Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

BSM Writers

Charlie Dixon is Confident in The Present and Future of FS1

“I think we’re creating the content people want to watch, and then they’ll let us know if they don’t like it, but right now they like it.”

Derek Futterman

Published

on

Charlie Dixon
Courtesy: FOX Sports

The sports media ecosystem is in a state of dynamic change concurrent with fluctuations in consumption habits, technological capabilities and means of dissemination. Rather than remaining reactive, FS1 has positioned itself to be adept in reacting and making changes should they be necessary.

When media outlets reported tension and dissonance between Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe at FS1’s morning program Undisputed, fans became wary of the future of the show. Since the program’s inception in 2016, both co-hosts had connected with audiences through their candid conversations on different topics around the world of sports.

As all of this was occurring, Craig Carton was in the midst of working at WFAN without a contract as he balanced his radio duties with trying to build a new morning show on FS1. Carton had yet to make the decision to commit to FS1 on a full-time basis and leave WFAN, something he came to terms with in late-June.

With a sense of uncertainty in the mornings, afternoons proved to be stable with FS1’s programs consistently displaying a growth trajectory. Although the morning programs were at an ostensible inflection point, Charlie Dixon, the network’s executive vice president of content, knew that everything would end up working out.

“I love that we’re the jetski [and] not the ocean liner because when these things are happening – when a new platform comes out and is actually succeeding; when a new talent comes to fruition that we didn’t even know how big they were going to become – we’re able to water that plant and it grows,” Dixon said. “I have not seen that in my experience to date better than it’s done at this company.”

The outcome became more clear when Sharpe reached a buyout with FOX Sports, ending his time on Undisputed and the distribution of his podcast, Club Shay Shay, through the company. Sharpe was officially a media free agent, and after a summer of widespread speculation, he announced that his independent media company, Shay Shay Media, was partnering with The Volume in a content deal that included his hit podcast. Shortly thereafter, he inked a deal with ESPN to serve as a contributor on First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim, frequently making appearances on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

“You’re in a deal and then all of a sudden, Shannon wants 175 catches versus the 100 he was getting with the Broncos, and you move on,” Dixon said. “To me, it felt very natural. I felt like I think he’s doing great, [and] I want nothing but great for him because, frankly, it looks good for everybody here too. We want him to do well because that’s why we invested in him in the first place.”

As Sharpe was contemplating his next destination, Dixon was involved in the process of creating a revamped edition of Undisputed that would re-emerge on the network’s airwaves just before the start of the NFL season. Dixon previously worked in programming at ESPN and helped develop First Take, which had transitioned to a format with a rotation of panelists to debate Smith on various topics from around the sports world. Rather than naming a new permanent commentator to work with Bayless, the network decided to install a rotation of its own, with Richard Sherman, Josina Anderson, Keyshawn Johnson, Rachel Nichols and Michael Irvin joining the mix.

“We definitely did not lean on what First Take was doing; we were leaning on what I thought was best for what people are trying to consume right now, and I think Skip has so much more to offer than just the debate thing,” Dixon said. “He’s the best-ever on earth at the debate format, and we still have some part of that in the show, but the reality is the guy’s had an amazing career.”

The program is approaching its third month in the new format, something Dixon claims is an achievement for a show that had been in the same format for seven years. Although there have been reports of the program falling short of First Take in the ratings, the current focus is towards constructing and airing stellar content that serves the viewing audience.

“The three months is very hard to reformat for a person who’s kind of redefined a category, right?,” Dixon said. “Everybody would admit it that he created the debate format, and then he’s evolving the show where it takes a minute. Now all of these people are really resonating towards our goal of, ‘Let’s just have the most impressive conversation in all of sports television,’ and he’s working on that; it takes a minute.”

Preceding Undisputed is Craig Carton, a veteran sports media personality primarily appearing on a television program for the first time in his career. Since Carton signed a deal granting FOX Sports exclusivity over his media rights, The Carton Show has added a permanent co-host in David Jacoby and analyst Willie Colon, and conducted various interviews with key personnel around the world of sports.

