helped build her leadership and coaching knowledge. Mary provides great lessons about reading the room, understanding each players’ why and knowing that your needs come last. Make sure to listen to her thoughts about being a camp counselor and her why the person is (way) more important than the player.
23 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
Bob Bowman: Head Coach, Arizona State Swimming
Bob Bowman is the head coach of the Arizona State swimming program and legendary coach of 23-time Olympics gold medalist (28 medals overall) Michael Phelps. The discussion focuses on leadership and coaching…especially during tough times. He gives excellent examples of leading vs. listening and balancing respect vs. disagreement. We spend a lot of time talking about Phelps and the differences of coaching/leading high performers versus others. He points to Coach Saban and Belichick as those that focus on the process not the outcome (which Bob is 100% aligned with). He articulately shares his three musts – be present, be correct and honor your teammates with effort. Bob even shares his leadership flaws and how he added to his leadership tool belt over his 30+ year coaching career. As he says, act like it is going to happen because nothing is guaranteed tomorrow.
29 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
Tom Dolan: Olympic Gold Medalist
Tom Dolan is a two-time Olympic gold medalist but more importantly, he spends his time focused on teaching children of all ages key water skills to decrease the number of drowning accidents via his Tom Dolan Swim School. He is a wonderful person whom I have known for two decades. We talk about being a small business owner in COVID and lessons learned to being known more as an instructor now vs. an Olympian. We also touch on mental health, setting goals and experiences as an athlete that have helped him navigate life. You can check out the Tom Dolan Swim School here.
24 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
Carlos Silva: CEO, World Team Tennis
Carlos Silva is the CEO of the World Team Tennis, a mixed-gender professional tennis league that has been in existence for 45 years. Billie Jean King and many others have been there from the beginning and the WTT now has some of the world’s best competing each year. Carlos and I catch up the creating a season in the COVID-19 landscape, how they are coming back, when, where, the fans in attendance, new protocols and changes we will see. We also touch on treating people well, and working with good people and how that ties into social justice, humanity and a core belief of the organization and Billie Jean King who has been there from day one. The league begins July 12 and runs through August 2 with the finals on CBS. For more information check out www.wtt.com.
24 minutes | May 29, 2020
Steve Baldwin: Owner, Washington Spirit
Steve Baldwin is the Owner of the Washington Spirit and we discuss the NWSL being the first professional team sports league in the United States to come back to play with the Challenge Cup beginning June 27. Yes! It’s a wide ranging conversation spanning from how they landed on a tournament format/location and how he has dealt with the past 10 weeks to the unfortunate loss of education/physical activity for our youth and the power of his personal relationships. He speaks fondly of being a Soccer Dad and how that experience has carried a lot of weight into how he approaches work and life now. We also dig into why he became an owner and who has helped him in his desire to evolve the team and league in a positive manner. Everyone is wishing Steve, the Spirit and the NWSL much success as the first team sport back in action. And personally speaking, I cannot wait to being on the sidelines again (soon) as a Soccer Dad.
60 minutes | May 8, 2020
The Role of Sports During a Disaster: Andrew Hawkins, Michael Robichaud, Patty McIlreavy, Bryant Barr
Excited to share a conversation we held titled: “The Role of Sports During a Disaster.” I enjoyed moderating the panel of experts including NFL Alumni and multi-media personality (NFL Network, Uninterrupted) Andrew Hawkins, Mastercard SVP Global Sponsorship Michael Robichaud, Center for Disaster Philanthropy CEO Patty McIlreavy, and SC30 Inc. (Stephen Curry) President Bryant Barr. The panelists each brought a wealth of knowledge and unique perspectives to the conversation, leading to a lively and informative discussion covering a wide range of topics including donating money vs. asking others to give, meaningful messaging and timing, role versus responsibility and learned behaviors, choosing philanthropic partners and how COVID-19 is impacting brands, sports rights holders and athletes decisions now and in the future.
29 minutes | Apr 28, 2020
Rich Greenfield: Partner, LightShed
Rich Greenfield is a Partner at LightShed, a respected tech/media/telecom analyst and media futurist. We have a thought provoking discussion around the changing habits of personal content consumption, viewing surprises over the past six weeks, who is best positioned for the future and who isn’t and individual shifts in behavior. We explore many topics including sports media rights and new on-demand products to TikTok and Netflix. The recent statistics he shares around gaming increases may be expected but they also beg the question: how fast will these new learned behaviors disrupt what we know today. Rich poses a number of questions and challenges for the entire marketplace to ponder and solve. He is also a valuable twitter follow @RichLightShed for news and opinion.
