Sam Savage was the first guest on the Season 5 debut of The Barrett Sports Media Podcast. The investor behind the expansion of Clay Travis’s Outkick the Coverage brand talked to BSM President Jason Barrett about the brand’s expansion, his future goals, and being aligned with some of sports media’s highest profile personalities. Barrett introduced Savage by pointing out that when people think of Outkick, they think of Travis and recent sign-on Jason Whitlock.
“I think that’s a reasonable response, and that’s kind of what I have been going for my whole career,” the founder of Savage Media Partners and former 24/7 Sports CFO answered.
Savage said his investment in Outkick is about timing. He believes this is an ideal time to build so Outkick will be in a groove by the time the economy bounces back. He didn’t express any hesitation in investing in a media brand during a pandemic, adding that it’s the service economy that will really face a major overhaul in the aftermath of Covid-19.
The goal for Outkick moving forward is to become what Savage calls “a platform for fearless communicators.” It’s why he and Travis were so interested in bringing Jason Whitlock on board. He also claimed that expansion plans don’t stop with Whitlock, as Outkick plans to hire at least one more well-known talent before the year is thru. The company will also launch a podcast network and sees it being a bigger part of its future.
As for why Whitlock was interested in joining and giving up a prime spot on FOX Sports 1 to do so, Savage took a little credit which he says was earned from a conversation he had with Jason.
“He was getting offers and had a lot of people after him,” Savage says. “He told me this, so it will sound a little self-gratifying, but he said ‘Sam, I am really buying into you and your vision for what this business can be.’ I’m sure there were a lot of factors that came into play. I know him and Clay have a great relationship and I know he wanted a platform where he could say whatever he wanted to say and not be constrained by political factors or business constraints, and so this provided that for him.”
Savage also lent some insight on the future of advertising on the Outkick brand. He said the site will be very selective on who they partner with which will decrease the likelihood of clients being quick to pull their money out when strong opinions are offered on sensitive issues. He also calls the growth of sports betting the “icing on the cake” for advertising on the site.
Being connected to two most recognizable talents with major TV and radio profiles will help bring new eyeballs and ears to Outkick’s content, but Savage doesn’t think traditional media will be the biggest driver for growth.
“I think there is a misnomer in media that you’ve gotta have these huge, loud megaphones in order to drive audience, and don’t get me wrong. That helps. That’s a great distribution asset, but really, especially on the digital side, it boils down to the technology.”
The entire episode clocks in at just under 40 minutes and is very much worth your time. In addition to being able to find The Barrett Sports Media podcast on this site, you can also subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify.