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Bomani Jones: “Everything Is So Saturated Right Now, I Don’t Know How Anything Breaks Through”

“There’s only 24-hours in a day, there’s only so much of this stuff that any of us are doing that people are going to be able to listen to.”

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Bomani Jones

Bomani Jones was a featured speaker at SXSW on the Sportico stage in Austin, TX. Jones, who has been in the media now for 24 years, talked a lot about the relationship between athletes and the media. Jones believes the lack of trust between the two has led to a ton of athletes using social media and/or creating their own podcasts to get their message out.

“All these cats are trying to get like us,” Jones said about athletes wanting to be in the media space. He also pointed out that the cool kids in the relationship between athletes and media is clearly on the athlete side.

“The cool kids are the people we cover,” he said. “In fact, a great deal of the resentment that comes from the dynamic between the two groups has a lot to do with the fact that a lot of the people who cover sports can’t live with the fact that the cool kids are the ones that we cover. That the people that we cover, by and large, are the ones who are better at their jobs than we are at our jobs. It’s the truth.

“What you wound up with in that dynamic, I believe, is the seeds of what became a time of much greater distrust between the media and athletes, and a building time of declining access that the media had with athletes…and it spreads further and further apart until you get into an era, that’s now this era of social media. What you get there is this relationship used to be symbiotic. People in the media needed the access to the teams and to the athletes, obviously, to do their jobs. And the people on the teams and the athletes…needed the relationships with the media to get out whatever information they wanted for branding, increase your fame, visibility, all this stuff. It used to go back and forth.”

Jones commented on the ways people can now cover teams without having any access to those teams or athletes. “You kind of started and got a level of media that didn’t require access and I say that with no judgement, because I have made a lot of money in that world,” said Jones. “You can talk to me if you want to, but I am going to talk about you regardless. But, that dynamic of people who don’t treat that with enough care, they then create a situation which leads to a lot of distrust that athletes have toward the media, much of it is earned.

“On the other hand, I also think a lot of what goes on with the athletes themselves, is not understanding that there is still a value from a neutral arbiter. So, you can get out here and say whatever it is that you want, but what you want to say may not even be all the things that you need to say and you may not even realize it. It’s not always going to look good for you. But, you’re probably better off opening yourself up to another level of scrutiny or somebody else.”

When the relationship gets broken between the media and the teams or athletes, Jones said that is when the athletes are deciding to do things on their own and not have a relationship with the media. “Once that relationship gets broken and you have this split, we get to where we are now,” Jones said. “Where the athlete really doesn’t need traditional media if the idea is to get your viewpoint across, certainly not if the idea is you want to build your brand, you can go do that all by yourself.”

Jones gave a message to those athletes looking to start their own platforms, saying, “not to underestimate the value of a professional. It’s not that athletes can’t make good content, it’s that most of them, up until this point, are not professionals. I worked at ESPN for a very long time and what happens when you do that is you see athletes who start off doing this and then become professionals.”

Jones named Ryan Clark, Marcus Spears and Shannon Sharpe as athletes who came in and made themselves professional broadcasters and are now doing it at a high level.

“There’s a lot of people making content and they aren’t all good,” Jones said. He was mainly talking about athletes who are just flipping on the microphones and talking without either someone who is qualified to guide them or without them practicing and taking it seriously like their sport, in order to become that professional. Then, Jones pointed out, we really don’t need more content. “Everything is so saturated right now, that I don’t know how anything breaks through,” he said. “There’s only 24-hours in a day, there’s only so much of this stuff that any of us are doing that people are going to be able to listen to.”

Jones hit on the topic of podcasts as a whole and said, “I worry about podcast as a medium just generally speaking, because it is something that literally anybody can do. I am not saying that like it’s good, I’m not saying that like it’s bad..but anybody can do it…Literally anybody can do it…and everybody can, but it doesn’t mean everybody should.”

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Sports Online

Report: Scott Van Pelt to Relaunch ‘SVPod’ with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions

This news comes on the heels of ESPN and Omaha Productions announcing a nine-year, multi-platform rights extension through 2034.

