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ESPN Not Yet Ready To Take Ad Money From Crypto Companies

“The network and the NFL are reticent to enter the cryptocurrency advertising space.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

Tom Brady told the ESPN2 audience that he is giving the fan who snagged his 600th touchdown pass a Bitcoin, but don’t expect to see a lot of crypto discussion on ESPN airwaves anytime soon.

The network and league are reticent to enter the cryptocurrency advertising space. ESPN, in particular, is working through an internal review of the technology before diving into advertising.

“We are actively in conversations with key advertisers in this category,” Disney advertising sales senior VP Mike Denby told the Sports Business Journal. “And are thoroughly evaluating these companies and their products and services. We look forward to collaborating with many of these brands in the near future.”

Denby never told SBJ a timetable for when Disney may start working its way into the space. One anonymous media buyer told SBJ that he thinks it’s less a lack of knowledge and more protecting entrenched partners.

“What you are seeing is Disney taking a measured Disney approach,” The anonymous source said. “They also have a longtime base of other financial services sponsors they are certainly doing their best to protect.’’

Crypto ad spending is exploding across all types of mediums, including NFL games, but the league itself has been tepid in its adoption. The league’s affiliates (besides ESPN) have welcomed the newfound revenue stream with open arms. Adding another strong competitor in the sports advertising space.

The other major sports promotions have largely embraced crypto. Crypto.com holds the UFC’s kit branding rights; FTX logos are smack dab on MLB umpires chests, a regular appearance since the July 13 All-Star Game. Meanwhile, in the NBA, both the 76ers (Crypto.com) and Trailblazers (StormX) have jersey patch deals with cryptocurrency-affiliated companies.

ESPN and the NFL are kings of their castles, whether it be the league’s popularity or ESPN’s influence over the sports world. Yet, they are being left behind quickly in the crypto-space. We’ll see if they start catching up anytime soon.

Sports Online

PodcastOne Expands Sports Offerings, Adds Nick Swisher, Bobby Portis and Chris Howard to Lineup

PodcastOne is growing its lineup of sports show offerings by adding podcasts from a World Series champion, NBA champion and a former NFL running back.

Jordan Bondurant

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PodcastOne

PodcastOne is growing its lineup of sports show offerings by adding podcasts from a World Series champion, NBA champion and a former NFL running back.

The company announced it has brought on Nick Swisher, Bobby Portis and Chris Howard to add to its already stacked slate of programming that includes shows from Robert Horry, Michael Irvin, Jay Cutler and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

“With the growing PodcastOne sports vertical, we are producing and developing exclusive sports content shows from some of the most recognizable names in the game, adding to our diverse roster of original programming that advertisers and listeners won’t get from other networks,” said PodcastOne president Kit Gray. “Our sports hosted shows offer something for everyone, from the parquet floors of the world of basketball to the spectacle of the wrestling ring.”

Swisher, who will host The Nick Swisher Show, expressed his excitement at the opportunity to tell stories and interview stars from the world of sports and culture.

“My curiosity for the world around me from baseball to books, from coaches to community and from inspirational stories of triumph to seemingly insurmountable moments of failure knows no bounds,” Swisher said. “I’m amped to be sharing stories with fans and listeners, and I’m so excited to partner with PodcastOne to bring my podcast to life.”

Current Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis will roll out a weekly show called Keep It A Buck where he’ll offer an inside look at the week that was in the NBA while interviewing current and former players.

Howard’s show, Plugged In with Chris Howard, will take a look at some of the biggest headlines in the NFL and get to the bottom of those stories. He’ll also interview athletes and other stars from the world of entertainment to give listeners plenty of behind-the-scenes scoops.

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Amazon’s Thursday Night Football Ratings Up In Week 4

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers.

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Bengals-Dolphins
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Amazon Prime Video is the first to tout its NFL success in Week 4 of the season. The week’s first game, the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Miami-Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, averaged 11.7 million viewers.

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers. That number also represents a massive increase over last year’s Week 3 game from last year (Jaguars-Bengals) which averaged 8 million viewers. That game aired on the NFL Network.

Amazon also noted that the streaming service gathered 13.4 million viewers across all platforms for the Thursday night game.

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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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