Welcome to our daily podcast: Front Office Sports Today. Join senior writer Owen Poindexter each day for breakdowns of the biggest stories across sports and business, commentary on cultural trends in the space, and guest appearances from influential athletes, executives, and the FOS editorial team. The only podcast you need to start your day right.
The NBA is Determined to Thrill You This All-Star Weekend
28:51The NBA All-Star Game has gone from being just a top-shelf scrimmage to a full weekend of concerts—Lil Wayne! Keith Urban! T-Pain!—panels, and events. NBA Senior Vice President, Head of Event Strategy and Management Joey Graziano joins the show to discuss the evolution of the game and what the league learned from the first in-season tournament. Plus, Wilson is selling a $2,500 basketball, Comcast is using Caitlin Clark’s record chase to drive Peacock subscriptions, and MLB players are less than thrilled with their new Nike-Fanatics uniforms. This episode is sponsored by: Autotrader: autotrader.com/seeitfindit
This Serbian Team is Producing as Many NBA Draft Picks as Michigan
29:51Nikola Jokić is a singular basketball player, but he is emblematic of a talent pipeline from Serbia that is growing in prominence for the NBA. The New Yorker’s Louisa Thomas joins the episode to discuss the Serbian team that produced the superstar, the challenges of marketing Jokić, and what he means for the future of the NBA. Plus, Oakland and the A’s are talking again, and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo tells FOS's Mike McCarthy how ESPN changed his life. This episode is sponsored by: Autotrader: autotrader.com/seeitfindit
Why the NHL is Positioned for Growth (Despite Itself)
24:59The NHL is looking to this weekend’s Stadium Series to help grow interest in the league. With team values rising, the league is expected to expand in the coming years. However, a hiatus from the Olympics and a fumbled response to the question of whether players can wear pride tape on their sticks shows a league that sometimes causes its own problems. ESPN’s Emily Kaplan joins the show to discuss the state of the league. Plus, Tiger Woods begins his next chapter, the Oakland A’s will have the first female lead play-by-play announcer in MLB history, and the Kansas City Royals campaign to fund a new downtown ballpark. This episode is sponsored by: Autotrader: autotrader.com/seeitfindit
What Does a Dynasty Really Look Like?
26:26The NFL just wrapped up arguably its biggest season yet, and now faces some compelling offseason questions: Will the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders secure new stadium deals? Can the league continue to push the envelope on streaming-exclusive broadcasts? What opportunities are there for the week one Friday game in Brazil? We dive into those issues, plus Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes, executive producers of an upcoming Apple TV docuseries on the New England Patriots, join to discuss how they chronicled one of the most dominant teams in NFL history.
The Risks and Rewards of Las Vegas’s Huge Sports Investment
28:20Sin City saw its rise as a sports city come to fruition with Sunday’s Super Bowl, but more and more economists are questioning the value of hosting major sporting events. The city is also learning the quirks of Oakland A’s owner John Fisher, as he seeks funding for a new stadium on the Las Vegas Strip. FOS contributor Dan Kaplan and The Athletic columnist Tim Kawakami join the show to discuss the perils and profits that the city has felt as a high-profile sports destination.
NFL Hits Jackpot with Las Vegas Super Bowl
23:52The spectacle that is Super Bowl week is reaching new heights in Las Vegas. Long before kickoff, NFL players, media personnel, celebrities, and brands flooded the city for both business and pleasure. Ahead of the game, our writers on the scene join for a roundtable talk on the wild week. Plus, a development firm put out ambitious renderings for a new Chicago White Sox stadium, the NBA is embracing the flow of money from the Middle East, and Patrick Beverly broke the news of his own trade.
ESPN’s Streaming Future is Here
23:31Disney’s quarterly earnings showed strength at ESPN and narrow losses from its streaming services. This week, ESPN announced both a joint streaming venture with Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery, and a separate standalone product that will put the ESPN cable channel on a streaming service along with ESPN Bet integration and other features. We dive into how the network is shaping its cord-cutting strategy. Plus, Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, and Phil Simms chime in from Radio Row, we have exclusive data on whether fans would pay to watch the Super Bowl, and the Boston Red Sox are getting the “Hard Knocks” treatment.
Are College Athletes Employees?
26:33A ruling by the National Labor Relations Board puts college athletes on the path to becoming employees of their schools. While appeals are expected, the NCAA could face an equally tough audience from the Supreme Court, should the case progress that far. Plus, the mayor of Las Vegas responds to the reaction from her interview on this show, ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery are launching a sports-focused streaming service, and we look back on the NFL season and ahead to the NFL draft with ESPN’s Matt Miller. This episode is sponsored by: Autotrader: autotrader.com/seeitfindit
Las Vegas Mayor: A’s Plans ‘Don’t Make Sense’
25:34Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman applauds the city’s rise as a sports destination with one exception: the Oakland A’s. Mayor Goodman told Front Office Sports that she believes the team’s plans at the Tropicana site don’t make sense and that the team ought to stay in Oakland. She also discussed a potential NBA team there, and how the city will adjust in future years hosting Formula 1 to mitigate harm to small businesses. Plus, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held his annual Super Bowl press conference, FIFA announced the World Cup final host, Inter Miami’s international tour has disappointed Lionel Messi fans, and the Kansas City Royals made one of the biggest signings in baseball history.
NFL Gambling Rules Make Las Vegas a Danger Zone for Players
25:26The NFL has embraced sports betting with its first Super Bowl in Las Vegas, but the league’s gambling by-laws present a maze of potential hazards for the hundreds of players that will be in Sin City for the week. Players on NFL rosters have to navigate detailed regulations on casino events and the rules around sportsbook locations. The situation is primed for rule breaking, whether intentional or accidental. Plus, Kylian Mbappe has reportedly picked a new team, NHL players will participate in the next two Winter Olympics, and we dive into the strange world of Super Bowl ads with USA Today’s Rick Suter.