Recently Maury Brown posted an article on Forbes (apologies you’ll have to wait 3 seconds for the quote and advert before seeing the post (is that actually working Forbes?)).  Here is a link to the #SportsMoney50 (print version), I’ve never been a fan of the Forbes user experience.

Congratulations to those mentioned in the article. It includes many past and future guests of the Sports Geek Podcast, great friends and colleagues.

WHO MADE THE CUT

Let’s break down the list:

  • Media Outlets – 4
  • Reporters/Analysts – 15
  • Brand Building – 7
  • Media & Technology – 9
  • Sports Law – 4
  • Resources – 6
  • Academics – 6

WHAT IS THE LIST MISSING?

PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE USA

The sports business is far larger than just the United States market. The United States sports business scene is a leader in many areas such as stadium technology, fan data analytics, digital streaming trends and more. However the list fails to reflect and acknowledge that there is significant activity in Europe, Asia and Australia that deserves recognition.

PEOPLE WHO WORK IN SPORTS

Surprisingly only one person who was listed, Jon Schwartz (NASCAR), worked for a sports organisation. Most listed were sports business media accounts, academics or consultants to the sports industry.  

TOO MANY BRANDS. NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE.

In my experience I’ve found people follow people more than they are attracted to brands on Twitter. My account @seancallanan has more followers than @SportsGeek and I interact via my account rather than on @SportsGeek which is more focussed on broadcast content.

So here is my alternate list of people you should connect with and not just follow for 2017.

If you made the #SportsMoney50 list you can’t make this list (apologies to Russell Scibetti @rscibetti & JW Cannon @cannonjw you are both alternates on this squad.)

What is my criteria for selection:

  • They are smart people
  • They are giving of their time & knowledge
  • You can meet them in person (unlike a brand)
  • They are working hard in the sports business (which might be why they don’t tweet too often)

Europe

Richard Clarke – @MrRichardClarke

⚽️ Sports Digital/Social Media/Content Consultant, Speaker (#SEAT #SXSW2017) Journalist, Broadcaster, Blogger | #Arsenal #EPL #Rapids96 #MLS | Views ≠ employers

Richard is a unique talent with strong editorial background from his time at Arsenal and Colorado and is always pushing the boundaries of how his stories can be told on social media.  Keep up with him via MrRichardClarke.com.

Taylor Bloom – @taylorhbloom

@SportTechie CEO

Taylor is the brains behind Sport Techie, great to see the site develop and grow over the years. If you read Sport Techie you should connect with Taylor.

Bas Schnater – @BasSchnater

#FanEngagement @AZAlkmaar | MSc./BBA | Flipboard Magazine (http://flip.it/1451G ) | Current @SBI_Barcelona student, future @Cruyff_Inst_INT

Bas is always sharing whatever he finds in his search for the holy grail of Fan Engagement.  Now working in Sport I don’t expect Bas to tweet less though.

Jesper Nyholm – @nyholmdk

Digital Health Entrepreneur | Founder & CEO at 7peaks.dk | Guided 250k to peak 7 days a week | Mens Physique silver medalist 2016 | Love my wife & bonus kids

Jesper is on the leading edge on how NGOs can leverage digital, if you can put up with how ridiculously fit he is (yes Jesper I’m headed to the gym).

Pearse Connolly – @Pearse

Director Business Development, Norwegian Football Association

Pearse is doing great things in Norwegian Football where the fan is at the centre of everything they do.

Oscar Ugaz – @oscarugaz

Digital Business Manager (@realmadrid@SABMiller Toyota @Promperu) #digisport #sportsbiz #countrybranding

Oscar is known due to his experience at Real Madrid and has expanded upon it since leaving helping businesses understand how they can leverage digital.

Tom Rubashow – @tomrubashow

International sports comms @Pitchlondon, shouty left-back, #Timberwolves, talking football, @NBAUK and cricket. Big podcast guy.

