Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 199

People and Pop Culture

Grubman said that On Location will be one of a handful of projects he plans to work on
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Former top NFL exec ERIC GRUBMAN has invested in, and become Board Chair, of On Location Experiences, the sports hospitality company whose origins was as a spinoff from the league. Grubman, who at one point oversaw the NFL’s relationship with On Location while at the league, began informally advising On Location over the summer. He became Chair in the last month after he fully separated from the NFL. “He and I will spend a lot of time working with the board for the vision of the company and how we execute that and what kind of organic growth, what kind of strategic growth [to pursue], and what kind of ... investments to make,” said On Location CEO JOHN COLLINS. On Location launched in '15 as a spinoff of the NFL’s Super Bowl hospitality business. Two private equity firms -- Bruin Sports Capital, and Redbird Capital -- joined with the NFL to fund the new startup. It had around $35M in revenue in its first year shortly after Collins was hired. Since then, new investors including The Carlyle Group and John Anthony have joined, adding disparate businesses that range from golf to college to tennis to music. Revenues today are believed to approach $600M. A former Goldman Sachs partner, Grubman was with the NFL from '04 through this past summer. He said On Location will be one of a handful of projects he plans to work on. The board meets once a month, Collins said. The firm did not have a Chair before Grubman, who will have a vote in that role. “It is a reflection of how far and how fast this company has really grown,” Collins said of the decision to add a Chair. 

Meanwhile, On Location has acquired Future Beat, provider of VIP concert experiences. The move will enhance On Location's ability to serve the live music industry and artists. Future Beat currently offers a wide range of VIP packages and production services.

Veteran sportscaster STEVE WEISSMAN moved to L.A. in '15 after hosting "SPORTSCENTER" and other programs at ESPN for five years, and the Northwestern grad has grown fond of the California lifestyle. He likes to stay active with plenty of tennis, yoga and weight lifting. That is, when he's not on the air at either of his network homes. Weissman currently splits his time between Tennis Channel, calling matches and hosting "TENNIS CHANNEL LIVE," and the NFL Network, anchoring the "UP TO THE MINUTE" hourly update segments. He recently spoke to THE DAILY to explain how he manages jam-packed days that puts him on-air for several hours at both networks -- like this coming Saturday, when he will arrive to the Tennis Channel bright and early to cover the Shanghai Masters and then work late into the night updating NFL fans on the latest news and notes from around the league.

3:30am: I will wake up and have some coffee. I make some overnight oats the previous evening. I’ll take those out of the fridge, slice a banana, some strawberries and drizzle honey over that. I’ll check scores from overnight and matches that are actually in progress. Then I'll go over any new NFL news or injury updates.

4:00am: L.A. is known for its traffic, but this time on a Saturday is not too bad, so I can get to Tennis Channel in about 20 minutes. I’ll also bring a cut-up apple, orange and an RX bar as snacks.

4:30am: I’ll get in to Tennis Channel and meet with the producer. DAVID ARNOLD oversees “Tennis Channel Live,” MIKE HASTIN or MARK HOUSKA will be line producing. We’ll go over the rundown, I’ll start to write portions of the show. It’s non-scripted, for my purposes, and non-prompted. But I do have a lot of stuff that I prepare -- notes, questions for the analysts. I like to keep it as ad-lib and free-flowing as possible, I think the analysts really appreciate that. I work with JUSTIN GIMELSTOB, LINDSAY DAVENPORT, TRACY AUSTIN, PAUL ANNACONE and JAMES BLAKE. I’ll watch highlights from earlier, features that we’ll have in the show. Then I’ll prepare for my match, because I usually call a match before I host the show.

6:00am: I’ll call the last match or two of the day from the voice over booth, and then we’ll take a three-minute break and I’ll walk from the booth into our “Tennis Channel Live” studio. There’s no determination of exactly when it will air because it airs after the last match. Then it’s a collapsible show. Say it starts at 7:15, we’d probably take it to 8:00. Maybe if it started at 6:59, we’d take it to 7:30.

8:00am: I’ll go over the show with the producers and talk about the next day before heading home.

9:00am: I go to SoHo Yoga -- owned by RICHARD JEFFERSON -- in Hermosa Beach. When I moved to L.A., yoga became one of my favorite exercise routines I got hooked. MARIA SHARAPOVA, MATT LEINART and STEVE NASH have all been known to go here. I take an hour-long sweat-and-sculpt class.

10:30am: There’s a place called Paradise Bowls right next to the yoga studio. I’ll treat myself to an acai bowl and take it to the beach.

Weissman this weekend will cover the Shanghai Masters before pivoting to NFL updates
Photo: STEVE WEISSMAN

Noon: I’m a massive Northwestern fan. I’ll try to watch their football game. I may fall asleep because that’s time to get in a nap before heading to NFL Network.

3:00pm: I’ll be getting ready and heading over to NFL Network. It’s about 20-30 minutes away depending on traffic.

