SBJ Unpacks

SBJ Unpacks
Sports business is facing new global economic, political, and cultural changes. Unpacks is a new series from Sports Business Journal that analyzes how current trends are impacting sports business. Listen as SBJ editors and special guests provide trusted insights to help you navigate these dynamic, complex situations.

The Road Ahead: College Sports Update with Paul Finebaum
Jul 14 • 16 min
Today was supposed to be the second day of SEC Football Media Days, but because of the pandemic we are left wanting. SBJ college writer Michael Smith is joined by ESPN personality Paul Finebaum to fill that void. The duo discuss how the pandemic is…
The Road Ahead: NFL Update with Ben Fischer
Jul 14 • 26 min
Hail to the… ? The Washington NFL football team has decided to retire their nickname and logo. SBJ NFL writer Ben Fischer joins Bill King to talk about next steps for the 3-time Super Bowl Champions.
Motorsports Update with Adam Stern
Jul 13 • 28 min
SBJ motorsports writer Adam Stern joins Bill King to talk about the new startup racing league, Superstar Racing Experience, as well as to add insight into the other corners of the sport.
Superstar Racing Experience with Adam Stern
Jul 13 • 10 min
Abe Madkour and Adam Stern discuss the Superstar Racing Experience led by Tony Stewart, Ray Evernham, Sandy Montag, and George Pyne. The new racing league will premiere in summer 2021 on Saturday nights during prime time on CBS.
The Road Ahead: PLL’s Paul Rabil and MLL’s Sandy Brown
Jul 10 • 48 min
Sports Business Daily’s Andrew Levin unpacks the return of outdoor professional lacrosse with PLL Co-Founder Paul Rabil, and then MLL Commissioner Sandy Brown.
The Road Ahead: Ethan Casson CEO, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx
Jul 9 • 30 min
Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx CEO Ethan Casson joins Bill King to talk about how his organizations are staying active in furthering equality and social justice.
The Road Ahead: Donald Dell
Jul 8 • 29 min
Terry Lefton speaks with sports industry pioneer Donald Dell about the state of sports and The Road Ahead.
The Road Ahead: Derrick Hall, Arizona Diamondbacks CEO
Jul 7 • 30 min
Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall joins Bill King to talk about the return of Major League Baseball during the pandemic.
The Road Ahead: MLB Update with Eric Prisbell
Jul 6 • 29 min
Bill King is joined by SBJ baseball writer Eric Prisbell to talk about MLB in a bubble and the complications that have and will arise with a return to the diamond.
The Road Ahead: Todd DuBoef, President of Top Rank Boxing
Jul 2 • 30 min
Top Rank president Todd DuBoef joins Bill King to discuss the boxing promoter’s resumption of fights in a true, self-contained bubble at Las Vegas’s MGM Grand, and the steady flow of live programming it has created for ESPN.
The Road Ahead: NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird
Jul 1 • 26 min
National Women’s Soccer League Commissioner Lisa Baird joins Bill King to discuss the NWSL’s journey as the first US team sport to return from the stoppage.
The Road Ahead: Oura CEO Harpreet Singh Rai
Jun 30 • 19 min
Oura CEO Harpreet Singh Rai joins SBD’s Andrew Levin to discuss the company’s advanced technology ring and how the NBA will utilize it to prevent a virus outbreak inside the Orlando bubble.
The Road Ahead: SponsorUnited’s Bob Lynch
Jun 29 • 24 min
Terry Lefton is joined by Bob Lynch, Founder and President of SponsorUnited, to talk about how the sports sponsorship industry is navigating the treacherous waters the pandemic has caused.
The Road Ahead: Miami Heat’s Eric Woolworth
Jun 25 • 24 min
Miami Heat President, Business Operations, Eric Woolworth joins Bill King to discuss the NBA’s return plan, the league’s role in promoting social justice and much more.
The Road Ahead: College Sports with Michael Smith
Jun 24 • 19 min
Michael Smith joins Bill King to talk about how the return of college sports could look and how the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases at some of the country’s top football programs are affecting the prognosis for return.
The Road Ahead: MLB’s path to returning with Eric Prisbell
Jun 23 • 30 min
Eric Prisbell joins Bill King to discuss the contentious negotiations between MLB and the players’ association, and what the 2020 season will look like.
