Emil Protalinski

Managing Editor, ON_Discourse

Aly Wagner is a former professional soccer player, an Olympic gold medalist, and as of this year, a co-founder of Bay FC, a new US professional women’s soccer team based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We spoke with her on the Playing Business podcast about the future of sports broadcasting, reaching fans amidst influencer-driven social media, and her journey of launching the newest team in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Wagner has watched men’s and women’s soccer develop in the US from when she fell in love with the sport all the way through to her professional career.

“I think that was just this pure passion phase of football,” Wagner told us. “You did it for the right reasons, and it still wasn’t looked at as a commercial proposition. It wasn’t looked at as something that was monetizable by smart businesspeople. And the entertainment value—US fans didn’t get behind for a long time.”

Growing an insurgent soccer club

Nowadays, not only are there US soccer fans, but multiple generations of US soccer fans. There are incumbents, like the established National Women’s Soccer League, and newer players in the space, like Wagner’s Bay FC, which is smaller and thus, as Wagner put it, “perhaps more nimble” when it comes to being able to innovate.

“We’re in the growth phase,” Wagner said. “And so, there’s just so many more variables that we can fold into, hopefully our business model and strategy. Soup to nuts. We’re talking about game day experience, but we’re also talking about the long-term strategy for the team, for the league, for soccer in general. I think about that all the time. Yes, Bay FC is this project that I’m working on, but I’m also thinking about other ways to potentially innovate in this space and I think it’s a careful one to be navigated because soccer is such a traditional sport.”

I think there is something to be done around, shorter condensed content” 

Innovation in legacy sports leagues

Wagner explained that sports like soccer, golf, and tennis are very traditional sports with protocols that players and fans follow. The question is, how much of these sports can you disrupt without ruining them? The NFL and the NBA aren’t as traditional, so they have more opportunity to lean into new strategies, she argued. Nevertheless, soccer needs to try.

“I think there is something to be done around, shorter condensed content,” Wagner said. “I think there’s something to be done around, maybe, smaller teams, more skills contests. Just think about the fact that if you’re a soccer player and you go to the Olympics, you only have one event that you can win. That’s the team event. You win. You get one gold medal. Well, if you’re a swimmer, you go and you have how many events you can enter in? You do freestyle, you could do the 50, you can do the 100, you can do IM [individual medley]. You can be Michael Phelps and walk away with 17 gold medals in one Olympics.”

(Aly Wagner has won two gold medals, one at the 2004 Olympic games and one at the 2008 Olympic games.)

Wagner said she thinks soccer should explore more condensed formats, various bite sized consumable formats, and what 11v11 football can look like without ruining the fan’s experience. At the same time, she knows that above all else, fans are most interested in the players.

The athlete drives fandom” 

Leaning into stars over gimmicks

“The athlete drives fandom,” Wagner said. “Again, this applies to both men’s and women’s, but at Bay FC in particular, we don’t need gimmicks. The NWS doesn’t need gimmicks to get eyeballs. It just needs investment in the right area. Investment in the right area is bringing in those top global superstars that drive fandom. And then it’s creating those connections that live past the entrance and exit of those players. Can you make them come back for more, despite that player’s exit?”

Female athletes have plenty of experience in finding interesting ways to create narratives around their careers, Wagner argued. They know how best to connect with their fans.

“We’ve had to sell ourselves in a positive light,” Wagner said

I think that that has set up a great understanding within the league, within the teams, particularly Bay FC, that the way that we tell the stories of our players, the way that we tell the story of our club, the way that we tell the stories around our community, the things that we all care about. Those are the connection points.”

Bay FC plans to invest in all these storytelling areas and innovate its way to building fandom. She acknowledged that the days of only one way to consume sports is long gone, and that ultimately brings opportunity.

If you’re telling someone that they’ve got to sit through 90 minutes or two hours of a match, that just sounds awful. But if you show them what it feels like, that is where it’s a win.” 

The importance of owning your data

“I come from a broadcast background, so we’ve been looking at that for a very long time,” Wagner said. “There’s some compelling data that we have the opportunity to garner as it relates to innovation. Historically, you don’t necessarily know and own the data of who’s tuning into your games. Your broadcast partners do. Now with the way that you can connect directly with the fans, you do own that data. You have the possibility then, of multiple touch points.”

Wagner has spent a lot of time thinking about these cultural connection points, especially the ones driven on social media, and how best to develop the players’ stories.

The risks and rewards of personal athlete brands

“If you’re listing out your top five targets, social media reach, intrigue, fan, fandom, connection, all of that is factored into the value of that player, in terms of who you’re going to target as your top players,” Wagner said. “But in terms of developing it, yes, we want to provide access for these players to be able to monetize themselves, to tell their stories, to become an intriguing person that everyone wants to know more about, ultimately more engagement, more fandom, and you get on the flywheel.”

This is not a simple equation. There are tradeoffs to making your athletes available to fans through various mediums.

“But I also would just caution that there’s risk in that too,” Wagner said. “There’s so much risk in like these young players being exposed to that early on. What are they losing sight of? I do think that with the access and the exposure that these young athletes are having to navigate, I just think it becomes a moral question as well as one that is business-driven. And I think that’s the fine line that we as a club really want to be cognizant of and respect these players, put them first, as a human and not something to be monetized. So, I think that is a balance that we have to strike as a club. But absolutely, if someone’s all in and they want to do it and they’re not suffering on the field, it makes a ton of sense.”

Do you
disagree or
have a
completely different perspective? We’d love to know:

editor@ondiscourse.com

Should live sports embrace reality TV?

And of course, we asked Wagner if live sports need to embrace reality TV or if the death of live sports has been greatly exaggerated. She lands in the latter camp.

“Sometimes the selling of it is more important,” Wagner said. “If you’re telling someone that they’ve got to sit through 90 minutes or two hours of a match, that just sounds awful. But if you show them what it feels like, that is where it’s a win. That’s where you’re like, I’m there. I want to show up. I absolutely think live sports matter. I just think at this point, everything is tied into sports now. Everything is tied into attention. How do I grab attention? Well, I can get it through sport. And, and live sport in particular—if that connection goes away, I don’t think that the value proposition will be there anymore.”

Emil Protalinski

Managing Editor, ON_Discourse

Can insurgent leagues capture market share from the NFL?

This topic kept coming up in our various events: the NFL is God. And God is immune to all the forces that are challenging the other incumbent leagues like the NBA and MLB. What makes the NFL so powerful? Is it a better TV experience? Is it a better sport? The rest of the world would argue against that. (And they probably want the word football back).