Tom has his finger on the pulse of digital and PR in London, if you need to connect to someone Tom will be able to help.

Luca Massaro – @iamluca

All things digital marketing in sport. CEO at Digital Agency @WePlayCo and Founder of @FutureSportCo. Suffering #NUFC fan

Luca is driving activations at WePlay, if you want to know more about what is happening on the sponsorship side of business in Europe then Luca is your goto.

Daniel McLaren – @DanielMclaren

Founder of @DigitalSportUK, host of the Digital Sport podcast, event organiser/moderator/speaker. Also freelance social media guy.

Daniel is a long time contributor to #digisport scene (a hashtag that is far more prevalent outside USA) and now he has joined the growing ranks of podcasters. Digital Sport Leaders is worth a listen even with me as a guest.

Richard Ayers – @richardayers

CEO of @7League – digital consultancy/agency specialising in sport. #FBA2016 Agency of the Year. Understanding, growing, monetising audiences.

Richard is driving results for 7League clients in the digital space after leaving Man City years ago. Don’t be scared by the red beard he is a good guy.

Alex Kunawicz – @AlexKunawicz

Vice President of Strategy at Laduma VR

Alex left Liverpool and is now in one of the hottest areas in tech – VR. Check out Laduma doing deals for VR broadcasts in sports.

Tom Halls – @NRG_Tim3z0n3

CDO @NRGgg. Co-founder of Rufus. Tech geek at heart. Views my own, rarely useful.

Tom has left the world of sports (or has he?). Tom recently finished up at Formula E to take up a role esports franchise NRG Esports. Esports is an exciting space for sports marketing so keep an eye on Tom.

Chris Harris – @ChrisHarris1975

Arsenal managing editor, lover of sport, music, film, history and politics. Views expressed are my own

Chris drives the digital presence at Arsenal (that’s why he doesn’t tweet too often). Keep an eye for local Arsenal campaigns in your part of the world, that is Chris behind the scenes.

Australia/New Zealand

Blair Hughes – @MrBlairHughes

Head of Ops ANZ @audioBoom | PhD Candidate @WesternSydneyu | @StadiumJourney Correspondent | #FanExperience | #FanEngagement |#MusicBiz | #SportsBiz |

Blair is prolific tweeter, traveller and Pinterester (if that’s a word). I sometimes wonder when he sleeps given the amount of content Blair has a say on. He never saw a stadium activation that has been photographed and shared. Someone reading this will hire Blair soon enough so enjoy his content while you can.

Natalle Brown – @NatalleBrown

Membership Strategy Manager @Collingwoodfc, keen wine drinker, proud #DistantThunder member and lover of food. Opinions, often hilarious, my own.

Natalle is one the smartest membership & ticketing operators I know. A long career in sports including North Melbourne Kangaroos, Melbourne Storm and now managing fans across three teams at Collingwood (AFL, Super Netball, Women’s AFL). Nat knows how to get the “cheeks on the seats”.

Michael Brown – @MichaelB2015

Michael is long time sports administrator that has worked in particularly every sport in Australia. Michael ran the super successful Asian Cup tournament in 2015 and has forgotten more about sports business than most people hope to know.

Rob Squillacioti – @robsquilla

Head of Marketing, Digital & Fan Engagement @FFA Football is my life, along w/ family and loved ones. Love talking football, esp. Oz football. Views are my own.

Rob is driving force behind the rise of Australian Football online. His team has helped grow the A-League digital channels and attendance via digital, culminating in a new TV deal with Fox Sports.

Rob Mills – @Millsyrob

Director & CEO @thegembagroup. Providing Insights, Strategy & Communications to brands and rights holders in the Sport & Entertainment industry. #goingtogemba

Rob runs Gemba and has his finger on the pulse on trends in sports business from participation to sponsorship, he is on a mission to see a Big Bash game on Christmas day.