“It’s all habit-forming,” Dixon said. “We can’t force it; if we could, it would be very easy. I think you just have to keep them available in very specific time slots where they know where they can get it, and now that’s kind of evolving into wherever you want to consume them, but making sure that they know.”

FOX Sports has distinctive studio offerings across its properties, but the FOX NFL Sunday cast has been synonymous and accumulated extolment from viewers around the world. The crew displays its strong chemistry with one another and fosters a connection with fans every week, providing viewers with levity and repartee on a weekly basis that further compels viewers to tune in.

Dixon is aware of the synergies that exist throughout the company, and has been working to translate the aura on the gameday programming to daily studio shows. Up and down the new programming lineup, a resounding modus operandi has been adopted that focuses on celebrating sports. That approach has translated into quantitative results.

As an example, Speak, featuring Joy Taylor, Emmanuel Acho and LeSean McCoy, is up 70% year-over-year (YoY) and has attained 12 consecutive months of YoY viewership growth. The hosts frequently watch games together and converse beyond the standard workday, underscoring how they have been able to develop strong chemistry on the air.

“I think people watch sports because they want to be entertained, and sometimes the content had gone to a little bit more about debate, etc., and we’re about, ‘Let’s have an impassioned conversation and have people that you care to watch and you want to be in that room with,’” Dixon articulated. “I always equate everything to a dinner party; like, ‘Who do you want [at] your dinner party?’”

A similar premise applies to First Things First, which moved into the afternoons last fall after starting out in mornings. The program is led by Nick Wright, a dynamic and distinctive on-air talent that Dixon believes is better suited to work in the afternoons than the mornings. Wright has been hosting the show since it took the air in 2017 and met with Dixon to compile the remainder of the cast in Chris Broussard and Kevin Wildes.

“That’s not a knock; it’s more that he’s so smart that I think you have to be awake if you’re going to take [in] his content; you have to be there for him,” Dixon said. “It was all about actually chemistry.”

Dixon does not have anything to do with the program on a day-to-day basis except in watching and ensuring that he is supplementing the areas that are working and subsequently paying dividends on the air. Ratings for the show have augmented 97% YoY and the program has had 14 consecutive months of double-digit YoY growth, adequately meeting the audience where it is and providing shrewd yet entertaining perspectives on different storylines within professional sports.

“I think First Things First – and I believe this about all the shows now – you want to be in the room and you would want to be in and out of that conversation,” Dixon said. “Maybe I can be a part of that – you feel a part of it versus feeling bad about things. I think there’s enough negativity in the world right now that sports content should be just positive.”

FOX Sports has been successful at actualizing talent, something Dixon attributes to the willingness of company leadership to take chances and auditing based on results rather than conjecture. Akin to the overall media landscape, the company moves expeditiously and trusts its leadership that it is positioning the brand for sustained growth. Apropos to its uniform mantra, “We are FOX Sports,” the company values collaboration and inquisitiveness to cultivate all types of audiovisual content.

“Obviously you have to know your stuff when you’re going into these conversations,” Dixon said, “but the truth is if you have a plan and you know what you’re looking for from your talent and what the results you’re hoping for [are], it gets done tomorrow, whereas other companies, that could be a six-month conversation and the person has already left.”

With host Colin Cowherd’s contract set to expire early in 2025, Dixon knows that there will be a decision to make pertaining to his future. The Herd leads off afternoons on FS1 and features both Cowherd and co-host Jason McIntyre. In addition to his work with FOX Sports, Cowherd also owns and operates The Volume, a digital media venture that he estimates is worth more than $100 million.

“You’re making your bets on the talent,” Dixon said. “Now if the question is, ‘Would I make a bet on Colin Cowherd?,’ of course. I think he’s honestly one of the top people who’s ever done this in the game.”

Although Cowherd established himself largely through the audio medium, FS1 does not tend to view his existing program as a radio show simulcast on television. Rather the network feels that Cowherd’s program more closely resembles a television show and is simulcast on the air.