The NFL is built on initial scarcity. It started with two games broadcasted one day a week in the autumn. Then came Sunday Night Football, then Monday Night Football. Then Thursday Night Football followed that. Now we have Sunday Ticket and the Red Zone channel. All of that football turned into fantasy football leagues, online gambling. And all of that engagement is padded with endless expert analysis that fills in the gaps in between all the snaps. Is this ecosystem too strong to be disrupted?

This question unlocked a lot of thinking.

What does a league need to thrive? How can an old sport evolve and find new audiences? Can a team of insurgent leagues take down the mighty NFL?

‏‏‎ ‎I‏‏‎‎SSUE RECAP:

Fans are

the new

free agent

Matthew Chmiel

Head of Discourse

We drive discussion through a “Living Issues” content experience. As we transition to the themes, topics, and provocations of our next issue, let’s zoom out on the Fan Experience Issue, and try to make sense of what we learned and what comes next. Our issues never formally close; we will let you know whenever a new perspective comes along that can contribute to this exploration.

We launched The Fan Experience Issue with a focus on engaging sports fans. The big US leagues are built on a foundation of traditional distribution channels and platforms that nurture a stable transfer of fan engagement from one generation to the next. The stability of that engagement is extremely valuable, essentially transmogrifying a set of quaint “sports-ball” hobbies into multi-billion-dollar industries that define our culture. All that money has been a ballast against the disruptive digital forces that have reshaped other traditional industries.

As the newspaper industry literally folds, and the music industry turns to streaming, the world of sports fans is still organizing its schedules to watch the live game–and advertisers are capitalizing on that attention. Our Fan Experience Issue thesis was that the same forces that killed newspapers are going to impact the fan experience. Our goal was to investigate these forces and identify and understand the opportunities.

This exploration was ignited by a thought-provoking question at an event we hosted in Nashville for our members and leaders in business and sport. Our co-founder, Toby Daniels, interrupted our mingling guests with a hypothetical question that put it all in context:

IF YOU HAD $100M, WHERE WOULD YOU INVEST IT FOR THE BEST 10 YEAR RETURN?

The answer to this question had to involve professional sports. It could involve an ownership stake in a big league franchise, or a piece of equity in an up-and-coming insurgent league. The $100 million could be invested in live media rights for Thursday Night Football (like how Amazon is investing $11 billion over the next decade), or in improved production features of traditional sports. We heard so many answers and perspectives that really put this issue into overdrive.

We collected a series of guest contributors who are experts in identifying and analyzing trends in the business of sports. Some are pushing to innovate traditional broadcast formats, while others are leading a gut-renovation into how our oldest sports are played. The reverberations of their investments are going to drive the next generation of investments in fan engagement.

You can see their work in
the provocation list below:

Are live sports rights a bursting media bubble?

Can insurgent leagues capture market share from the NFL?

Soccer has changed so much over the course of its inception. Today, the athlete drives fandom.

Unpacking the discourse

We cannot predict the future but the discourse this month shifted our perspective about professional sports. At first we focused primarily on the big insurgent leagues and the future of media rights, towering like a mountain range on the horizon. As we dug deeper into the topic, we discovered a developing ecosystem lying beneath the surface. A lot of innovative thinking and investment capital is flowing into insurgent leagues who are finding ways to drive market share without leaning on media rights. This type of entrepreneurial thinking is helping to redefine the way traditional games can be played for modern audiences. As Aly Wagner, co-founder of Bay FC told DK and Dan in Playing Business, “Soccer has changed so much over the course of its inception. Today, the athlete drives fandom.” She is taking that thinking to create new opportunities and experiences to let the athletes shine in her new franchise. As she said “the athlete drives fandom.” And that right there is where we are centering our primary takeaways from this issue.

Time for your takes. Let us know what you think and tell us how you would invest that $100M in professional sports. Reach out to chmiel@ondiscourse.com
Stay tuned for the next issue.

Issue #004

“Influencers are the modern athletes.”

“Fans are the new Free Agents.”

“Insurgent Sports Innovate.”

“Thrive To Survive”

In the closing days of October, ON_Discourse assembled in Music City around our recent ON_Sport release: The Fan Experience Issue. Let’s recap…

Under the starry skies of Nashville, a small group of founders, partners, entrepreneurs, former athletes, and ON_Discourse members broke bread paired perfectly with wine, and debated the future of the sports industry and the fan experience.

I want to provoke people into discourse and let their conversation work it out.” 

ON_Discourse co-founders Dan Gardner and Toby Daniels served as the night’s primary provocateurs. This event was designed to be different; their plan was to provoke more and talk less. In the moments before dinner, Gardner told me how he spent the previous week preparing for every conceivable angle of our provocations. “I want to make sure we’re not just being interesting at the table; we need to push the concepts to the brink of disagreement. I want to provoke people into discourse and let their conversation work it out.” 

Mission accomplished. Toby afterwards relayed the feeling at the table, telling me “we barely had to talk. People came to the table ready to get into it and then that’s exactly what they did.” While happy to hear this news, I was curious; did something happen in this event that elevated the discourse to this level? Toby went on to explain how it all worked: “while the members and guests were sipping wine we posed a warm-up question that got their discourse gears turning. All this happened before we introduced our first technical provocation.” I pressed further until Toby shared the key warm-up question that set it all off:

IF YOU HAD $100M,

WHERE WOULD YOU INVEST IT FOR THE BEST 10 YEAR RETURN?

Remember that this question had a few parameters that guests were told to keep. The money had to be invested somewhere in the world of professional sports. It could go into an ownership stake in an incumbent league, like an NFL franchise, or it could go into a number of breakout insurgent leagues that are capturing market share in the ever-changing landscape of professional sports. We learned a lot about these insurgent leagues in this issue: Topgolf for Tennis, Fan Controlled Football, and we also reported on a lot of innovative successful acts that other leagues like F1 and the LIV Tour. A variety of perspectives were processed in the first few minutes of this session. We can even report that one of our guests’ perspectives fully changed by the end of the night. That is true discourse!

Key takeaways, quotes, and moments:

Who has a better deal on F1? Netflix or ESPN?

