Adrian Wojnarowski is the king of NBA scoops for a reason, and Ethan Strauss gave NBA fans insight into how he stays at the top this week. The former ESPN and The Athletic writer posted on his House of Strauss Substack a “packet of documents” Wojnarowski reportedly sends out to “agents and NBA team employees, as part of a personal campaign.”
ESPN did not create the social media promotion material for Adrian Wojnarowski, despite its logo being front and center.
The documents also state that Woj is “is the undisputed top NBA media talent in the business,” and “his combined reach of 7.0M followers across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook is more than every other NBA media personality from the below comp set.”
The peek behind the sourcing curtain doesn’t violate any journalism ethics, like some believed Adam Schefter did when his conversation with a source was leaked. Although, it does paint the picture of how competitive the scoops game is at the highest level.
Strauss reached out to ESPN and Adrian Wojnarowski about the story. ESPN declined to comment, and Wojnarowski did not answer. The writer did unveil the creator of the documents to be the Creative Artists Agency. CAA represents Wojnarowski along with NBA players, coaches, and executives.
CAA also represents non-news breakers that appear on the list, including Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose.
Wojnarowski’s social media presence is basically a business unto itself, but it will always need sources to keep things booming. “No matter [Woj’s] power level, he needs [his sources] more than the other way around,” Strauss wrote in the article.
Strauss has also noted the interesting parallels between CAA talent at ESPN and star NBA players represented by CAA, flocking to the coasts.
“I dislike how much of the game behind the game is shielded from readers,” Strauss wrote last month about the league’s business dynamics. “For example, Creative Arts Agency (CAA) happens to represent key media personalities at ESPN NBA, which was by design and accomplished with the subtlety and tact of the Red Wedding.
“The way it’s presented to the consumer is the mere reporting on a rising star in New Orleans [Zion Williamson] wanting to play in New York. You’re not supposed to know that ESPN wants this to happen because ESPN is CAA and CAA is ESPN, which means that CAA is the Knicks, meaning that the Knicks are ESPN.”
Strauss is taking advantage of all the perks afforded to independent journalists, and lifting the curtain on sports media along the way.
New York Mobile Sports Bets Likely to Pass New Jersey for No. 1 in U.S.
“The data tell us that New Yorkers are dumping illegal sportsbooks for the new legal options, and operators are also excelling at attracting first-time bettors.”
New York looks well on its way to become the new No. 1 in mobile sports betting. Bets from the state blasted off in the first two weekends they were available.
This could put New York in position to overtake its neighbor, New Jersey, for the top spot.
According to the Associated Press, Vancouver, Canada-based tech company GeoComply Solutions recorded 17.9 million transactions last weekend in New York. That’s up from 17.2 million the weekend before, when betting went live in the state.
The transaction numbers are related to sports betting activity from a specific location of a customer. Bettors are required to make bets within state lines where it is legal.
The company says 1.2 million new accounts were created in New York since mobile sports betting began on Jan. 8. Nearly 88% of those customers are new to legal sports betting, never having been verified before by GeoComply.
“The momentum of New York’s sports betting launch has continued and it is mostly home-grown,” GeoComply managing director of gaming Lindsay Slader told the AP. “The data tell us that New Yorkers are dumping illegal sportsbooks for the new legal options, and operators are also excelling at attracting first-time bettors.”
These numbers imply that the New Jersey market might be hurting as a result of New York surging. However, while the transactions show New York probably took more bets, they also indicate that New Jersey hasn’t lost any business to New York so far.
New Jersey averaged 12.6 million geolocation transactions in the two weekends before New York’s mobile launch, and 13.1 million in the two weekends since.
About 9.3% of bettors have accounts in both states, the company said.
“The growth in New York has been explosive,” said Rush Street Interactive CEO Richard Schwartz, whose company runs the BetRivers online sportsbook. “It is, by far, off to the fastest start of any of our sportsbook markets in terms of handle. Along with having the largest population of any state with legalized sports gambling, New York is one of the few U.S. states with multiple teams across all four major sports. It’s simply a recipe for long term success.”
Sports gambling company FanDuel is “very pleased” with how New York customers have embraced betting.
“While all markets are critical, it was especially important for FanDuel to do well within our home state,” said spokesman Kevin Hennessy.
While New Jersey is still thriving, it should be interesting to keep an eye on the market as more and more business pops up in New York. New Jersey casinos and sports books say at least 20% of their business has come from New Yorkers crossing over into New Jersey to make bets before New York opened up the market.
NSMA Announces Award Winners, Hall Of Fame Inductees
“The NSMA’s annual awards weekend and national convention is scheduled for June 25-27 in Winston-Salem, N.C.”
The National Sports Media Association (NSMA) will induct four new members of its hall of fame and honor its three national award winners in June, and the NSMA announced the full list of honorees on Tuesday.
Basketball analyst Hubie Brown and the late Stuart Scott will be inducted as hall of fame sportscasters, while Jackie MacMullan and Curry Kirkpatrick will go in as hall of fame sportswriters.
Scott passed away after a bout with cancer in 2015, but he will always be fondly remembered as one of ESPN’s greatest SportsCenter anchors. His catchphrases “Booyah!” and “Cool as the other side of the pillow” were just some that captivated audiences during his time at ESPN.
Additionally, there was a tie for national sportscaster of the year, as Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt will share the 2022 award. ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan was named the national sportswriter of the year.
The NSMA’s annual awards weekend and national convention is scheduled for June 25-27 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Dan O’Toole Returns To Broadcasting With New Podcast, ‘Boomsies!’
“Talking to some former co-workers — some former bosses — and one of them said, ‘Well, Dan, I think you’re done in the industry.'”
Since being fired by TSN last year, Dan O’Toole has kept a rather low profile. But not by choice.
As the former SportsCentre and Fox Sports Live anchor explained to The Athletic‘s Sean Fitz-Gerald, no other media outlet was offering work. The lack of interest moved O’Toole to the point where he began to consider a different career. And he wasn’t getting encouragement from former colleagues.
“Talking to some former co-workers — some former bosses,” O’Toole told Fitz-Gerald, “and one of them said, ‘Well, Dan, I think you’re done in the industry.'”
It’s a realization that plenty, far too many, in media have faced in recent years as outlets make budget cuts or shut down altogether. Yet for someone as accomplished and popular as O’Toole was in his on-air partnership with Jay Onrait, such a situation must have been even more difficult.
So like many other broadcasters, O’Toole, 46, decided to give himself a platform. He started a podcast. Titled Boomsies!, the show is available where most audio content is found these days, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The podcast is also available on YouTube, in partnership with BetRivers Sportsbook. New shows will be posted every Wednesday.
The “Boomsies!” name came from a producer he previously worked with at FS1. Behind the scenes, the producer would yell “Boomsies!” in response to a big play or notable mistake.
Later in The Athletic‘s article, O’Toole went onto explain that he believes it’s been difficult to find work in Canadian sports television because of his rather public episode in July 2020 when he believed that his infant daughter had been abducted. The child was later found safe with her mother.
“Having a very public — essentially — mental breakdown, with a situation in my life,” O’Toole told Fitz-Gerald. “That probably entered my brain, where people don’t want this guy around.”
Losing his job at TSN provided O’Toole with the opportunity to help himself, which included a month-long stay in a treatment center last year. He’d like to get back on television, but is content with the podcast for the work-life balance it allows. The show also provides a platform to demonstrate to anyone who might be struggling with mental health that it’s possible to put a life back together.
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