24 minutes | Apr 23, 2020
Clay Walker: Executive Director, National Fitness Foundation
Clay leads the National Fitness Foundation, the only Congressionally-chartered non-profit in the United States focused on youth sports and fitness. This is an eye-opening conversation about the public health crisis we have today regarding youth activity and sports. The discussion includes the current problem around obesity, healthcare costs and youth inactivity, the lack of funding for the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (an in-school physical education curriculum that helps tens of millions of kids daily) which will go away in September, the 400+ youth sports coalition that is asking Congress for a COVID-19 relief fund and potential solutions. The time for action is now.
24 minutes | Apr 13, 2020
Katie Davison: SVP Digital Strategy & Business Development, Minor League Baseball
Katie Davison is SVP, Digital Strategy and Business at Minor League Baseball, an organization in charge of 14 leagues and 160 ball clubs. The conversation jumps from the need to storytell and better understand the fan, to goat yoga at the park, and other brands she admires in the space. They stream nearly 6,700 live games a year and as you will hear, they are investing in new technologies and content ideas to evolve with the future fan.
1 minutes | Mar 31, 2020
An Update on The Bond
Thank you for checking in on The Bond. We are taking a hiatus for the moment and actually focusing all efforts on Athletes for Relief – an initiative led by 100+ of the world’s greatest athletes trying to drive money for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Participating already include Stephen Curry, Jack Nicklaus, Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Shaun White, Tony Hawk, Aly Raisman, Elena Delle Donne, Mark Cuban, Rory McIlroy and many more. Here is Jack Nicklaus’ message to the community. Thanks for joining in, sharing and donating if you can. The Bond podcast will be back shortly.
23 minutes | Mar 18, 2020
Seth Freeman: CMO, Buffalo Wild Wings
Seth Freeman is the Chief Marketing Officer at Buffalo Wild Wings and as you will hear in his voice, he is passionate about the brand, and more importantly, the customer experience for every single person that touches it. We dig into a few of their customer profiles – namely Sean and Frank – who they are, what they consume and how they are engaging with them. Outside of the obvious March Madness and football viewers, we talk about Live Action TV and the unexpected fan groups that are coming inside including The Bachelor fans. We also riff on gaming and streaming in venue, localizing the experience and being a physical brand in a digital world.
26 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
Delane Parnell: Founder, PlayVS
Delane Parnell is Founder and CEO of PlayVS, the official platform and league for high school esports. An entrepreneur from his teen years, Delane shares the marketplace gap and customer demand that led to his esports thirst. From creating, owning and selling a team to PlayVS, he is all-in and continues to study the fan and customer journey. It’s critical to his personal and business success. We also examine what has worked so well, and move quickly, plus areas of the business he wished he could put some extra fuel on.
26 minutes | Mar 4, 2020
Chad Millman: Chief Content Officer, The Action Network
Chad Millman is the Chief Content Officer for The Action Network, a media company providing premium analysis as well as real-time betting data. Chad and I have known each other for nearly 20 years dating back to me pitching Chad on writing Mike Vick stories during his rookie season. We have a great discussion on The Bond about what sports will surprise you in their audience interest and betting handle, Chad’s inspirations and role models in content, how to turn users into subscribers, what hasn’t worked at The Action Network and his three unexpected sports he expects to gain in betting popularity shortly. The space is still in its infancy with only eleven states having legalized sports betting (and only four allowing mobile capability). I simply love that he has a placeholder on his weekly calendar titled: “NJ Betting Field Trip”, and he gets to call that work!
21 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
Justin Forsett: Co-Founder & CEO, Hustle Clean
Justin Forsett is CEO and Co-Founder of Hustle Clean and a nine-year NFL player (and pro-bowler). He and two of his college football teammates created the idea of Shower Pill over dinner at a restaurant when trying to solve their own sweat and hygiene problem. A true problem solver for the everyday athlete. Fast forward to today, and their The Body Wipe and The Face Wipe products are sold in more than 6,000 Target stores, on Amazon and direct via their website. Discussion spans from their triple-digit annual growth and the power of relationships (he played on seven different NFL teams) to being coachable and obsessed with your customer. Plus, the backstory of their Shark Tank appearance.
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