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Volume 22 No. 34
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Sports Breakthrough of the Year

Barstool Sports / Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp / Kobe Inc.’s Granity Studios / Mercedes-Benz Stadium Food & Beverage Experience / Overwatch League
Photo: barstool sports

Barstool Sports

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.

Photo: edwine pierre louis

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.

Photo: rich von biberstein

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.

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Overwatch League

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.