NFL Hires First VP and GM of Sports Betting
The NFL took a dramatic step & created an entirely new position to the front office of the league. The League announced David Highhill as the first Vice President, General Manager of Sports Betting.
The NFL created an entirely new position to the front office of the league. The League announced David Highhill as the first Vice President, General Manager of Sports Betting.
Highhill, a longtime NFL employee of ten years, was previously a member of the league’s corporate strategy group. There he led the league’s go-to-market sports betting initiatives.
What will the vice president and general manager of sports betting in the NFL do? He will lead efforts to protect the sport’s integrity from harm related to gambling. He’s also in charge of advancing the league’s brand and reputation, and according to the NFL, grow the value of the NFL’s data and intellectual property and drive fan engagement globally.
“It’s a growing market, it’s grown a lot in the last three or four seasons,” Highhill said to ESPN. “What’s ahead is the exciting part of the opportunity.”
Highhill begins the job at a very critical juncture in the league’s history with sports betting. Last year, sportsbooks advertised during NFL games for the first time. The NFL and member franchises have also partnered with various sports betting operators. And since the United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the federal statute that had restricted regulated sports betting to primarily Nevada, nearly three dozen states have made the activity legal.
Pat McAfee: I Tried To Give NFL Insiders Chance To Break Adam Thielen Signing
“I gave eight minutes there to be like, this is not my game.”
Pat McAfee wishes NFL insiders like Ian Rapoport would break league news while appearing on his show. He never thought he would have the chance to break some free agency news himself.
Over the weekend, wide receiver Adam Thielen reached out to McAfee on Twitter asking if Pat wanted to break some news. McAfee hesitated initially before responding, but Thielen tipped McAfee off about his new deal with the Carolina Panthers.
On his show Monday, McAfee said part of the reason he waited was because he wanted to give the true insiders like Rapoport a chance to report it first.
“I am not an insider’s business person, and I assume every minute counts in this entire game,” McAfee said.
Pat added that he thought with time being of the essence, eight minutes was more than enough time for the insiders to do their part.
“I gave eight minutes there to be like, this is not my game,” McAfee said. “There’s people that work their f***ing asses off to get this type of thing.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Peter King: Adam Schefter Shouldn’t Be Surprised Aaron Rodgers Told Him to ‘Pound Sand’
“Being a celebrity or a public figure in no way diminishes anyone’s right-to-privacy vs an unknown neighbor two blocks over.”
Colleague or not, Peter King is not running to defend Adam Schefter after the ESPN NFL insider was told “lose my number” by Aaron Rodgers last week. In this week’s Football Morning in America column, King writes that even though he is a celebrity at the center of the NFL’s biggest story, Rodgers still has the right to privacy if he wants it.
“Adam Schefter is free to pursue leads and stories and info/rumor confirmation in any legal manner he sees fit,” King wrote. “But if Aaron Rodgers did not personally provide a contact tel # to Adam Schefter and grant permission for Schefter to contact him, then Schefter should be neither chagrined nor surprised when Rodgers tells him to go pound sand.”
Schefter has not complained about the interaction, though some colleagues have called Aaron Rodgers out. It seemed he published the text exchange in good spirits after Rodgers talked about it on The Pat McAfee Show.
Peter King notes that there was a time when the NFL made sure reporters had every phone number they needed. That isn’t the case anymore and he understands why.
“I’ve witnessed the pendulum swing, from the days of everybody knowing (or having access to) everybody else’s phone number, to heightened privacy concerns a few decades later, now to google providing instant access to background checks and personal info on billions of people worldwide, with just a few clicks,” he wrote. “Being a celebrity or a public figure in no way diminishes anyone’s right-to-privacy vs an unknown neighbor two blocks over.”
King also acknowledges that it may be hard for the audience, particularly its younger members, to understand his position. We live in a world where so many put their lives on social media. If Aaron Rodgers isn’t one of those people though, King writes it is not unreasonable for him to be put off by someone having his contact information that he did not give it to.
Dan Le Batard: ‘Does Sports Media Care if Interviews Are Done Well?’
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is.”
Mike Greenberg had praise for Jalen Rose this week. He said that no one but his ESPN colleague could have handled the interview with Ja Morant that has been airing on the network. Dan Le Batard has the exact opposite opinion of what he saw.
“What I saw was soft and didn’t seem to serve anybody except ESPN,” Le Batard said on his Thursday show. “This seems to be a lot of people around the economy of basketball and Ja Morant orchestrating an interview so Ja Morant can move onto the next stage of his branding.”
Whereas Greenberg thought the shared experience of an NBA career made Rose more likely to get answers from Morant, Le Batard said it created a problem. He accused Rose of letting Morant get away with using “talking points” in lieu of answering any actual questions about the string of erratic behavior and disturbing incidents the Memphis Grizzlies star has been involved with.
It wasn’t the only interview that Dan Le Batard pointed to. He noted that Pat McAfee’s interview with Aaron Rodgers may have drawn an audience of nearly half a million, but very little substance was offered.
“Does anybody in the audience, in sports fandom, or even, at this point, in sports media companies, care in a real and legitimate way whether the interview is done well or not?”
He added that the standard has changed for these interviews because the goal has changed. They are no longer about journalism as much as they are about branding, particularly in the case of ESPN’s exclusive interview with Ja Morant.
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is,” Le Batard concluded. “All you need, if you’re the media partner, is please get me the famous guy to sit down.”