  • The sustained success of F1’s Netflix hit “Drive to Survive” became the proxy for media rights bubble perspective. The discussion on this issue involved a real-time breakdown of the economics of media rights vs dramatic documentary footage.
    • Netflix spends between $40 – $60M per year for access to produce Drive to Survive.
    • ESPN spends $500M per year for live media rights of the races
    • Netflix averages ~ 600K views per episode
    • ESPN averages ~ 1.2M viewers per race

People don’t care about teams anymore. They care about influencers.

Who has a better deal on F1? Netflix or ESPN?

  • The sustained success of F1’s Netflix hit “Drive to Survive” became the proxy for media rights bubble perspective. The discussion on this issue involved a real-time breakdown of the economics of media rights vs dramatic documentary footage.
    • Netflix spends between $40 – $60M per year for access to produce Drive to Survive.
    • ESPN spends $500M per year for live media rights of the races
    • Netflix averages ~ 600K views per episode
    • ESPN averages ~ 1.2M viewers per race

Would Dennis Rodman be the highest-paid athlete in the NBA today? The Kardashian effect meets the court…

  • The conversation about the future of fans turned into economic incentives for leagues and franchises. In this scenario, the league has a clear incentive to capitalize on the halo effect of enhanced social media attention. Will this incentive drive contract deals and other player incentives – shifting priorities away from abilities and success on the field and more towards engagement in the feeds?

Today’s sports fans will wax poetic, yelling at the TV during championship games, going crazy over a manager’s line-up choices, and incredulously watching as a player tries to make ESPN’s Top 10 over what’s best for the team. Diehards dream of drawing up the Xs and Os in these critical situations — mapping out gameplans, making substitutions during the game, and calling the last play to deliver the win. 

While emerging streaming services and the legalization of sports gambling have been a financial boon for the live gameday experience, disinterest among America’s youngest viewers, especially Gen Z, has become a challenge for professional sports. 

50% of Gen Zs in the U.S. never attended a pro sports event 

40% never watch live sports, less than any other age group 

81% of pro sports revenue comes from media rights, sponsorships, and ticket sales 

The economics of the live sports experience are undergoing a significant transformation, driven by the values, viewing preferences, and behaviors of Gen Z. There is no shortage of marketers who, for years, have preached that they are the future of sports. As this generation becomes an increasingly influential force, professional sports organizations and the broader sports industry must adapt to meet their changing demands. Those who have embraced these shifts and find innovative ways to engage with Gen Z will likely thrive, while those who resist change may face challenges in the evolving sports landscape. Embracing the Gen Z mindset and preferences will be crucial for the continued success and growth of the sports industry.

  • Gen Zs consume sports content mainly through short-form, interactive social media
  • 87% of Gen Z plays video games on mobile devices and consoles, where they expect to play the game, not just watch it
  • Live sports for Gen Z need to be interactive and community-focused, with brand engagement built into the game experience 

There is no shortage of marketers who, for years, have preached that they are the future of sports.

What is the future of fan experience and engaging the next generation of sports fans?

Enter Fan Controlled Sports and Entertainment (FCSE). Since 2017, the brand has taken an innovative, fan-driven approach, merging the excitement of live sports with the interactivity of video games. 

The FCSE concept has successfully facilitated the launch of two seasons of Fan Controlled Football (FCF). It is now set to introduce Fan Controlled Racing (FCR) during NASCAR’s Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway, scheduled for November 4th. This innovative approach grants fans unprecedented influence and access by empowering them to make pivotal decisions. The line between spectator and participant blurs, and fans become an integral part of the action. Like in a video game, fans are incentivized to make good decisions for their team’s future by being awarded FanIQ points, which are akin to experience points in the gaming world. Play votes posted by fans with more experience points carry a heavier weight.

The concept of “fan controlled” aims to democratize professional sports, creating an unprecedented immersive live fan experience. The idea is to redefine how fans engage, creating a new category of entertainment catering to the digitally connected audience hungry to own, shape, and manage a sports franchise ready for the metaverse. Fan Controlled sports leagues align seamlessly with the expectations of a new generation of fans who have grown up in an interactive digital landscape. Here’s why such a league could captivate this audience:

Fan Controlled sports leagues align seamlessly with the expectations of a new generation of fans who have grown up in an interactive digital landscape.

The first two seasons of FCF proved successful, especially in community engagement, with over 250,000 registered downloads via CONTROL App. (making it a top 10 sports app in the U.S.), 2.4 million live viewers per week and over 100 million highlight views across all FCF distribution platforms. FCF increased viewership from 375,000 per game at the start of season one to 2.5 million at the championship game of season two.

Integration of Gaming and Sports

Many younger fans are avid gamers accustomed to controlling outcomes and strategies within a virtual world. A Fan Controlled league blurs the lines between gaming and live sports, appealing to the gamer’s mindset and potentially expanding the sports audience.

Many younger fans are avid gamers accustomed to controlling outcomes and strategies within a virtual world.

Engagement Through Interactivity

The interactive model of a Fan Controlled league converts passive viewing into an active experience. For a generation accustomed to engaging with content rather than just consuming it, this could revolutionize the fan experience, making it more immersive and personalized.

The first two seasons of FCF proved successful, especially in community engagement, with over 250,000 registered downloads via CONTROL App. (making it a top 10 sports app in the U.S.), 2.4 million live viewers per week and over 100 million highlight views across all FCF distribution platforms. FCF increased viewership from 375,000 per game at the start of season one to 2.5 million at the championship game of season two.

Leveraging Social Media and Online Communities

Social media has cultivated a culture of participation and community. A Fan Controlled league, which could integrate with these platforms, taps into the desire to share opinions and influence outcomes, much like a live-action social media platform.

Fan Controlled Sports can tap into a community of like-minded 18-34 year old sports and fantasy gurus, appealing to online gamers and streaming enthusiasts who grew up in the shadow of EA’s Madden video game franchise, all ready to embrace the future. 

A New Level of Accessibility

The traditional barriers between athletes and fans are diminishing. A Fan Controlled league that allows fans to call plays or make decisions can provide an unparalleled sense of access and connection to the athletes and the game itself.

The traditional barriers between athletes and fans are diminishing.

Data-Driven Personalization

This generation is used to algorithm-driven personalization, from streaming platforms to online shopping. A Fan Controlled league that uses data to enhance the interactive experience could offer personalized engagement at an unprecedented level.

Educational Perspective

By making strategic decisions, fans can gain a deeper understanding of the sport. This educational component can increase appreciation for the complexities of the game and the skills of the players.