The Road Ahead: Sports Betting with Adam Gray
Jun 22 • 23 min
California Assemblymember Adam Gray joins Bill King to discuss the sports betting bill he co-authored, which reaches a pivotal point this week.
The Road Ahead: WTA’s Ashley Keber and SAP’s Milan Cerny
Jun 19 • 21 min
Ashley Keber (WTA) and Milan Cerny (SAP) talk about the tour’s partnership with SAP and how it has helped them get through the pandemic.
The Road Ahead: MLB Negotiations with Eric Prisbell
Jun 18 • 25 min
Bill King and Eric Prisbell discuss the latest MLB labor negotiations and what could be next for America’s Pastime.
The Road Ahead: Sports Marketing with Molly Arbogast
Jun 17 • 18 min
POV Sports Marketing founder and CEO Molly Arbogast joins Terry Lefton to talk about how sports marketing will evolve and develop during and after the pandemic.
The Road Ahead: Innovation in Sports with Ben Shields
Jun 16 • 26 min
Bill King is joined by Ben Shields, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, to discuss how the sports industry can survive the pandemic and in what ways innovation can reshape the sports industry.
The Road Ahead: NASCAR Bans the Confederate Flag with Adam Stern
Jun 15 • 19 min
Bill Kings is joined by Adam Stern and they discuss the impact of NASCAR banning the confederate flag at its events and properties.
The Road Ahead: PGA TOUR with Andy Levinson
Jun 11 • 29 min
PGA TOUR Senior Vice President of Tournament Administration Andy Levinson joins Bill King to share insight into the TOUR’s return to the links and what lies ahead.
The Road Ahead: Sports Concessions with Chris Bigelow
Jun 10 • 26 min
Food services consultant Chris Bigelow joins Bill King to discuss how social distancing policies and other aspects of a changed world will impact how food and beverages are served at venues.
The Road Ahead: Sports Job Market with Len Perna, Founder and Chairman of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment
Jun 9 • 22 min
Turnkey Search chairman and founder Len Perna joins Bill King to discuss the state of the sports job market, the hiring process, and the ways in which both may be forever changed.
The Road Ahead: Milwaukee Bucks with President Peter Feigin
Jun 8 • 25 min
Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin joins Bill King to discuss the team’s path back to basketball, and through civil unrest.
The Road Ahead: NBA and Disney World with John Lombardo
Jun 5 • 22 min
Bill King and John Lombardo discuss the NBA’s restart plan in July and how Disney World could live up to their moniker as the “Happiest Place on Earth” at least for basketball fans.
65. The Road Ahead: Sports Video Games with Todd Sitrin of EA Sports
Jun 4 • 31 min
Todd Sitrin, Senior Vice President of Competitive Gaming at EA Sports, joins Bill King to explore the mainstream window that esports has opened for sports video game publishers during the pandemic.
64. The Role of Sports in the Context of Civil Unrest with Quentin Williams
Jun 3 • 31 min
Quentin Williams, Founder and CEO of Dedication to Community, joins Bill King to examine the role of sports in the context of civil unrest.
63. The Road Ahead: Sports Sponsorship with Intersport founder Charlie Besser
Jun 2 • 23 min
Intersport founder Charlie Besser joins Terry Lefton as they discuss the state of agencies and sports sponsorship during this pandemic and what may be on the horizon.
62. The Road Ahead: Back to Campus with Mike Hill, UNC Charlotte Athletic Director
Jun 1 • 25 min
UNC Charlotte Athletic Director Mike Hill joins Bill King to discuss the complexities of student-athletes returning to campus and resumption of play.
61. Weathering COVID-19: Sports Media with John Ourand
May 29 • 18 min
Bill King and John Ourand discuss how networks are planning to broadcast games without fans in the stands.
60. Weathering COVID-19: NHL Update with Mark Burns
May 28 • 20 min
Bill King and Mark J. Burns of Sports Business Daily dive into the NHL’s plan to return to the ice.