4:30pm: I’ll get to NFL Network, get makeup, meet with the producer -- TODD SPERRY runs the “Up To The Minute” news staff. MCENROE FRANCIS is one of the line producers I work with a lot. Then I’ll get into my rundown and begin writing my scripts.

5:00pm-1:30am: I anchor the updates and keep researching for any potential breaking news. We record an update about once an hour. This shift can be extremely busy or more routine depending on breaking news. The crew gets a dinner break, sometimes I’ll order Postmates. Sugarfish has an amazing to-go platter. There are tons of snacks in the green room and I try to stay away from the candy! They did just sign a deal with SnackNation, which provides healthy snacks to companies.

1:30am: After that shift wraps up, I’ll drive home and try to get to bed. In this situation, I’ll be back at Tennis Channel the next morning. If I need to fall asleep right away I drink Som Sleep, it’s a natural beverage that helps promote relaxation and a normal sleep cycle. When I come off the air I’m normally pretty amped.

Know of someone who should be featured in "A Day in the Life"? Send a note to jcarpenter@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

The Lions promoted VP/Ticketing & Premium Seating TODD LAMBERT to VP/Corporate Development & Ticketing (Lions)....Former ESPN and MSG exec ASHLEY SMITH has launched GSD Advisory, a marketing advising and strategy company (GSD Advisory)....The Double-A Southern League Mobile BayBears named former Single-A Midwest League Bowling Green Hot Rods Senior VP/Operations KEN CLARY GM, replacing CHRIS MORGAN, who "resigned last week after four seasons" (AL.com, 10/9)....The Canadian Elite Basketball League named JOE RASO Dir of Basketball Operations (CEBL)....MWWPR named Taylor Managing Partner RYAN MUCATEL Exec VP. Mucatel will open the PR firm's Charlotte office, and also spearhead a new dedicated esports division (MWWPR).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

Create your own Executive Transaction


Ready to make your next great hire? Or take the next step in your career? Connect with the industry’s top employers and job seekers on the Sports Business Career Link. For more information, contact Megi Beqiraj at 212-500-0705, or mbeqiraj@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

Former Chicago Sun-Times writer BRYAN SMITH in his new book suggests that late Blackhawks Owner BILL WIRTZ was "mentally incapacitated toward the end of his reign." The book is titled, "THE BREAK AWAY: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE WIRTZ FAMILY BUSINESS AND THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS." Wirtz ran the Blackhawks with "authority for four decades until his death" in '07. Smith said, "It was becoming clear to [Wirtz' eldest son] ROCKY that his father was having problems with dementia. Or, at the very least, seriously debilitating memory loss" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/10).

Zagunis said she hired the junk-hauling company to remove unwanted items from her in October '16
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

LAW & ORDER: Gold Medal-winning U.S. fencer MARIEL ZAGUNIS has "filed a $965,000 lawsuit against 1-800-GOT-JUNK? of Portland, claiming the local franchise is responsible for breaking her toe and damaging her athletic career." Zagunis said that she hired the junk-hauling company to "remove unwanted items from her Portland-area home" in October '16. According to the lawsuit, that is when a lift gate on a company truck "suddenly malfunctioned by dropping onto her right foot." Zagunis won Gold at both the '04 Athens and '08 Beijing Games (OREGONLIVE.com, 10/9).

FURTHERING EDUCATION: Former NFLers who have had "at least two accredited seasons of NFL service" have the opportunity to "return to school to complete their degrees, or to pursue advanced degrees" thanks to The Trust, which was developed out of the '11 CBA between the NFL and NFLPA. More than 1,500 scholarships worth more than $12.2M have been "awarded through The Trust, which will reach its fifth anniversary next month." Last spring, 115 former players "used the scholarship program, and 87 more did in the summer" (AP, 10/10).

NAMES: COLIN KAEPERNICK will make an appearance tomorrow at a Harvard ceremony and is "asking the press not to report on his remarks." Harvard's Hutchins Center for African & African American Research will "honor Kaepernick, along with seven other recipients of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal" (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 10/10)....Lightning coach JON COOPER on Monday held the kickoff dinner for Coop's Catch for Kids at Amalie Arena to "raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer." ESPN's DICK VITALE and Rays manager KEVIN CASH were in attendance (TAMPABAY.com, 10/9)....Panthers DE JULIUS PEPPERS yesterday morning “drove east from Charlotte almost three hours” to Lumberton, N.C., where he “teamed with United Way” in Hurricane Florence recovery efforts in the area. Peppers is a “native of Bailey, which is a short drive northeast of Lumberton” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/10)....Kauffman Stadium emcee DANAYA ROLLER is “not returning” next season, and the Royals are now “looking for a replacement” (KANSASCITY.com, 10/9)....Longtime Georgia Radio Network sideline reporter LORAN SMITH, who still “wears a bunch of different hats for the UGA Athletic Association,” on Monday “suffered a broken hip and a fractured elbow when run over” by two football players at practice. Smith, 80, underwent surgery yesterday at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital (AJC.com, 10/9)....The Fiesta Bowl organization has been named a finalist for the annual Corporate Philanthropy Award by the Phoenix Business Journal (Fiesta Bowl)....CONOR MCGREGOR on Sunday was “spotted in Vegas at XS nightclub" to see DJ VIRGIL ABLOH (NYPOST.com, 10/9).