David Burtenshaw – @DBCrows

Sport, digital, content and fans. Adelaide Crows. Arsenal. West Torrens.

David is the quick wit behind the Adelaide Crows digital department if @adelaide_fc has a dig back they are DB’s thumbs. He leads a strong digital team at the Crows.

Andrew Condon – @_condo

Director & Head of Sport and Entertainment Marketing @thegembagroup Helping to build stronger brands through Sport & Entertainment | Views are my own.

Andrew or “Condo” as he is known is driving results for Gemba clients through research and sponsorship activations.

Craig Hutchison – @craighutchy

Crocmedia CEO. BallPark chairman. Podcast at @soundingboardep

Craig or “Hutchy” as he has been known for many years in Melbourne is not only the new host of the AFL Footy Show but is running a rising media business Crocmedia that pulled a massive coup securing the AFL radio rights for next 6 years.

Nick Truelson – @nicktruelson

Chief Commercial Officer @westernbulldogs married with 2 young kids, @WhiteRibbonAust Ambassador loves sport #sportsbiz & travel

Nick is one of the most passionate #sportsbiz executives there is. He connects with sports executives around the world looking to implement best practice at the Western Bulldogs. He revelled like all Bulldog fans in their fairy tale win in 2016.

Anthony Everard – @BigBashLeagueHQ

Head of Big Bash League. Snippets of what goes on behind the scenes managing the BBL.

Anthony is the architect of the very successful Big Bash League now in its sixth season. Part cricket, part family entertainment, part fireworks, the Big Bash has been a big success in terms of attendance and TV ratings.

Vince Crivelli – @VinceCrivelli

Happy husband, proud father, part of the Melbourne United crew.

Vince undertook the task to rebrand the Melbourne Tigers and bring them back from the nearly closing the doors on the historic franchise. Melbourne United is now hanging the sold out sign more often and bring innovation to game day entertainment in Australia.

Andrew Fagan – @Fages1

CEO, Adelaide Football Club. @Adelaide_FC The other half of #smages #18 Instagram: @fages1 @YPO

Andrew took over the Adelaide CEO early in 2015 and steered the club through the tumultuous times of Phil Walsh’s tragic death. He managed their successful move to Adelaide Oval and continues to push fan engagement innovation.

Francis Leach – @SaintFrankly

Official account of Francis Leach. Sports broadcaster, DJ, father, husband, Gooner and left sided midfielder.. Opinions are mine and not those of my employer.

Francis is a mainstay of Australian radio and sport. Francis has called most Australian sports and has interviewed the biggest of stars. Never known for a backward step, known as Frank by name and nature alike.

Greg Oakford – @GregOakford

@Golf_Vic Marketing & Communications Manager. Hoops & podcast lover. @gregoakford on Instagram

Greg knows how to produce more with less. Although light on resources (aren’t we all) Greg continues to deliver results for Golf Victoria across digital and sponsorship.

Dave Arthur – @drsportbiz

English born, sport business consultant & pracademic. Good head for blogging, writing, radio & do all three. Love life, home, rugby & Billy Bragg.

Dave is a great bloke looking to help the next generation of #SportsBiz executives connecting them with world leaders at conferences and via @isportedu.

Lou Sticca – @Lou_Sticca

Official Twitter account for MD of Tribal Sports Group – life long fan of Juventus and Carlton Football Clubs

Lou is the guy behind the scenes bringing the world’s biggest football teams to Australia. If you want to make it in football ⚽  you need to meet Lou. You can do that at his Money in Sport conference in Gold Coast later this year.

Shane Harmon – @ShaneHarmon

#Sportsbiz pro. Irish. Lover of all sports, master of none. CEO @WestpacStadium NZ. Formerly GM Marketing @RugbyWorldCup 2003 & 2011.

Shane would be the most well connected sports CEO in the world. Not many CEOs not only stay up to date on digital, fan engagement, stadium, technology and ticketing trends as well as publish the world’s leading Flipboard magazine on the subject. To top things off he also is a beer aficionado.