59. Weathering COVID-19: Grand Slam Tennis Tours with Kyle Ross
May 27 • 24 min
Bret McCormick speaks with Kyle Ross from Grand Slam Tennis Tours. This week, Ross is overseeing the launch of a 120-match tennis exhibition series spread across the U.S., from his mother-in law’s house in Rhode Island. The pair discusses the conception…
58. Weathering COVID-19: Force Majeure Clauses with Greg Levy and Peter Carfagna
May 26 • 29 min
Bill King is joined by Greg Levy, Associate Dean of the University of Miami Law School and Peter Carfagna, Co-Director, Sports Law Track at the University of Miami. They discuss force majeure in the time of COVID-19 and the summer course they are leading…
57. Weathering COVID-19: Youth Sports with Tom Farrey Part II
May 21 • 32 min
Bill King is joined again by Tom Farrey, Executive Director of the Sports & Society Program at The Aspen Institute, to examine what a safe return to sports will look like for kids and whether now is the right time.
56. Weathering COVID-19: MLB Negotiations with Eric Prisbell
May 20 • 27 min
With MLB unveiling a plan for the road back to the diamond, Bill King and Eric Prisbell talk about how owners and players can find a middle ground to bring America’s pastime back between the baselines
55. Weathering COVID-19: Dr. Harvey Schiller
May 19 • 23 min
2013 Sports Business Journal Champions Award recipient Dr. Harvey Schiller joins Terry Lefton in this episode. Schiller’s former roles include Southeastern Conference Commissioner, Executive Director of the United States Olympic Committee, Chief Executive…
54. Weathering COVID-19: Sports Business Class of 2020 with Whitney Wagoner
May 18 • 29 min
Whitney Wagoner, Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Director at the University of Oregon, joins Bill King to look back at the road the Class of 2020 has traveled at sports management programs across the country, and ahead to what awaits them.
53. Weathering COVID-19: NASCAR Returns with Steve Phelps, President
May 15 • 25 min
NASCAR is getting back to real racing this weekend in Darlington, South Carolina. Bill King talks with NASCAR President Steve Phelps about the racing body organization’s plan for this weekend and beyond.
52. Weathering COVID-19: World Surf League with Erik Logan, CEO
May 14 • 29 min
With surfers from 52 countries and events in 20, the World Surf League is a truly global competition. That globalism has complicated the WSL’s efforts to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout, including a suspension of the WSL’s 2020 season.…
51. Weathering COVID-19: Business Management with Dale Caldwell
May 13 • 20 min
Bill King speaks with management consultant Dale Caldwell of the Human Advantage about techniques to navigate a time of unprecedented, wide-spread stress.
50. Weathering COVID-19: Sports Equipment with Tom Cove
May 12 • 17 min
Terry Lefton is joined by Tom Cove, President of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. They discuss the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports equipment manufacturers and marketers.
49. Weathering COVID-19: Spectator-Less Sports Technology with Eric Prisbell
May 11 • 27 min
Bill King and SBJ baseball and technology writer Eric Prisbell discuss what leagues, networks and tech companies are considering as they plan for broadcasts of games played without spectators.
48. Weathering COVID-19: UFC’s Return with COO Lawrence Epstein
May 8 • 25 min
UFC COO Lawrence Epstein joins Bill King to discuss the ways it revamped event operations in order to resume fighting, beginning with Saturday night’s pay per view card in Jacksonville, Florida.
47. Weathering COVID-19: Athletes and Leadership with Michele Roberts
May 7 • 15 min
In this episode of SBJ Unpacks, we share an exclusive interview from CAA World Congress Comes to You. John Ourand is joined by Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association. They discuss the pandemic’s impact on…
46. Weathering COVID-19: College Sports Marketing with Vince Thompson
May 6 • 30 min
MELT Sports and Entertainment agency founder Vince Thompson joins Bill King to discuss what sponsors in college sports face as they navigate the uncertainty of the 2020 football season, along with other issues college programs face.
45. Weathering COVID-19: Miami Dolphins with Tom Garfinkel, President and CEO
May 5 • 23 min
Bill King speaks with Miami Dolphins President and CEO Tom Garfinkel about the franchise’s vision for a “new normal,” which includes a cleaning certification program designed to keep surfaces COVID-19 free.
