SBJ/March 12-18, 2012/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40


Photo by: VIRGINIA SHERWOOD / NBC
It was not that long ago that NBC Sports held virtually no profile as a major online sports media property, particularly compared with its network rivals. And when NBCSports.com did begin to make some noise several years ago, critics suggested that the NBC Sports digital brand was still disproportionately tied to its much-discussed partner ProFootballTalk and the Olympics.

Fast forward to the present, and NBCSports.com behind vice president and general manager Rick Cordella is a mainstay top-10 digital sports destination, with several well-regarded blog sites replicating ProFootballTalk, digital streaming rights to “Sunday Night Football,” an expanded profile for its NHL coverage and, most recently, a spot in the record books as the most-watched live online sports event ever for Super Bowl XLVI.

NBCSports.com may not necessarily have the depth or overall reach of some of its larger competitors. But under Cordella, the site has developed a strong, unique editorial voice, as well as a growing bundle of exclusive content assets.

And with NBC owner Comcast continuing to bulk up its regional sports networks, the network’s digital sports story is beginning to take on a more local flavor.

“We’re now competing in the upper class, particularly when it comes to live video,” Cordella said. “There’s a wealth of opportunity for us online as we build more appointment-viewing programming, either as a stand-alone online or as a second-screen companion to TV.”


Age: 35
Title: Vice president and general manager, digital media
COMPANY: NBC Sports and Olympics
Education: B.S., business management/computer science, Providence College, 1999; MBA, Boston College, 2004
Family: Wife, Jennifer; daughters Ava (5), Rylie (4) and Sydney (1)
Career: Computer programmer (1999-2003); computer programmer/fantasy writer/ad sales, Rotoworld.com (2003-08); GM of NBCSports.com (2009-10); named to current position in 2010
First job: Some combination of tree service laborer, garbage man, basketball camp counselor
Last vacation: Montauk, N.Y., last summer
what's on your ipod? Varies — Jimmy Buffett, Green Day, anything from late ’90s alt rock
guilty pleasure: Frozen Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups
best stress release: Running
pet peeve: People who punch the clock
fantasy job: Major League Baseball starting pitcher
what keeps you awake at night? The London Olympics
business advice: Be curious.

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