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Graphic for the SVPod and logos for ESPN and Omaha Productions

ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt is bringing his ‘SVPod’ podcast back after nine months off. According to Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy, Van Pelt has partnered with Peyton Manning and Omaha Productions and along with show co-host ‘Stanford’ Steve Coughlin, they will dop two shows per week. McCarthy also reports that as part of the deal, ESPN will air the video version of the show on their YouTube page.

This news comes on the heels of ESPN and Omaha Productions announcing a nine-year, multi-platform rights extension through 2034. As part of the deal, Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli will continue, which recently attained an average of 1.24 million viewers over its nine-game slate.

The series, which has been on the air for the last three seasons, features former NFL quarterbacks and Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli Manning who break down the game and welcome several special guests.

Van Pelt’s ‘SVPod’ debuted on January 14, 2020. At that time, Van Pelt was looking for more time to expound on various topics or have longer interviews with topical guests.

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Yahoo Sports Adds Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson East as Correspondent

“I’m excited to watch the world’s best athletes compete on the biggest stage and take fans behind the scenes along the way.”

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Photos of Shawn Johnson East
Courtesy: Brand-Innovators.com and Getty Images

Yahoo Sports announced is adding Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East as a correspondent for this summer’s games in Paris. Johnson East will be in France to deliver coverage of the gymnastics competition as well as additional moments such as the Opening Ceremony.

She’ll contribute analysis, athlete interviews, and features that bring fans closer to the games’ biggest stories. She’ll also provide reaction to the gymnastics U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June. Johnson East’s coverage will be available across Yahoo Sports platforms and via her social channels. 

“It’s such an honor to be able to return to the Olympics in 2024 with my family for the first time to be an official correspondent for Yahoo Sports,” Johnson East said. “I’m excited to watch the world’s best athletes compete on the biggest stage and take fans behind the scenes along the way.”

Johnson East won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympic balance beam event. She won silver in the team, all-around, and floor exercise events. After retiring from gymnastics in 2012, Shawn has gone on to write a New York Times best-selling book, win Dancing with the Stars, and start a YouTube channel with more than 405 million views and a popular podcast with her husband, Andrew.

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The Dan Patrick Podcast Network Adds Two Jomboy Media Shows

“I love entertainment that surprises and informs, which makes ‘Jimmy’s Three Things’ and ‘Wake N’ Jake’ great additions to my podcast network.”

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Logos for the Jimmy's 3 Things and Wake n JAke podcasts

iHeartPodcasts, Dan Patrick and Jomboy Media announced a partnership to add the “Jimmy’s Three Things” and “Wake N’ Jake” podcasts to The Dan Patrick Podcast Network, effective immediately.

Co-produced by Patrick, iHeartPodcasts, Workhouse Media and Jomboy Media, “Jimmy’s Three Things” and “Wake N’ Jake” — individually hosted by Jomboy Media co-founders Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien” and Jake Storiale, respectively — are available now on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere podcasts are heard.

In each episode of Jimmy’s Three Things, Jomboy reveals his “3 things” of the week. Wake N’ Jake covers the biggest storylines across the world of sports, including the latest trades, injuries, prospects, draft previews, predictions, and more.

“Dan Patrick’s an originator of the fun-first, fan-driven sports community that Jomboy Media is built upon,” said Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien in a release. “Partnering with his podcast network is a tremendous opportunity to take two of our most fun shows to the new level.”

“I grew up watching Dan Patrick and to be working with him now is a dream.” said Jake Storiale. “It’s really cool to see our company grow in so many organic and surprising ways, and now some of our shows will be hosted on one of the biggest podcast platforms in the country.”

“Moments with Jimmy ‘Jomboy’ O’Brien and Jake Storiale are rarely predictable,” shared Dan Patrick. “I love entertainment that surprises and informs, which makes ‘Jimmy’s Three Things’ and ‘Wake N’ Jake’ great additions to my podcast network.”

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