44. Weathering COVID-19: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina with Hugh Weber
May 4 • 26 min
Bill King speaks with Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment president Hugh Weber about his experiences leading the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets through crisis during, and following, Hurricane Katrina.
43. Weathering COVID-19: Professional Bull Riders with Sean Gleason
Apr 30 • 29 min
Bill King speaks with Sean Gleason, CEO of Professional Bull Riders. They discuss how the circuit held its first event this past weekend since the COVID-19 shutdown began, including the planning, precautions and preparation that went into their return.
42. Weathering COVID-19: The Return of Sports with Mark Burns
Apr 29 • 27 min
Bill King talks to Mark Burns about his conversations with epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and physicians, as they discussed the realities of a path back for both athletes and fans.
41. Weathering COVID-19: Brand Marketing with Ed Horne
Apr 28 • 20 min
Terry Lefton is joined by Ed Horne, President of 160over90. The senior marketing executive shares his thoughts on how brands are navigating the pandemic and what may await on the other side.
40. Weathering COVID-19: Venue Health Security with Kathy Lupia
Apr 27 • 29 min
Bill King is joined by Kathleen Lupia, a leading security and emergency preparedness consultant, for a discussion of the many ways sports venues will have to change their procedures on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
39. 2020 NFL Draft: Round 1 Recap
Apr 24 • 21 min
Ben Fischer and John Ourand recap Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft. They are joined by Andy Amrine who offers a fan perspective. The trio discuss what worked and what didn’t in the new, virtual format.
38. 2020 NFL Draft: Preview
Apr 23 • 16 min
Bill King and Ben Fischer preview the 2020 NFL Draft through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic.
37. Weathering COVID-19: Youth Sports with Benita Fitzgerald Mosley and Jeremy Goldberg
Apr 22 • 30 min
Earlier this week, a coalition of over 400 youth sports organizations requested more than 8.5 billion dollars in federal emergency aid. In today’s SBJ Unpacks, Bill King is joined by Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Olympic gold medalist and CEO of Laureus Sport…
36. Weathering COVID-19: Sports Betting with Sara Slane
Apr 21 • 24 min
The 2020 NFL Draft is shaping up to be the most watched in history. Bill King is joined by Sara Slane, Sports Betting Consultant and former Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at the American Gaming Association. They discuss the downturn in sports…
35. Weathering COVID-19: Small Business Loans in Sports
Apr 20 • 18 min
Bill King, Eric Prisbell and John Lombardo discuss the Paycheck Protection Program and how the federal government’s emergency loan program can have an impact in the sports industry.
34. Weathering COVID-19: Encore - Youth Sports with Tom Farrey
Apr 17 • 24 min
In this encore episode, Bill King speaks with Tom Farrey, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Sport & Society Program. They talk about the impact of a global pandemic on youth sports across the US.
33. Weathering COVID-19: NFL Draft with Seth Markman
Apr 16 • 19 min
John Ourand is joined by ESPN Vice President of Production Seth Markman to discuss the network’s NFL draft plans, coordinating with the NFL Network, and the innovation that ESPN is creating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
32. Weathering COVID-19: Encore - Venues & Facilities with Russ Simons
Apr 15 • 22 min
Bill King revisits episode #16 of SBJ Unpacks. In it, King discusses how the coronavirus has impacted the facilities industry with Venue Solutions Group’s Russ Simons. Now that we’ve learned the importance of social distancing, what will it take to get us…
31. Weathering COVID-19: Esports & Tennis with Mark Ein
Apr 14 • 17 min
Bret McCormick is joined by Mark Ein, owner of the Citi Open tennis tournament and esports team the Washington Justice. They discuss the Citi Open this summer, whether tennis fairs better than other sports without a live audience, and how esports has…
30. Weathering COVID-19: Encore - Crisis Management with Regina Phelps
Apr 13 • 14 min
Bill King revisits one of the first episodes of SBJ Unpacks featuring crisis management and pandemic planning consultant Regina Phelps, founder of Emergency Management & Safety Solutions.