“We work with the guys at iHeart all the time to make sure that everybody’s being satiated, but the truth is radio has such a different specific feel to it,” Dixon said. “If you just put radio shows on TV, I have not seen that be a track record for growth.”

When Dixon is at home consuming content, he finds that although he enjoys what is being perpetuated on audio platforms, he misses the visual elements of the programs. Despite the show being tailored for television, Cowherd’s program remains simulcast around the country to a growing number of consumers, the platform through which they follow notwithstanding.

“Making sure we’re just available to everyone across every platform – and that’s not just for radio or linear or broadcast – it’s what we’re doing exhaustively with all of our social content,” Dixon said. “I think we’re really kind of setting a trend there as well.”

FS1 remains focused on offering and promulgating premium brands, and an area of growth has been within its digital offerings. Over the summer, the network unveiled cutting-edge digital studios that house The Joel Klatt Show, State of the Union and The Skip Bayless Show. The location also broadcasts Flippin’ Bats which recently broadcast live from the World Series, airing live content as another viewing option to the traditional MLB on FOX postgame show.

“If you want to consume MLB content on FOX, the more the merrier, right?,” Dixon said. “Why would you only have a limited amount?… Why wouldn’t you have Ben [Verlander] and why wouldn’t you have his access, and why wouldn’t you have him with John Smoltz – and that all of a sudden just creates the ecosystem of, ‘Everybody, we’re all on the same team,’ and I think that is unique to what is going on in sports at FOX.”

Cord cutting remains an evident problem that many media companies have looked to combat through an increased focus on digital content and, for some, the development of a DTC (direct-to-consumer) platform. FOX Sports has not announced plans for offering its shows and live play-by-play in this manner, although it has ownership of the Tubi streaming platform.

“A lot of cable is not doing as well as far as growth pattern,” Dixon said. “I think we’re creating the content people want to watch, and then they’ll let us know if they don’t like it, but right now they like it.”

As a media executive, Dixon is energized by working with hundreds of like-minded individuals who bring passion and expertise to their jobs. He considers himself fortunate to be able to motivate them each day to help the network attain heights either unrealized or previously perceived as outright impossible.

“Keep your eyes open and make sure you know what you think the future looks like,” Dixon said, “and I say that to my groups all the time is, ‘How are we going to grow the thing? This thing took care of us for however many years, right? How are we going to take care of it?’”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

BSM Writers

Sports Radio Advertising is a Great Alternative to Expensive Team Sponsorships

There are plenty of creative ways to tie into sports radio stations, where the fans listen daily, and the investment is often much less than team sponsorships.

Jeff Caves

Published

on

Photo of Citi Field in New York
Photo Credit: Stadium Sponsorship

Not everyone can afford to sponsor a local NFL or college football team. However, there are plenty of creative ways to tie into sports radio stations, where the fans listen daily, and the investment is often much less than team sponsorships. Here are some ideas:

Pitchmen for Hire: Leverage Local Personalities

Thousands of listeners tune in to hear local sports personalities discuss their favorite teams. Hiring these “football expert” personalities to represent your business can significantly boost your ad response. Their endorsement can help you rise above the fray and double your ad response.

Get More Bang for Your Buck: Stand Out

Tie into station activities that make your brand stand out. Sponsor the local team poll on the station’s website, host a remote broadcast the day before a big game, or sponsor a charity promotion and donate to the cause. Breaking through the clutter of commercial breaks requires creativity and involvement in station activities.

Tie into Local Teams Without Sponsoring Them

You don’t have to sponsor the local team to run a promotion about them. Consider running ads offering discounts if the team wins and even more significant discounts if they lose. Your ad rep can help you phrase these promotions to avoid legal issues. True fans listen to sports radio weekly for team-related content, so tap into that passion.

Become a Title Sponsor

Be the title sponsor for interview segments with local players. If the station is conducting regular player interviews, sponsor these segments. If shows don’t run many interviews, consider sponsoring newscasts that feature excerpts from these interviews.