Continual Innovation

Younger audiences are quick to adopt new technologies. A Fan Controlled league that continually innovates can stay at the forefront of entertainment, consistently offering fresh and exciting experiences.

Marketability and Monetization

Interactivity opens new avenues for monetization, such as microtransactions for voting rights or exclusive access, catering to a demographic already familiar with such models in other forms of entertainment.

Utilizing blockchain technology, the league was able to successfully merge the physical sports and digital worlds to create a new, exciting Web3 experience. In doing so, the decentralized nature of the blockchain ensures that the FCF platform enables tamper-proof tracking of fan tokens used to participate in decision-making and other league-related activities. 

  • 5K+ Unique purchases in Season v2.0
  • 23K+ Total purchases and minting of digital collectibles, avatars 
  • $900 ARPU of our diehard fans

The Fan Controlled concept represents a promising avenue for the future of professional sports. It can revolutionize the industry by enhancing fan engagement, expanding the global reach of sports, democratizing decision-making, and offering new financial opportunities. 

Is data the new highlight and are fans the new free agents?

[ NOT QUITE ]

Innovating without losing traditional fans

[ PROBABLY ]

Over-engineered technology might sterilize sport

Do you agree with this?
Do you disagree or have a completely different perspective?
We’d love to know

What if the next golf megastar came straight outta Compton? That’d be a story, right? You’d double-click that. But, how would something like that come about? Not too many country clubs in the immediate area last I checked, and the closest TopGolf is about 15 miles away. If anything, Compton is very anti-country club, so that kind of outsider story would likely appeal to a much wider audience outside the traditional golf world

The Need for Inclusivity and Innovation

The traditional golf world has been spinning ever since LIV disrupted the scene in trying to streamline the game, then agreed to merge with PGA, as the sport seeks to reshape itself for a wider, younger, more diverse audience. LIV, however, only goes so far in changing the game. While trimming the game, it’s still traditional golf, and it’s not doing that much to appeal to a broader audience.   

When Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to win the Masters at 21 in 1997, he breathed life into what many were seeing as a dying sport, and was essentially responsible for putting Nike golf on the map. Now years later, Tiger Woods is helping to further revolutionize the sport and make it more accessible as part of the LA Golf Club, and taking it into the 21st Century, as the first announced team of the TGL. 

Embracing Diverse Ownership and Storytelling

What sets LAGC apart from the other TGL teams, who are owned by some of the same companies that own the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Falcons, is our owners’ background. Not only are Serena and Venus Williams investors but with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian as one of our owners, our DNA is more aligned with storytelling and social-media interaction than traditional sports owners. And with LAGC, we’re not only telling the story, we’re providing the medium to help bring it about.  

As far as I’m concerned, a modern sports franchise is 365-day-a-year storytelling, not just stories about the players, but about the community as well. But those stories, to appeal to a wider, younger audience, need to be repackaged using today’s technology to compete with all the other stories out there. Making golf a star-studded, team “one swing at a time action” sport, enhanced by technology, and bringing the action to a stadium TV-friendly level will not only make golf more accessible, but it’s how the PGA (which owns 18% of TGL) is going to evolve,  and expand their audience, by making it more interesting and story focused. 

Community Engagement and Accessibility

Not only will Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy play for LAGC over the 15-week season beginning in January, LAGC will also be taking golf out to the community with our Drivebox simulator, which folds out to become a LAGC billboard. I can go into any community that I want throughout LA, I can go to Watts. I can go to Compton, I can go to K town, I can go to schools. And if a golf simulator is good enough for Tiger, that’s going to get people who’d never think of using a simulator more interested in trying one out. There’s going to be stories of young kids, where golf is their outlet, their passion, and we’re going to be telling the stories about those that come from LA, that don’t look like the traditional golfer. 

The Influence of Celebrity and Narrative

And if you don’t think the top-down approach of using star power and storytelling has reach, then you’re not familiar with a soccer, or football, team no one ever heard about until Ryan Reynolds bought them. I’m talking about Wrexham. They built a global fandom around this team that nobody had heard of. It was about their storytelling. They even launched a Hulu series called” Welcome to Wrexham,” that is now in its second season. We’re already made-for-TV golf, and unique in that not too many sports leagues launch this kind of star power and the prime-time slot usually occupied by Monday Night Football on ESPN from day one. 

For those who think this is just golf “jumping the shark” to try to get new viewers, we’re capitalizing on things that are already happening. With franchises like TopGolf, people are already playing golf in a way that looks nothing like traditional golf. Why does a golf simulator have to hit out into a simulated golf course? Why not Jurassic Park, or Angry Birds? Shorter attention spans need to be courted, using technology not usually associated with golf, like sensors on the greens and drone footage.

A New Era for Golf

It’s like people who still dump on eSports with “Who’s going to watch people play video games?” when it’s already a rapidly growing multibillion-dollar industry. To get the younger demographic, the wider, more democratic audience that PGA wants — the Twitch streamers, the TikTok, IG, and other influencers, the story-hungry sports fan — golf has to evolve to appeal to an audience that already has their plate filled with distractions, that have been leveraged, and made more addicting with technology. 

Is the NFL immune from disruption?

This topic kept coming up in our various events: the NFL is God. And God is immune to all the forces that are challenging the other incumbent leagues like the NBA and MLB. What makes the NFL so powerful? Is it a better TV experience? Is it a better sport? The rest of the world would argue against that. (And they probably want the word football back).

[ MAYBE ]

The landscape of sports fandom is undergoing a tectonic shift, moving away from the once-unchallenged supremacy of live sports as the zenith of audience engagement. With the advent of digital media and evolving consumer preferences, the magnetism of live sporting events is waning. 

The focal point of this conversation is not merely the binary question of live sports’ survival but rather a nuanced exploration of where the epicenter of attention and value resides in the sports universe. Sports fandom, historically tethered to the real-time drama of live events, is in the throes of an evolution, reflecting the changing preferences and innovative modes of engagement.

At the core of this discourse is a question: Where does the most engaged aspect of sports lie today.

At the core of this discourse is a question: Where does the most engaged aspect of sports lie today?

Is it in the high-octane moments of live action or has it migrated to the realms of digital interactions, highlights and personal dramas that resonate with fans on a different frequency?

Consider the investment dilemmas: 

Where would you channel funds today for maximum return?

The answers range from traditional strongholds like the NFL to emerging areas like esports and women’s soccer.