David Harris – @daveharrisAUS

Sport Business: M&A and Optimisation. #sportsbiz LG Dire Wolves #esports

David is a former #sportsbiz lifer that has now started a sports venture firm Genevieve Capital. First purchase was esports team the @DireWolvesgg. Keep an eye on Dave and esports.

Nathan Mott – @DWRippii

Founder and CEO of @direwolvesgg

Nathan is the founder of LG Dire Wolves he may be young in human years but in esports he is an old head.

North America

Christine Stoffel – @CBRCIO

CEO of SEAT

Christine is driving force behind SEAT Conference, she connects the best sports executives from technology, digital & CRM at her conferences in USA and Europe. It is testament to her commitment to the group that many attendees return each year. See you in Atlanta in July, Christine!

Tod Caflisch – @tcaflisch

Seasoned professional sports information technology executive with a passion for out of the box solutions to complex challenges.

Tod is a #sportsbiz lifer having worked in NBA, NHL and now in NFL at Minnesota Vikings. Tod is one smart guy when it comes to sports and stadium technology and I’m not just saying that because he could crush me like a grape (ok maybe a little).

Lenny Goh – @lennygoh

GIFS. #SportsBiz enthusiast. BizDev for @tradablebits software that powers fan based marketing. Formerly @indochino, @recon, @canucks, @bestbuycanada

Lenny is driving campaign and data acquisition goals across sports and music industry with Tradable Bits. He knows how to connect fans with engaging campaigns that weave results into your CRM and ticketing campaigns alike. A strong contributor to #SportsBiz Slack Community.

Eric Blankenship – @eblankenship

Vice President of Marketing for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Storm & Amalie Arena, Husband, Father & Friend. Often times these all run together.

Eric had been lucky to do his #sportsbiz apprenticeship around the USA and then return for his hometown Tampa Bay to run marketing for the Lightning. Eric is a creative grinder always looking for a new way to engage the #DistantThunder .

Troy Kirby – @SportsTao

Consultant, podcaster & the most hated man in montana

Troy is a podcasting machine with the Tao of Sports, I’m serious I don’t know how he has produced the volume of quality podcast interviews over the last few years. But Troy isn’t a one trick pony that can ask questions on a podcast, he knows ticketing. If you want to solve ticketing problem Troy is who I would call.

Joe Gottfried – @joegottfried

Digital Media Sales @ Maple Leaf Sports

Joe was in media sales at MLSE before jumping into digital & social sales. He works to drive more revenue from digital assets while walking the tightrope of commercialisation and fan engagement.

John McCauley – @JohnMcCauley

Tech Strategist | Media Marketer | Audience Builder | Managing Director @ GJM Media Inc. #sportsbiz

John has worked on both sides of the sports business technology fence working at a team, at a vendor and now as a consultant. He understands the frustrations teams have and knows what is needed to deliver a project.

Adam Martin – @TAdamMartin

Creative director, @MadebyMtn. Podcaster, @MakersofSport. Passionate about design, brands & tech in the #sportsbiz. @USABYouth coach. | Snap/IG: TAdamMartin

Adam brings a creative flair to the sports business podcasting scene with the Makers of Sport. If you love pixels, brand design and knowing the story behind the logos of your fave sports then you should listen to Adam’s podcast. Like all podcasters Adam pays the bills with consulting and design work if you need a new look send him a tweet.

Daniel Brusilovsky – @danielbru

Digital Initiatives Lead at @Warriors. Co-Founder of @imoji. Founded @TeensinTech. Previously at @Ribbon, @HighlandCapital, @TechCrunch and Qik.

Daniel is in the unique role of Digital Initiatives Lead at the Golden State Warriors helping one of the world’s leading digital and technology teams look to maintain ties to Silicon Valley and meet expectations of the tech savvy Bay Area fan base. He knows all the movers and shakers in tech world.