Hire Retired Fan Favorites

Retired players beloved by fans can be an excellent asset for your business. They are often less expensive than current stars but still hold significant appeal. Think of players like Mike Alstott, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, or Nate Newton. These personalities can do spots or appear at your location, adding a memorable touch to your advertising efforts.

Adopt a ‘Mattress Mack’ Strategy

Make an offer based on the local team’s success, like Gallery Furniture in Houston‘s Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale. In 2022, he offered customers double their money back if the Astros won the World Series. Such promotions generate significant publicity and engage the local community, even if the offer is temporary.

Sponsoring a local NFL or major college football team may be out of reach for many clients. Still, numerous creative strategies exist to maximize a sports radio advertising investment. By leveraging local personalities, participating in station activities, and creatively tying your promotions to local sports teams, you can effectively break through the clutter and make a lasting impression on listeners. Engaging fans with innovative offers and memorable endorsements enhances your brand’s visibility and builds a loyal customer base.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Caitlin Clark Media Coverage is Good for Everybody in the WNBA

By tuning in to see what Clark does, viewers are also noticing the many other great WNBA players.

John Molori

Published

on

Screengrab from ESPN's Get Up covering Caitlin Clark
Screengrab: ESPN Get Up

It’s time to talk about Caitlin Clark. The rookie guard for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever has become a legit phenomenon in the media. She has singlehandedly, and I repeat, singlehandedly put the focus on a league that has been largely ignored by mainstream sports talk shows for a quarter century.

Nobody wants to admit that one person can change a sport or a league. It is viewed as a slight to people who came before that special athlete and that special athlete’s contemporaries, but it has happened on numerous occasions, and we’ll get to that.

From a marketing and media standpoint, Caitlin Clark is a human tidal wave of interest, excitement, and anticipation. She quite literally brought tens of millions of eyes to the 2024 Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, and deservedly so, she will most likely earn tens of millions of endorsement dollars from a variety of corporations and their products. She has inspired congratulations and controversy, especially with her recent exclusion from the USA Basketball Women’s National team.

The reaction to Clark’s success and attention from some members of the media and WNBA players has been shocking. Tremendous commentators such as Andraya Carter, Chiney Ogwumike, and Rebecca Lobo have, at times, come off as apologists for WNBA players who are just plain jealous of Clark’s unprecedented popularity.

As ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has explained eloquently, these critics are missing the point from a marketing and economic perspective. Clark has not only helped herself with her play, but has also brought attention and focus to women’s hoops as a whole.

By tuning in to see what Clark does, viewers are also noticing the many other great WNBA players. Clark is that rare breed of athlete who is truly changing the game, making it better and more profitable not only for herself, but for everyone involved at all levels.

On recent editions of ESPN’s First Take, Smith has gone toe to toe with Carter, Ogwumike, and Monica McNutt on the Caitlin Clark issue. The fascinating exchange between Smith and McNutt on the June 3 edition was a watershed moment in recent sports television.

Smith, McNutt, and host Molly Qerim were discussing the hard foul/shove that Chicago’s Chennedy Carter laid on Clark in a WNBA game. The course of the discussion moved toward the rise in WNBA ratings mainly because of Clark’s presence in the league.

The debate eventually came down to a back-and-forth between Smith and McNutt. Smith reiterated his longtime dedication to the WNBA and women’s sports in general. In response, McNutt said that with Smith’s platform, he could’ve been talking as much about the WNBA three years ago, long before Clark’s debut.

Smith was visibly angered and disappointed by McNutt’s comments. On The Stephen A. Smith Show podcast that same day, he defended himself and his show, saying that First Take has been at the forefront of promoting gender, race, age, and all forms of equality and respect.