An illustrative analogy lies in the way we once considered the tactile experience of the printed newspaper to be irreplaceable. Today, the consumption of news has metamorphosed, adapting to the digital currents of today. Could sports be navigating a similar trajectory, where the most engaged elements are shifting away from the traditional live format?

Here’s a look at the data and trends that underpin this transformation.

The era of influencers has brought forth interesting dynamics, like the buzz around popular figures such as Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. It has driven conversations and interests beyond the traditional boundaries of the sport.

The Influencer Phenomenon

The era of influencers has brought forth interesting dynamics, like the buzz around popular figures such as Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. It has driven conversations and interests beyond the traditional boundaries of the sport, bringing a more extensive array of narratives into the sporting arena. In a hypothetical scenario, one might wonder if a personality like Dennis Rodman, in today’s social media-infused world, would command astronomical earnings owing to his influencer potential.

The Taylor Swift effect:

Sales of Kelce’s jerseys surged by a staggering 400%, propelling him into the elite circle of top five NFL players based on merchandise sales.

The podcast ‘New Heights,’ hosted by Kelce and his brother Jason, also an NFL athlete, clinched the number one spot on Apple’s charts.

Kelce’s Instagram presence experienced a remarkable boost, with his followers tally jumping by 383,000.

Interest in the Chiefs’ games has spiked, as evidenced by a triple increase in ticket search activity on Stubhub.

Since the commencement of the 2023 season, the Chiefs have set a new record for ticket sales in a single season.

Audiences engage in real-time social media discussions, watch instant replays, and participate in interactive activities, diluting the exclusivity of the live experience.

The Second Screen Phenomenon

Data from Civic Science indicates that 66% of tablet owners or smartphone owners use their devices while watching TV. This “second screen” trend suggests that the attention once reserved solely for live sports is now fragmented. Audiences engage in real-time social media discussions, watch instant replays, and participate in interactive activities, diluting the exclusivity of the live experience.

Narrative Driven Engagement

The success of narrative-rich sports documentaries like “Drive to Survive” has reshaped fan engagement. All four seasons of “Drive to Survive” performed better in viewership than 50% of all series on Netflix, with most seasons ranking in the top 25%. 

According to Plum Research, “Drive to Survive” was 27th on Netflix’s top series ranking in its debut week in March 2019, capturing 1.1 million Unique Viewers (UVs), and rose to 24th the following week with 1.3 million UVs. These figures were a notable achievement for a docuseries outside the “True Crime” genre.

The Convenience of Highlights and Frustration of Live Streaming

The on-demand model caters to viewers who prefer to watch games on their own schedule. Platforms like DAZN and ESPN+ offer comprehensive highlight packages, allowing fans to consume the essence of live games in less time.

According to a Deloitte study, more than half of the sports fans —53% to be exact—paid for a streaming service last year. But, 49% feel like they’re drowning in subscriptions, and 62% are just plain annoyed because they can’t find the games they’re looking for. Meanwhile, 54% reported missing out entirely on watching events they wanted to see. 

The Competitive Edge of Esports

Esports is rapidly gaining ground, with Demand Sage reporting there are over 540 million esports viewers globally as of 2023, and it is predicted that this number will reach 640.8 million in 2025. More than 60% of esports fans are between the ages of 16 and 35 and the market is valued at $1.44 billion as of 2023. This number is set to reach $5.48 billion by the year 2029.

Gen Z’s sports consumption habits signal a shift in the live sports landscape.

Changing Habits of Gen-Z

Gen Z’s sports consumption habits signal a shift in the live sports landscape. Preferring home environments for communal watching, 61% of Gen Z fans lean towards convenient, digitally integrated experiences, as shown by a Deloitte study. Their engagement transcends passive viewing, with significant social media interaction during live sports, favoring immersive and personalized experiences.

Furthermore, Gen Z’s connection with athletes extends beyond live games, heavily influenced by online interactions and athletes’ social media presence. An athlete’s online persona is a powerful driver of fan loyalty and engagement, highlighting Gen Z’s preference for accessibility and multi-dimensional sports experiences.

Live Sports Faces a Tough Digital Future

The data paints a clear picture: the importance of live sports is declining amidst a digital renaissance in how we consume and engage with sports. While the visceral thrill of live action remains unrivaled for some, the market trends reflect a broader shift towards diverse and flexible modes of sports consumption. Live sports, while still a significant draw, now share the limelight with digital alternatives that resonate more profoundly with contemporary audience behaviors

While live sports remains foundational, the gravitational pull of attention might be diffusing into various orbits like athlete influencers, personalized narratives, and interactive digital engagements. 

Is the future of sports an immersive mosaic of live action, digital interactivity, and personalized storytelling, each component enriching the fan’s experience in unique ways?

Only time will unveil the trajectories that will define the future landscapes of sports engagement.

Do you agree with this?
Do you disagree or have a completely different perspective?
We’d love to know: editor@ondiscourse.com

‏‏‎ ‎PROVOCATION‏‏‎ ‎

Are live sports rights a bursting media bubble?

Media rights have long been the cash cow of professional sports. Can this system sustain long-term profitability amidst our changing digital landscape and unbundling of cable distribution?

Ah, the age of reality TV and streaming, where shows like “Drive to Survive” supposedly ring the death knell for live sports. Yes, because nothing screams “edge-of-your-seat excitement” like watching a contrived dramatized rehash of last season. Let’s cut through the noise and lay out why live sports aren’t just alive and kicking, but are the life of the media party.

Is There a Media Rights Bubble?

The question of whether there is a bubble in media rights for live sports is a highly debated topic. Media rights for live sports have been escalating for years. Networks and streaming services are willing to pay high premiums for exclusive broadcasting rights, betting on live sports’ ability to draw large, live audiences in an era where many consumers are cutting the cord on traditional TV. 

The sustainability of such high costs is questioned, especially if subscriber bases for cable and streaming services don’t grow at a pace that matches the investment in live sports rights. New players like Amazon, Facebook, and Apple are entering the sports broadcasting space, driving up prices as they compete with traditional broadcasters for content.

There’s No End in Sight

Programming rights fees in the U.S. have demonstrated robust growth. Professional and college sports fees grew at an annual rate of 6.3% from $15.5 billion in 2018 to $19.8 billion in 2022, with projections to reach $31.6 billion by 2030, according to Morgan Stanley. This steady growth suggests a sustainable increase rather than a speculative bubble that is prone to burst.

On a global scale, the media rights value of all sports properties has seen an uptick. The worldwide media rights value increased by 1.1% from the previous year, indicating a stable market that’s expanding at a reasonable rate, which is less characteristic of a bubble.

