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Podcast Ad Firm Formed by Top Media Sales Execs

Brandon Contes

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Podcasts are no longer “the future,” but generating consistent advertising revenue through podcasts hasn’t caught up. A new sales company is looking to change that.

Crossover Media Group Sales is a startup of veteran media sales executives targeting podcasts and over-the-top platforms to offer advertising sales representation.  The company’s three managing members are Scott Calka, Sue Freund and Ron Hartenbaum.  Calka has worked in advertising sales for Madison Square Garden, Comcast Spotlight, Fox Sports and DirecTV.  Freund spent a decade as VP of sales for the Western Region of SiriusXM and Hartenbaum’s credentials include serving as the VP of Sales for Westwood One.

“There is a strong and surprisingly un-tapped market for advertising to support personalities and brands seeking to maximize revenue potential across all the platforms available to them,” Freund said. “If you have an audio presence, we can be your video partner. If you have a video brand but have had difficulty breaking through the clutter, we can help. We understand cross-platform branding, promotion and monetization, and how to serve the needs of content providers, media buyers and brands alike.”

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, $314 million was invested in podcast ads in the United States last year.  That number is an 86% jump from the previous year, but still a small fraction when compared to the advertising dollars collected by mainstream media platforms.

Advertisers spent $68.5 billion on TV ads, $22.8 billion on internet search ads, $39.9 billion on Facebook and $17.6 billion for radio.  The IAB predicts podcast ad revenue will jump by another 110% over the next three years, bringing the amount to $659 million.  Considering the amount of hours consumers spend listening to digital audio, even at $659 million, the medium’s advertising revenue is miniscule.

Advertisers have hesitated to invest in podcasts for a number of reasons.  Their goal is to create an ad that will be placed in front of a large audience, but podcasts are consumed through a variety of devices at different times, making it difficult to track listenership.

Part of the reason podcasts gained popularity is because advertisers weren’t spending money on the platform.  A 15 or 30 minute podcast offers 15 or 30 minutes worth of content whereas 60 minutes of a terrestrial radio show might contain commercials for 25% of the hour.

Podcasting today is a credible medium with popular shows that deserve advertising investments.  Crossover Media Group Sales will work to bypass advertisers’ hesitations and monetize the platform effectively.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Online

Julian Edelman Considers Himself A Pioneer

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Since his playing days with the New England Patriots ended after the 2020 season, Julian Edelman has kept himself busy with his role on Inside the NFL and now co-hosting the Games with Names podcast with comedian Sam Morril. So, what was Edelman looking for with his post-football endeavors?

Edelman was a guest on the most-recent episode of the Half-Forgotten History podcast with Trey Wingo and he said that the vibe that Inside The NFL has with Phil Simms, James Brown, Brandon Marshall, Michael Irvin, and Ray Lewis was something that he was looking for.

“With Inside the NFL, I have those guys and there’s a camaraderie. We get to have that breaking bread and just locker room kind of vibe. On the podcast, it’s the same thing.”

The MVP of Super Bowl XLIII mentioned that the key to doing the things he does now in his post-career came from the way him and his team were able to use social media to build his own brand and help ease the transition from a playing career to a member of the media.

“When I retired, I was fortunate enough to put a good team around me for all of my off-the-field things. We built a brand through social media. Kind of pioneers of this whole thing with social and e-commerce and millennial/Gen-Z things. It helped me land a role on Inside the NFL and go and have an ability to start a podcast, Games With Names. It’s been good and it honestly helps with the transition.”

Now that Edelman’s playing days are in the past, he said that he now has the opportunity to do things that he was always interested in since he was a kid, but did not have the time for and he is grateful for the opportunities that the NFL has allowed him to have.

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that. I am so grateful for football and for the game just because it has given me the opportunity to do things that are fun and amazing.”

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LaVar Arrington, ‘Up On Game Presents’ Forges Multiplatform Deal With John Brenkus, Brinx.TV

The two entities have created a show called The NIL House, which will feature Brenkus and Rob Vaka discussing the latest news, biggest stories, athletes, collectives, and celebrities in the Name, Image, and Likeness space.

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Fox Sports Radio morning co-host LaVar Arrington has announced a multi-platform deal with creator and host of Sport Science John Brenkus and Brinx.TV.

The two entities have created a show called The NIL House, which will feature Brenkus and Rob Vaka discussing the latest news, biggest stories, athletes, collectives, and celebrities in the Name, Image, and Likeness space.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with a pioneer like John Brenkus and Brinx.TV,” said Arrington. “This relationship will dramatically expedite our slate of programming and positively impact the sports entertainment industry.”

“LaVar Arrington has dominated the world of sports on and off the field,” adds Brenkus. “By combining Up On Game and Brinx.TV’s distribution platforms, there really is no limit to our success.”

Up On Game Presents is the podcast platform Arrington curates, in conjunction with Fox Sports Radio. The Up On Game podcast features Arrington and former NFL Pro Bowl wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Plaxico Burress.

Brinx.TV was created in February of 2021 and allows subscribers the ability to watch live programming while also make purchases, bid in auctions, buy NFTs, and answer trivia questions.

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Amazon Under Fire For TNF Halftime Show’s Handling of Tua Injury

There was plenty of reaction to how Amazon covered the situation and lacked the awareness to acknowledge what transpired last Sunday.

Jordan Bondurant

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Tua

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a head injury in the 2nd quarter of Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The images of Tua’s injury and the reaction of his body to the injury shocked not only the other players and fans in the stadium, but also those watching the Thursday night game on Amazon Prime Video.

At halftime, Tony Gonzalez, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Richard Sherman all offered their reactions, with host Charissa Thompson providing an update from the team.

But noticeably absent in that discussion and reaction was the fact that Tua was playing in the game and suffered a head injury less than a week after he was believed to have suffered a concussion in Miami’s Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. Add in the fact that the NFL Players Association is also investigating whether league concussion protocols were followed, as Tua returned to that game and helped lead the Dolphins to a victory.

There was plenty of reaction to how Amazon covered the situation and lacked the awareness to acknowledge what transpired last Sunday.

The network did provide a deeper discussion during its postgame show and Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit addressed the issue in the 3rd quarter. Unfortunately it didn’t become a bigger discussion on the broadcast until social media became littered with negative reactions to the halftime show’s approach to discussing the various issues involving the Dolphins quarterback prior to his injury during Thursday night’s game.

With Amazon now in partnership with the NFL, it’ll be interesting to watch how the network handles future sensitive issues given what they experienced covering the Tua Tagovailoa story.

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