Smith is 100% correct. This chap has been a champion of women, minorities, and even older media personalities, such as Christopher Russo, whom he has brought to a whole new audience on First Take. Stephen A. Smith is the Arsenio Hall and David Letterman of sports talk. When the syndicated Arsenio Hall Show hit the airwaves in 1989, he was the first late night host to bring hip-hop artists to center stage on a regular basis.

Similarly, Letterman’s “Late Night” on NBC showcased new talent in comedy and music, while bringing irreverence and originality to the tired old talk show format. Smith has done the same. He has made stars out of Ryan Clark, Mina Kimes, Marcus Spears, Kimberley Martin, and many others. He has also raised the profile of already renowned commentators such as Shannon Sharpe, Qerim, and the aforementioned Russo.

Smith has been a stalwart of equity, but that’s not what McNutt was saying. She was saying that with his audience, Smith could’ve talked about the WNBA thereby creating popularity and exposure for the league long before now.

McNutt’s jarring comment put Smith in a humbled position and really hit at his very core, but he took his game to a whole new level the very next day. McNutt was back on First Take, which right there shows the utter gumption that Smith possesses. He could’ve easily let things settle down a bit before he brought McNutt back on the show, but he didn’t. That’s classic Smith – encouraging discourse and disagreement.

When you get to the level of a Stephen A. Smith, you welcome a debating challenge. The last guests you want are sycophantic suck-ups who cowardly agree, no matter what the subject. Smith’s high point on the June 4 episode was when he said in a loud voice, “Caitlin Clark is white.”

He acknowledged the fact that it makes a difference. He also stated that black players who have been just as talented as Clark have not been given their rightful attention – also true. Regarding the perceived negative treatment of Clark by some WNBA players, Smith made it clear that they should not go easy on Clark on the court, but their mindsets need to recognize that Clark is benefitting the WNBA and putting dollars in their collective pockets.

Whether you agree with Smith or not, the fact is that this is what special players like Caitlin Clark do. They raise the level of discussion and simultaneously raise the profile of their respective sports. The WNBA is now in the A-block on highly rated shows like First Take and ESPN’s Get Up.

The league and its players are on the front burner of discussion for Smith, Nick Wright, Colin Cowherd and many other top-tier, multimedia sports debaters. This fact was straight up impossible one year ago. This is what Caitlin Clark has done.

Clark’s impact and stamp on women’s basketball is not unique. There are precedents where one person has made such a difference.

Larry Bird looked different, played different, restored a dead Celtics franchise, and made his mark in a sport that was on life support in terms of media coverage and fan interest. Bird and Magic Johnson rescued the league – a black man on the west coast and a white man on the east coast, two wunderkinds who changed the NBA forever. Caitlin Clark is Larry Bird.

Tiger Woods burst onto the PGA TOUR and won the Masters in 1997, embarking on a run that would see him change the game of golf from a competitive, performance, historic standpoint, and social standpoint. He was charismatic, focused, and yes, an African American phenom smashing records in a white-dominated sport. Caitlin Clark is Tiger Woods.

In 1965, Alabama quarterback Joe Namath eschewed the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals and signed with the AFL’s New York Jets. He raised the profile of the league and garnered more attention and dollars than established AFL stars which made him a target. As the league’s popularity grew however, opposing players recognized his significance beyond the field. They did not go easy on him during games, just ask his knees, but they knew that his success was theirs as well. Namath was the key figure in the eventual AFL/NFL merger. Caitlin Clark is Joe Namath.

Serena Williams was smart, savvy, athletic, fashion conscious, and just plain great. Williams shattered the traditional mold and became an iconoclastic figure in women’s tennis with both her play and personae. The lineage with her sister Venus ushered in a new era in the sport. Serena attacked the game in a unique way. She was exciting and original, and lifted her sport and fellow athletes. Caitlin Clark is Serena Williams.

I am not saying that Clark will have a legendary or Hall of Fame career akin to these illustrious athletes, but the immediate impact she has had on her sport and the media coverage of her sport is similar.

As Smith so often states, Clark is “box office.” You can debate the reasons why, but you cannot debate the fact that she has supremely raised the profile and the financial prospects of women’s basketball and its players.