The value of sports media rights is forecasted to rise significantly due to streaming, with expectations of a 75% increase in the near future. This suggests that the market is adjusting to digital consumption trends and is not solely reliant on traditional broadcasting models, which may add to its resilience.

Recent long-term deals, such as the Big Ten’s agreement with CBS, Fox, and NBC for approximately $7 billion over seven years, starting in 2023, show confidence in the enduring value of sports media rights.

The NFL’s broadcasting deals, reported to exceed $100 billion, including 10-year agreements with current partners and Amazon, underline the high demand and financial commitment from broadcasters to secure sports content, which would be unlikely if a bubble was imminent. These figures far outstrip the budgets typically associated with reality TV production and distribution deals.

From this data, one could argue that the increase in media rights fees is supported by actual market growth and long-term investments, rather than speculative buying. The trend towards digital and streaming rights also suggests an evolution in the revenue model, which may support sustained growth as consumption habits change. While some might still argue that the current high prices are unsustainable, the data indicates a market adjusting to new realities rather than one heading towards a dramatic collapse.

You Can’t Fake the Authenticity of Live Sports

“Drive to Survive” tried to turn drivers Ricciardo and Sainz, and later Norris and Sainz, into the Montagues and Capulets of F1. Spoiler alert: these guys are more like bromantic co-stars than bloodthirsty rivals. F1 is a sport that treats physics like suggestions rather than laws, creating real drama that a scripted show can only dream of capturing.

Even Max Verstappen, an F1 driver himself, has pointed out the artificial nature of such storytelling: “Because the series is all about excitement… they position you and whatever fits the episode. So for me, that never really works.” The essence of F1 isn’t in scripted rivalries but in the adrenaline-pumping reality of drivers making split-second decisions at jaw-dropping speeds.

While “Drive to Survive” might offer a polished, behind-the-scenes look at the drama, it can’t replicate the raw, immediate emotional connection that fans feel when they watch a live event. There’s something almost tribal about rooting for your team or athlete in real-time, a unity of spirit and purpose that scripted shows can’t manufacture.

Reality TV: The Sidekick, Not the Hero

If viewers are compelled by the fake drama, does it matter? No, if it can bring new casual fans to F1, that’s still a benefit to the live event. The real point here is that “reality” dramas about sports leagues aren’t replacing live sports, it’s enhancing them and helping grow the live event audience. The real drama isn’t in some contrived rivalry; it’s in the split-second decisions these drivers make at 200 mph. 

“Drive to Survive” brought new fans to Formula 1. Bravo! But let’s not get it twisted; this isn’t the tale of the understudy stealing the show. This is more like the opening act warming up the crowd for the main event. Reality TV might set the stage, but live sports still take the final bow.

No Highlight Reel Can Capture the Live Magic

Sure, you can watch highlights on YouTube or catch snippets on Instagram, but those are mere fragments of the full picture. Highlights show you what happened, but they can’t encapsulate how it felt when it was happening. It’s the difference between reading a summary of a novel and getting lost in the author’s world, page by page. Highlights are convenient, but they’re the CliffNotes of the sports world, lacking the depth, the context, and the emotional rollercoaster that comes with live viewing.

The FOMO Factor

Let’s not underestimate the Fear of Missing Out that live sports generate. In an era of social media, being part of the live conversation is part of the appeal. Whether it’s sharing real-time reactions on Twitter or posting celebratory videos on TikTok, live sports create a digital and social ecosystem that no recorded event can replicate. You can’t tweet in real-time about a highlight or a Netflix episode that everyone has already dissected to death.

So, while reality TV and highlight reels offer different perspectives, they exist in the orbit of the colossal planet that is live sports. They can capture its reflections, play with its shadows, but they can’t replace the overwhelming, all-consuming experience of the real thing. Live sports are not just a genre of entertainment; they’re a cornerstone of human experience, as old as history and as universal as storytelling. And that, my friends, is not replaceable.

Scarcity, or Economics 101

Navigating the maze of sports media rights can be a bit of a hassle for fans. But let’s not forget that this exclusivity is what propels leagues like the NFL into billion-dollar valuations. Yes, it complicates the viewing experience, but it’s this very scarcity that holds the key to the astronomical value live sports can command.

Could you imagine a world where the NFL or NBA freely distributes their content and still maintains their multi-billion-dollar valuations? Exclusive media rights create scarcity, and in economics, scarcity is directly proportional to value. Admittedly, this is not a great fan experience but a reality of the value that live sports have and the premium it can demand.

The media landscape is fragmented. So what? Does having more choices mean we’ll abandon live sports? That’s like saying you’ll stop eating pizza because sushi exists. Different cravings, different solutions. And if you’re hungry enough you’ll hunt it down and pay a premium for the privilege.

Live Sports by The Numbers

$83.7 Billion by 2027: According to Deloitte, the global sports media market is expected to skyrocket from $62.5 billion in 2022 to a staggering $83.7 billion by 2027. If live sports were supposedly “dying,” they’re about as hard to kill as a zombie from The Walking Dead.

$5.5 Million for 30 Seconds: The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad in 2022 was around $5.5 million. That’s nearly $200,000 per second, folks. And yet, advertisers are lining up for this golden ticket. What recession?

$5.5 Million for 30 Seconds: The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad in 2022 was around $5.5 million. That’s nearly $200,000 per second, folks. And yet, advertisers are lining up for this golden ticket. What recession?

440 Million Global Viewers: Formula 1 races had a global viewership of 440 million in 2023, according to Nielsen. That’s more than the entire population of the United States, all tuning in for the high-octane drama. So much for the “niche sport” tag.

$235 Billion Betting Market: According to Statista, the global sports betting market was estimated to be worth around $235 billion in 2022. Yes, people are literally betting billions on live sports events. If that’s not a sign of engagement, what is?

The World is Not Enough: International Reach

Could you imagine a world where the NFL or NBA freely distributes their content and still maintains their multi-billion-dollar valuations? Exclusive media rights create scarcity, and in economics, scarcity is directly proportional to value. Admittedly, this is not a great fan experience but a reality of the value that live sports have and the premium it can demand.

The Sky Isn’t Falling

Reality TV and live sports coexisting is not a sign of the apocalypse. In fact, they’re more like frenemies, feeding off each other in a complex ecosystem. 

So, are we ready to stop with the dramatic fake narratives of the death of live sports like some weak subplot from a sports reality show? 