Dennis Yu – @dennisyu

Helping create jobs through social lead gen and software. CTO BlitzMetrics

Dennis is an digital advertising geek and he is the best kind as he continues to share everything he learns at BlitzMetrics. If you meet Dennis, listen, you’ll learn. He knows how sports teams can make money via digital advertising because he does it every day.

Scott Kegley – @ScottKegley

@vikings Executive Director, Digital Media & Innovation | formerly with @49ers

Scott led the way as the 49ers opened Levi’s Stadium with innovative digital content and then followed up by doing the same with Vikings at Minnesota. Always looking to push further on all platforms even donning Spectacles disembarking a plane that slide off the runway for unique content.

Kevin Naylor – @Hoops4Kev

VP of Information Technology for Pacers Sports & Entertainment / Indiana Pacers

Kevin is a long time #sportsbiz tech guy seeing the Pacers from no connectivity to upgrades across the board including WaitTime boards giving live feedback on concession lines. Kev is a great guy and has vast experience in sports technology.

Jessica Smith – @WarJessEagle

Social media @UnderArmour. Runner. Auburn alum. Dog mom. Blogging at http://socialnsport.com . Believe in power of stories. Coffee in hand, always. Views my own.

Jessica is prolific tweeter and commenter on sports social media trends. If you want to see the latest best practice in #smsports you really should turn on notifications and follow her blog.

Adam White – @FOSAdam

Founder & CEO of @frntofficesport | Senior at The University of Miami (FL) | Past winner on The Price is Right

Adam has hustled to build Front Office Sports website and community as a resource for young and upcoming sports business professionals. If you’re looking for smart talent as they leave university Adam will be able to connect you or you might just hire Adam instead!

Amir Zonozi – @Zonozi

Chief Strategy Officer @Zoomph@GeorgetownCCT Alum | Lover of Apple, DJI, Nike, Dad jokes & Burritos. My parents have no idea what I do for a living.

Amir is the social media junkie behind the numbers at Zoomph.  He owns too many gadgets and phones but someone has to make the sacrifices so we know which one works best, thanks Amir. Listen to his take on current social media stories each week on Why I Social.

Dewayne Hankins – @DewayneHankins

CMO @trailblazers and @rosequarter | Gloria’s Husband | Hudson and Grady’s Dad | @IowaSt Alum | Made in Chicago | decide what to be and go be it – Avett

Dewayne drives a smart marketing team at the Portland Trailblazers after gaining Twitter fame trolling Canada when at the LA Kings.  Dewayne knows how to pull together broadcasting, digital and stadium components together cohesively, if you get a chance to hear him speak you at a conference you should, he’ll be by the pool.

Eric Fernandez – @eman14

By day: Media, Sports & Entertainment Marketing. Founder: SportsDesk Media. By Night: Wife, 4 kids, 3 dogs and 2 Advil. Baylor diehard. Sic ’em.

Eric is the data & marketing side of Sports Desk knowing how sports can slice and dice the data to give better returns for sponsors and teams alike.  Vast experience on the sponsorship side of business.

Charlie Shin – @CRMinSports

Senior Director of Strategic Planning at Major League Soccer and Adjunct Professor at NYU. Tweets are my own & are not the views of MLS.

Charlie is a bloody smart guy. Every time I chat with Charlie I learn more about how we can engage fans via the data they give us. He has done a great job helping the MLS grow and building out the customer experience across the league.

Final #SportsBiz50 breakdown

Let’s break down our list:

  • Works with pro team/stadium/brand – 18
  • Works with a league or NSO – 6
  • Supplier – 16
  • Media/Podcaster/Curators – 11
  • Europe – 13
  • Australia/NZ – 19
  • North America – 18

Thanks to those in the #SportsBiz Slack community who helped nominate a few that I missed and yes like any list I did miss some people, please tweet me to discuss it further using the hashtag #SportsBiz50.

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