I understand that other WNBA players want their share of the credit for improving the league. I also understand that WNBA commentators want fairness and equity in terms of attention and the spotlight. However, both groups need to realize that Clark is the main reason that they are getting this increased exposure. On the court, be competitive against Clark and try to beat her and her team. On the air, be critical of Clark and analyze her game, but on a larger scale, understand, accept, and embrace that Caitlin Clark’s most important assist might just be to you.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Joe Tipton Turned Sports Graphics Into a National Reporting Role With On3

“There’s definitely a competitive aspect of it, which I really enjoy actually because it just kind of keeps you on your toes.”

Derek Futterman

Published

on

(Illustration) | Courtesy: On3

In the moments when athletes make a monumental decision about their playing careers, news outlets frequently try to cover the story in a timely and accurate manner. Whether it is signing with a new team in free agency, inking a new endorsement deal or retiring, basketball has plenty of these occurrences annually. These announcements are sometimes accompanied by graphics, adding visual elements of branding and allure to the development. Joe Tipton learned the nuances of photo editing and graphic design at a young age, leading him to create images of NBA players and share them on social media. Observing a lack of interest within the space, he considered doing the same for high school players nearing college commitments.

Tipton Edits, an independent business venture that he began shortly after starting in sports graphic design, provides athletes with a free edit in which their new uniform is superimposed onto an image divulging their new team. These recruits then share the photos on social media and tag Tipton. Especially at the start of the entrepreneurial property, he viewed gaining followers as remuneration, an invaluable currency as digital media continues its swift proliferation.

“I didn’t start making the graphics at 17 to have a job in it – I was just kind of doing it on the side for fun and then just kind of [seeing] where it would go,” Tipton said. “Since I was one of the first people to make graphics for these high school players in their recruiting decisions and now transfers, and now that I’ve built up the presence online and the credibility and the reputation, a lot of them will flock to me, and I think that’s what’s so sustainable about it now.”

The transfer portal keeps Tipton busy in creating and delivering graphics to collegiate athletes moving to a new school. Remaining prepared to create an enticing visual featuring the player in their new uniform and distributing it on social media requires a commitment to the craft. Even though he was a marketing student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, he was still trying to determine the best path forward and ended up transforming his hobby into a sustainable career.

“I was able to communicate with high-level basketball players and create something for them – and all of it free of charge – in exchange just for a tag on Instagram and Twitter, which helped propel me and grow my brand and following online,” Tipton said, “and over the years, [it] got me to where I am now.”

By designing these graphics in advance, Tipton was privy to coveted information and recognized that he could effectively reveal where players were signing. His work has been featured on various sports outlets such as ESPN and Bleacher Report and shared by NBA legends including Shaquille O’Neal and Scottie Pippen.

On3, a digital sports media brand that delivers news, analysis and insights to consumers regarding college sports, recruiting and NIL, added Tipton as a national basketball reporter after he graduated from college. Since that time, he has established himself as a distinguished journalist covering high school and college basketball.

“[I] had an opportunity to join On3 because basically what I was doing when supplying the graphic to a high school recruit and even transfers now in the portal, I am being gifted the knowledge of where a player is going,” Tipton said, “so I’m able to report that information, and that’s basically what I serve as now for On3.”

Joining On3 provided him with another platform to disseminate this information and expand his audience while assisting the company in its own growth. Shannon Terry founded On3 in 2021, and the platform has continued to expand with dedicated coverage of NIL, the transfer portal and the NFL Draft, along with adding subsidiary verticals such as On3 Elite and On3 HER.

“When it comes to the transfers and their decision making, it’s so rapid fire, and there’s so many players that enter the transfer portal because of NIL, because of instant opportunities and also the ability to play right away and not have to sit out like the previous rules stated,” Tipton articulated, “so it increased the need for what I do and just the coverage of the transfer portal in general has taken a significant leap, which is great for those who cover the portal and recruiting in general.”