FIVE REASONS TO ATTEND THE NEULION SPORTS MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE OCTOBER 16 & 17 IN NYC

1. You will hear from the executives making the crucial decisions on sports content distribution.

2. We’ll drill down into the direct-to-consumer platforms and services that are gaining the most traction.

3. New concepts surrounding content creation and storytelling will be discussed throughout the conference.

4. You’ll hear from the leaders of the upstart AAF and revived XFL and their plans for connecting with consumers in new and innovative ways.

5. You’ll have the opportunity to network with hundreds of the top executives who are reshaping sports media.

For MORE INFORMATION and to REGISTER, click here.


Activation strategies available to sports markets are abundant, from traditional approaches to digital platforms. Finding the right formula is crucial if sponsors want to exceed their goals. We’ll talk with marketers to identify trends worth watching and strategies that will help brands hit their mark. From grassroots to global, on-site to online, we identify strategies and how they drive awareness and deliver results.

Publishing Date: October 29

Ad Close: October 15

Materials Due: October 17

For more information, contact Julie Tuttle, National Director of Advertising at (212) 500-0711 or jtuttle@sportsbusinessjournal.com

Title: Branded Content and Custom Publishing Editor

National business-to-business sports media group is looking for someone with a strong background developing and producing long-form, marketing-driven print projects and experience producing marketing collateral. Your experience will have included custom published products, both single and multi-sponsored sections and client-sponsored opinion and thought-leader pieces as well as experience producing marketing collateral.

Responsibilities: This position is responsible for the production of multiple custom-print projects throughout the year and supporting ad sales efforts with updated marketing information. For custom projects your duties will include providing project timelines, contracting writing and design resources, procuring needed elements such as video footage, graphics and rights clearances as needed. You will be working with national brands to ensure all custom campaigns reflect the partners’ goals while following journalistic standards.

Skills: The person who fills this position should have a body of work that displays strong writing and editing skills, experience in evaluating creative talent, a record of successful project management and a working knowledge of media metrics. We are looking for an enthusiastic self-starter who can work across various internal teams as well as external clients and take responsibility for the creation, execution and analysis for this important content initiative. Must be familiar working in content management systems and the ability to manage deadlines and campaigns in a dynamic environment.

Position will be based in Charlotte, N.C.

Please send your resume to mbounds@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

Title: Senior Producer

National business-to-business sports media company is looking for someone with extensive experience in all aspects of live, video and film production. Your background will include pre-production planning, script writing, editing, directing and working with on-site event production assets. This person will have a background that reflects a history of teamwork with internal and external collaborators, and supervision of small and large-scale projects.

Responsibilities: You will have the lead position for planning, organizing and developing video productions associated with our online assets and in the staging and production associated with live events organized for audiences of up to 1,000.

Skills: Candidate will have several years of experience in overseeing video production, will demonstrate a knowledge of and experience in all aspects of pre-production, specifically building production timetables, procuring third-party materials for editing and obtaining necessary rights clearances for live and streamed events. The candidate must show evidence of strong writing skills for visual media and the ability to create productions to meet different objectives – i.e., inform, entertain, inspire, etc. Must be able to work within hard deadlines and coordinate business and editorial priorities in producing high-quality productions that meet stated objectives.

Position will be based in Charlotte, N.C. and reports to Editor

Please send your resume to: mbounds@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

Title: Audience Development Manager, Conferences & Events

The Sports Business Journal Conference & Events Group is looking for a highly-driven sales associate who can grow paid attendance for our portfolio of conferences and events. The ideal candidate will focus on prospecting and sales outreach to individuals in specific parts of the industry who fit the attendee profiles for our various conferences and events.

Responsibilities: Cold calling and following up with executives from teams, leagues, corporate sponsors, networks, agencies and a variety of service providers. Building an ongoing pipeline of active prospects by utilizing database resources, competitive attendee lists and online resources. Maintaining an organized database of prospects and sales broken down by event. Providing detailed reporting of sales activity. Understanding the specific buy/sell relationship of each conference and succinctly articulating the features. 

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and a rroven track record (1-2 years) in telephone or face-to-face sales. High-energy individual with ability to reach and surpass aggressive call and sales quotas. Ability to close sales through a combination of telephone outreach and personalized emails. Strong work ethic with ability to multitask between prospecting, cold calling and follow-up. Professional telephone manner and excellent communication, writing, presentation and interpersonal skills. Ability to overcome objections from prospects

Full-time position; Competitive salary plus commissions; Full benefits. Based in Charlotte.

To apply: Please send your resume and a cover note to: Jim Sullivan, Managing Director, Conferences & Events, Sports Business Journal; jmsullivan@sportsbusinessjournal.com.