Can we agree that, just maybe, there’s enough room in the universe for both unscripted drama and reality TV? Because if you’re betting against live sports, you’re not just fighting history—you’re fighting human nature. And good luck with that.

Do you agree with this?
Do you disagree or have a completely different perspective?
We’d love to know: editor@ondiscourse.com

‏‏‎ ‎PROVOCATION‏‏‎ ‎

Are live sports rights a bursting media bubble?

Media rights have long been the cash cow of professional sports. Can this system sustain long-term profitability amidst our changing digital landscape and unbundling of cable distribution?

Live Sport Needs to EMBRACE

the Realities of Reality TV

With all the complexities, intricacies, and the drama that plays out during a typical F1 weekend, the truth is, it’s really hard to watch a full Formula 1 race. Races are so long and technically complex that mainstream audiences struggle to follow or understand what’s happening.

So why is there so much interest in F1 all of a sudden, especially here in the US? And how has the sport managed to attract new fans in an environment where live sport viewership is in decline?

First aired in 2019, Netflix’s Drive to Survive was a reality TV show that focused on the drivers, the team managers, and the drama that unfolds behind the scenes and throughout the F1 season. For many people, the TV show was better than watching the actual sport. By the time Season 4 was released on March 11, 2022, Drive to Survive global audience was big enough that it became the most popular show in 33 countries during its first three weeks. Netflix has already signed on for Seasons 5 and 6.

So the question is, could reality TV companion shows eventually attract bigger audiences than the live sport itself?

Let’s look at the numbers to understand the scale of the opportunity.

According to Nielsen, an average F1 race had a global viewership of 440 million in 2023, which is up 10% since the first season of Drive to Survive. That would seem to suggest that the TV show brought an additional 44 million fans to the sport, via the live races on F1 weekends. 

So why should the rest of the industry follow suit?

Live sport viewership is in decline

Media is Fragmenting

Reality TV is growing faster than live sports

The Rest of Live Sport is in Decline

What we are learning is that audiences are becoming less enamored with made-for-commercials live sports.

Many consider the NFL to be too long (An average game is 3 hours and 12 minutes), the NBA is too focused on the individual player performances and soccer is often criticized for being too slow and boring.  Live sports events are often overly commercialized, with ads interrupting the game and product placements on the field or court. 

These criticisms are leading to a decline in interest and viewership of the live game. A recent study by PwC found that 63% of sports fans are more interested in watching behind-the-scenes content about their favorite sports teams and athletes.

In 2022, the average NFL game lost 500,000 viewers compared to the year before.

In 2023, the NBA Finals averaged 12.2 million viewers, down from 13.4 million in 2022.

In 2023, the MLB World Series averaged 11.8 million viewers, down from 13.2 million in 2022.

Fragmentation of media

There are a number of other factors that are contributing to this decline in viewership. One factor is the fragmentation of the media landscape. There are now more ways than ever for people to consume content, and they are less likely to sit down and watch a live sports event for three hours.

The rise of streaming services: Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are offering more and more live sports content. This is making it easier for fans to watch their favorite sports teams and athletes without having to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite TV package.

The growth of social media: Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are making it easier for fans to follow their favorite sports teams and athletes and to watch highlights and other content. This is leading to a decline in viewership of traditional TV broadcasts.

The proliferation of niche sports channels: There are now more sports channels than ever before, each of which focuses on a different sport or league. This is making it more difficult for fans to find the content they want to watch.

Reality TV Growth versus Live Sports

Another factor is the rise of reality TV. To many, especially younger audiences, reality TV shows are more exciting and engaging than live sports. They are also shorter and easier to digest.

Reality TV is growing in popularity in the US, however it is still not as popular as live sports. According to a 2023 study by Nielsen, the average American watches 3 hours of reality TV per week, compared to 4 hours of live sports.

However, reality TV is gaining ground on live sports, especially among younger viewers. A 2023 study by Deloitte found that 52% of Gen Z adults said they are more likely to watch a reality TV show about sports than an actual sports event.

If reality TV continues to grow in popularity, it is possible that it could eventually surpass live sports as the most popular form of entertainment in the US. 

In order to compete with reality TV, live sports organizations need to find ways to make their products more exciting, engaging, and affordable for fans. They also need to be more creative in how they produce and distribute their content.

The Kardashian Law

Influencers play an important role in providing distribution for reality TV shows. They have large followings on social media and other platforms, and they can use their influence to promote shows to their audiences.

The Kardashians are a good example of how influencers can be used to promote reality TV shows. The Kardashian family has a large and engaged following on social media, and they use their platforms to promote their reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The show has been a huge success, and it is partly due to the Kardashians’ ability to use their influence to promote the show.

Sports organizations can learn from the Kardashians and other influencers to enhance their means of distribution. They can partner with influencers to create sponsored content, promote their shows on social media, and give influencers exclusive access to events and behind-the-scenes footage.

Live sports organizations need to embrace the realities of reality TV in order to compete with the growing popularity of this genre. This means making their products more exciting, engaging, and affordable for fans, as well as being more creative in how they produce and distribute their content. Sports organizations can also learn from reality TV superstars like the Kardashians to enhance their means of distribution, such as partnering with them to create sponsored content, promote their shows on social media, and giving them exclusive access to events and behind-the-scenes footage.

Do you agree with this?
Do you disagree or have a completely different perspective?
We’d love to know

‏‏‎ ‎PROVOCATION‏‏‎ ‎

Are live sports rights a bursting media bubble?

Media rights have long been the cash cow of professional sports. Can this system sustain long-term profitability amidst our changing digital landscape and unbundling of cable distribution?

My earliest sports memory that had a huge impact on me was my dad taking me to my first baseball game and having Keith Hernandez flip a baseball over to us as he made the final play of an inning at first base for the New York Mets. A real human moment, seeing Keith, who was the heart and soul of the iconic 1986 New York Mets, so close up. His eyes connected with mine as he smiled at me and my father, and having that tactile piece of baseball in my hands, a physical item I could look upon and remember that moment. 

Sports, in-person, at the game, is a transcendent experience. Nothing else compares to it. 

In the modern era, technology has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives, and the domain of sports is no exception. Whether it’s the high-definition, slow-motion replays on our home screens or the complex algorithms that feed us personalized highlights on our smartphones, technology has indisputably transformed the way we consume and enjoy sports. But as we revel in this new age of enhanced experience and accessibility, are we trading off the essential human connection that sports are meant to foster?

