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Drew Brees, PointsBet Announce Partnership

The retired QB is also calling Notre Dame Football games this Fall.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Drew Brees just made himself a betting man as he hangs up the helmet and transitions to life in the NBC Sports booth. The recently retired quarterback announced he is partnering with PointsBet. 

The multi-year deal includes an equity stake for Brees alongside a cash component as he serves as a global ambassador for the sports betting company.

“I am excited to team up with PointsBet, a leader in the future of sports entertainment built off elite technology,” Brees said in a release. “I am proud to be at the forefront alongside PointsBet and NBC Sports.”

PointsBet started in Australia and currently operates in five states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and New Jersey. NBC, Brees’s new employer, struck a five-year partnership with the company last year that includes a 4.9% stake in PointsBet. The $500 million deal made PointsBet NBC’s official betting partner.

PointsBet and NBC are keeping Brees a busy man now that he doesn’t have pages and pages of plays to pour through. The former is making Brees a forward-facing member of their marketing and advertising efforts. From creating and starring in content to hosting watch parties and helping with promotions, Brees will play a hand in PointsBet’s continued growth.

In the booth, Brees is calling Notre Dame football games alongside Mike Tirico this year while also working his way into NBC’s NFL pregame show Football Night In America. It remains to be seen whether his connection to PointsBet will be a source of content on the show now that NBC is tied at the hip with the sportsbook.

PointsBet is jumping headfirst into the American sports betting market like so many other gambling companies. The deal with Brees is another in a long line of relationships PointsBet has built over the past few years from the NHL to the WNBA. Now they have a sure-fire NFL legend on their roster.

Sports Online

Dan Le Batard: It Enrages Me That There’s a Craig Carton Show on TV

“The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Jordan Bondurant

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The news of Tom Brady announcing his retirement on Wednesday came as Dan Le Batard and company were on the air, and in the midst of the initial reaction to Brady’s announcement, Le Batard offered a quick shot at WFAN and FS1 host Craig Carton.

Carton has been hosting a morning show on FS1 since last September. Craig added the TV show to co-hosting his successful afternoon drive program on WFAN alongside Evan Roberts.

But as Le Batard and the rest of the show were looking at the TV trying to figure out what was going on with the Brady story, Dan said he thought it was crazy Carton was on television.

“It enrages me that there’s a Carton show,” Le Batard said. “The man went to jail. The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Carton went to prison for a year after facing a charge of securities and wire fraud. In the fall of 2020, after being released from jail earlier in the year, Carton made his return to WFAN.

It’s possible that Le Batard, who is busy running his own independent media operation, wasn’t aware Carton had a TV show. So it’s likely seeing Craig’s face probably was a bit of a shock. But it was clear Dan wasn’t expecting to learn the news from Carton’s show.

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Sports Online

ESPN Hands Out 6 New Contracts To Investigative Journalists

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN is solidifying its lineup of investigative journalists. The network announced on Wednesday the hiring of two newcomers as well as contract extensions for four others.

Xuan Thai and Sara Coello are the two newcomers to The Worldwide Leader, starting their jobs in January.

Thai previously worked at NBC News and MSNBC. Most recently, she was the deputy bureau chief of the south region at NBC.

Coello has made her way to ESPN after stops at The Charlotte Observer, The Dallas Morning News and The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.

Alyssa Roenigk, Tisha Thompson, Sam Borden and Tom Junod are the four others who received contract extensions.

Roenigk is the most senior of the group, with 2023 being her 21st year at ESPN. She’s been an editor, sideline reporter, studio host and writer in that stretch of two decades.

Thompson and Borden both started at ESPN in 2017. Thompson has covered stories including the ongoing government investigation of Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and investigated sexual assault allegations within the U.S. Snowboard team.

Borden has appeared regularly on various ESPN platforms like the ESPN Daily podcast and Outside the Lines. He’s a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award winner for an NFL Countdown piece called “This Big Mo Show.”

Junod has been at ESPN since 2019. His previous stops include GQ, Esquire, Life and Sports Illustrated.

Additionally, a contract extension for veteran feature producer Scott Harves was announced by the network.

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Sports Media Reacts To Tom Brady Retiring

“Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.”

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Things seem a little more final this time. Tom Brady says he will not return to the field. The GOAT announced his retirement Wednesday morning in a video posted to social media.

While it is still unclear what happens next, plenty of people in the sports media had opinions to share. Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.

There were other reactions as well. It is well-known that Tom Brady has a ten-year contract worth $375 million waiting for him at FOX. That means plenty of people in the sports media have questions about what today’s announcement means for Greg Olsen.

Olsen has won plenty of acclaim as the analyst in the network’s top NFL booth. Brady’s deal includes him taking over that spot, so several personalities and writers used the day to publicly question the logic in that decision.

There was a third reaction too. Twitter was made for two things: reacting to breaking news and making jokes. Tom Brady announcing his retirement gave some members of the sports media the chance to do both.

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