Sports Breakthrough of the Year
Barstool continued to make waves in sports media by attracting an audience of young men that advertisers want to reach. Traditional media is taking notice, as in January Barstool raised another $15 million from majority owner The Chernin Group.
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
The rebranded club enjoyed a 23 percent attendance increase, earned its highest merchandise sales ever and gained national notoriety for its game-day promotion (a neck pillow that looks like a jumbo shrimp). The Southern League honored GM Harold Craw and the team as the top executive and organization.
Kobe Inc.'s Granity Studios
Kobe Bryant made a big move into sports production with his Granity Studios, which produced a basketball analysis series called “Detail” for ESPN+. Its “Dear Basketball,” a poem Bryant wrote for The Players’ Tribune in 2015, won an Oscar in the animated short category.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Food & Beverage Experience
The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC debuted a revolutionary approach to food and beverage pricing in the first year of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. With hot dogs costing $2, hamburgers $5 and Coca-Colas $2 (with free refills), concession revenue actually increased by 16 percent overall.
Activision Blizzard’s audacious esports gambit just kept surprising people. With a short time frame to launch, the league sold 12 charter franchises at prices never before contemplated in esports, several big-dollar sponsorship deals and a media rights package.