One of the most captivating aspects of sports is the raw emotion and spontaneity—think last-second goals, unexpected comebacks, or even just the roar of a crowd. Over-engineered technology might sterilize these elements, creating a more controlled but ultimately less exciting experience. High-fidelity simulations or virtual experiences might come close to replicating the “real thing,” but lack the authenticity of being at a live event, surrounded by other fans, feeling the tension in the air.

Over-engineered technology might sterilize these elements, creating a more controlled but ultimately less exciting experience

The concept of the “uncanny valley” can be extended to the way technology is implemented in human sports experiences. As technology is increasingly integrated into sports—for example, through virtual reality experiences, augmented reality overlays, or even AI-powered analytics and simulations—there’s a risk that the technology might diminish the very human elements that make sports compelling in the first place.

The Allure of Tech-Driven Sports Experience

It’s hard to argue against the conveniences that technology has brought into sports viewership. Gone are the days when missing a game meant waiting for the next day’s newspaper for an update. In today’s digital world, not only can we stream games live on multiple devices, but we also have the luxury of virtual reality experiences, real-time stats, and even simulated games. The tech boom has democratized access to sports, making it globally accessible in a way that was unimaginable just a few decades ago.

The Double-Edged Sword of Personalization

One of the most groundbreaking advancements is the personalization algorithms that curate what we see based on our past behaviors and preferences. Did you like a tweet about a spectacular slam dunk? You’ll get an endless stream of similar highlights. Does your smart TV know you watch soccer every weekend? Your home screen is now a dedicated shrine to your favorite sport.

But here lies the paradox: While these algorithms make our experience more personal, they also make it less communal. Are we missing the serendipity of collective experience, the shared moments that happen when we all watch the same highlight reel or the same crucial game, irrespective of our personal preferences?

The Vanishing Sense of Community

Before the age of smartphones and smart TVs, sports were a communal affair. Fans gathered around a single screen or, better yet, in stadiums to share the highs and lows of a game. The advent of technology, while making sports more accessible, has also made the experience more solitary. Streaming a game on your personal device may offer convenience, but it lacks the collective euphoria or despair that you can only feel in a crowd of fellow fans.

Are we missing the serendipity of collective experience, the shared moments that happen when we all watch the same highlight reel or the same crucial game, irrespective of our personal preferences?

The Question of Authenticity

When we talk about the human connection in sports, we’re also talking about the authenticity of the game. Advanced technologies like VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in soccer or Hawk-Eye in tennis have brought more accuracy but also more debates. Does the quest for perfection take away from the essence of the sport, which is, at its core, a human endeavor complete with flaws and imperfections? What is sports radio going to obsess about, or even Sports Twitter (now X) going to argue over when the robots make perfect, unquestionable decisions on every play?

So, how do we reconcile this? The path toward evolution is inevitable for sports. Tech is going to change fundamentally all the games I grew up playing and watching. The answer may lie in a hybrid model that marries the best of both worlds, designed to attract a younger, modern audience without alienating traditional fans.

Community-Driven Live Events

One possible avenue is to create more community-driven live events, perhaps in smaller, more intimate settings. Imagine venues equipped with advanced technology, but designed to foster a sense of community. Think interactive screens that not only display stats but allow fans to communicate with each other, creating a “virtual stadium experience” for those who can’t be there in person. Could this blend of tech and community spirit rejuvenate local leagues and lesser-watched sports, and create a tailwind for insurgent leagues?

Gamification of the Live Experience

Gamification has proven to be incredibly effective at increasing engagement across various platforms, particularly among younger audiences. What if sports leagues introduced more gamification elements into live sports experiences? You could earn points for attending games, for participating in live polls, or by predicting the outcome of plays. This isn’t about gambling, since most younger viewers won’t be able to participate. This is about leveraging their need for interactivity to nurture and build an affinity for the games in a way they’re more familiar and intrigued by.

Provocative Questions for Thought

Is technology making sports more of a product to consume rather than an experience to share?

Do we risk creating a generation of fans who are more loyal to algorithms than to teams?

Are we missing out on the “beautiful flaws” of sports in our pursuit of technologically enhanced perfection?

As we navigate this tech-driven landscape, it’s crucial to pause and reflect on what we might be losing in the process. The marriage between sports and technology is seemingly inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the growing disconnect. After all, at its heart, sports are about more than just scores or spectacular plays; they are about human connections, shared experiences, and the beauty of imperfection.

Is data the new highlight and
are fans the new
free agents?

[ NOT QUITE ]

Innovating without losing traditional fans

[ YES ]

The future is fan controlled

Do you agree with this?
Do you disagree or have a completely different perspective?
We’d love to know: editor@ondiscourse.com

We are taking the discourse to Nashville. Join us on October 25th for drinks, dinner, and discourse at Frankies in East Nashville. Here’s our preview…

On the other side of the tracks at the edge of East Hill lies the first-ever southern expansion of the renowned Brooklyn Italian restaurant, Frankie’s Spuntino. More like a tree-lined campus than a restaurant, Frankies Nashville houses a variety of craft-spaces and facilities in a warm, authentic, and informal atmosphere.

We are preparing for an active discourse on The Fan Experience. Our members will be joined by a collection of high level sports and media industry experts who will define and defend their perspective on the features that will shape fan engagement for the next decade and longer. We will have representatives from incumbent leagues as well as executives from insurgent leagues who see the unbundling of sports media rights as an opportunity to capture market share. Who has it right? Let’s discourse it and get some perspective.

What does the fan actually want?

How do media rights impact fans?

Is data the new highlight?

Frankies, Nashville
October 25, 2023
7-10pm CT

There has to be something special about Nashville, because the legendary Brooklyn restaurant has never before ventured outside the brownstone-stacked streets of its home turf. Frankies Spuntino is more than an Italian restaurant, it is a cultural institution that set a new standard for authentic, simple, world class Italian food. In his final column, outgoing New York Times food critic Sam Sifton wrote: “The best meal I had on the job? It was in the garden of Frankies on a summer evening.” You can be assured the food will be excellent and the company will be ready to rumble.

The famous southern red oak trees of Nashville will be at their peak fall colors. The drinks will be cold, the lights will be low. The company will be world-class. If you want to attend, let us know. If you can’t make it, stay tuned for our event recap which will capture the moments of perspective that matter.

Interested in becoming a member and attending? Inquire about membership here: memberships@ondiscourse.com.