Tipton earned a contract extension at On3 earlier in the year, but he has always operated with a chip on his shoulder to prove that he is more than just a graphic designer. While he is a recent graduate and continuing to shape his identity and forge relationships, he believes the process has been considerably slow to this point. Nonetheless, he remains optimistic that working with On3 will be able to propel him to the next level.

“They didn’t view me as a reporter even though I was breaking news, so especially in the earlier stages, I wasn’t getting credit for breaking the news just because I guess they didn’t view me as a reporter [or] traditional media outlet,” Tipton said. “But ever since joining On3, that’s kind of painted me in a new light, and people will look at me a little bit differently, especially with the coverage that I’m able to provide for On3 and then just the overall stories broken.”

There is an aspect of fluctuation that has become more embedded in college basketball, rendering it fundamental to verify information ahead of its circulation. For example, if a player informs Tipton that they are committing to a certain school, he will oftentimes call the coaches or athletics department to safeguard against complicating miscommunication between the two entities. In the end, he is never releasing graphics or reports without extreme confidence in its veracity.

“There’s definitely a competitive aspect of it, which I really enjoy actually because it just kind of keeps you on your toes,” Tipton said. “It’s kind of a rush as well to be able to get it out first, but the first year on the job with On3, there was an incredible amount of pressure that I put on myself to just achieve this at a high level, but there’s also a great deal of stress that comes with it because a lot of what I do is time sensitive.”

Although he has a stellar reporting record dating back to his days solely creating graphics, there are moments when other reporters or outlets beat him to the story. In these situations, the power of his brand and its identity assists in overcoming these impediments, indicative of his broad appeal and widespread reach. Establishing himself as a brand rather than being a graphic designer or reporter within a larger entity has been a key differentiator within his formative years in the business.

“I think it’s the key to sustainability and a way to separate yourself from other people, so I’m incredibly fortunate that the players believe in me, trust in me and then On3 does the same because I’m a source for the player that they can come to and trust, and we all grow together,” Tipton said. “I help grow the player, [and] I help grow On3. On3 helps grow me [and] the player helps grow me because they’re all posting my stuff, we’re posting them, so we’re all on this together, so it’s really nice.”

Tipton never envisioned himself appearing in front of the camera, but he is now doing so regularly for On3. As part of its content, he frequently discusses the latest news regarding recruitment, the transfer portal and NIL in addition to synthesizing player rankings.

“[I am] obviously only just scratching the surface of the on-camera stuff, but I think that is a strong potential avenue for me moving forward in my career,” Tipton said, “but then also my ability to break news at a high level and also the relationships that I have just when it comes to the recruiting insider portion of my job as well.”

Later this month, Tipton will see some of the players for whom he has created graphics soon enter the NBA when the NBA Draft takes place from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Although he has not assimilated into reporting on the NBA, he is competitive and has thought about his future work. Yet he understands that a majority of his verve is in college basketball and is focused on breaking news beyond recruiting.

“The good thing about me and kind of how I was brought up was I wasn’t raised in a family that was a fan of a specific team; in fact, my parents aren’t even sports fans at all,” Tipton said. “Sports was just not on at all growing up, so I never grew up a specific fan or a diehard of any specific program.”

Reflecting back on his journey thus far, Tipton feels that he stumbled into his career with fortuitous timing. The versatility he has developed, along with his persistence, networking and inexorable work ethic, has contributed to the growth of Tipton Edits and his role with On3.

Tipton found a way to cut through the media ecosystem, investing his time and effort into a niche that did not exist with the level of cache and emphasis that it currently possesses. The industry moves with unrelenting momentum and can seem imposing to shrewdly understand and cover, but Tipton aims to masterfully keep up while enjoying his journey to an unknown destination.

“We live in a world where, especially younger people, they’re keen on growing their social media presence,” Tipton said, “so On3, Tipton Edits and others alike are able to grow their channels, so they’re encouraged to utilize services like mine to help kind of propel their following and for it to reach a large number of people.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.