29. Weathering COVID-19: NCAA & College Athletes with Michael Smith
Apr 10 • 17 min
Bill King is joined by Michael Smith to discuss how collegiate athletes and the NCAA comes back on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
28. Weathering COVID-19: Consumer Habits & Perceptions with Jon Stainer
Apr 9 • 23 min
Bill King is joined by Jon Stainer, Managing Director of North America for Nielsen Sports. They discuss recent data explaining how consumers are spending their time during stay-at-home orders, and how consumers perceive brands and teams during these…
27. Weathering COVID-19: MLB’s Return with Eric Prisbell
Apr 8 • 23 min
As Major League Baseball eyes a potential return in Arizona, Bill King and Eric Prisbell examine the potential and pitfalls of a path back for MLB.
26. Weathering COVID-19: Crisis Communications with Matthew Hiltzik
Apr 7 • 30 min
During the coronavirus pandemic, it seems all communication is crisis communication. Bill King speaks with communications consultant and attorney Matthew Hiltzik about how to talk to fans, staff, sponsors, and each other during an unprecedented, and…
25. Weathering COVID-19: College Athletics with Tom McMillen
Apr 6 • 23 min
Bill King is joined by Tom McMillen, the former NBA player and US Congressman who now heads Lead1, the association of Division 1 athletic directors. They discuss the impact of the pandemic on college athletic departments and college athletes now scattered…
24. Weathering COVID-19: Youth Sports Facilities with Dev Pathik
Apr 3 • 22 min
Bill King and Dev Pathik, Founder and CEO of Sports Facilities Advisory, discuss how the COVID-19 quarantine has shut down not only professional and collegiate sports, but the youth sports world as well, and the impact that has had on youth sports…
23. Weathering COVID-19: Tennis with Noah Rubin
Apr 2 • 25 min
Bret McCormick and professional tennis player Noah Rubin discuss the heavy toll COVID-19 has taken on the tennis world, how the Wimbledon cancellation could be a sign of more to come, and how Rubin has had to adapt to the pandemic.
22. Weathering COVID-19: Brand Marketing with Tony Ponturo
Apr 1 • 22 min
Terry Lefton is joined by Tony Ponturo, CEO of Management Group and former Vice President of Global Media, Sports and Entertainment Marketing at Anheuser-Busch. The two discuss the impact of the coronavirus on brand marketing in sports.
21. Weathering COVID-19: Sales & Sponsorships with Bernie Mullin
Mar 31 • 32 min
20. Weathering COVID-19: Tokyo 2021 with Terrence Burns
Mar 30 • 24 min
19. Weathering COVID-19: iRacing with NASCAR’s Scott Warfield
Mar 27 • 23 min
18. Weathering COVID-19: Impact on Athletes with Mark Bartelstein
Mar 26 • 19 min
Bill King chats with NBA agent Mark Bartelstein about how athletes are adjusting to life without sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
17. Weathering COVID-19: Impact on Sports Business Education with Jim Kahler
Mar 25 • 22 min
16. Weathering COVID-19: Venue Impact with Russ Simons
Mar 24 • 22 min
Bill King discusses how the coronavirus has impacted the facilities industry with Venue Solutions Group’s Russ Simons. Now that we’ve learned the importance of social distancing, what will it take to get us back to cheering side by side? And what might a…
15. Weathering COVID-19: 2020 Olympics with Ben Fischer
Mar 23 • 17 min
Bill King and Ben Fischer discuss the rapid movement behind the potential postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, including today’s comments by IOC member Dick Pound, and what a postponement would actually mean for those involved in the Games.
14. Weathering COVID-19: Impact on Youth Sports with Tom Farrey
Mar 20 • 24 min
This weekend, millions will wake up with no place to take their kids. No game. No practice. No tournament. Bill King speaks with Tom Farrey, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sport & Society Program, about the impact of a global pandemic on…
13. Weathering COVID-19: Sports Sponsorships with AJ Maestas
Mar 19 • 21 min
As global sports have ground to a halt, so too have the related activities of sports sponsors. No games mean no assets – at least as they’ve traditionally been viewed. Bill King examines the impact of a global pandemic on sports sponsorship with AJ…
12. Weathering COVID-19: Interview with Mikaela Whitman on Event Insurance
Mar 18 • 21 min
Bill King interviews Mikaela Whitman, partner at Pasich LLP. The two discuss the insurance impacts on current events and what the insurance market will look like when events resume.
11. Weathering COVID-19: Interview with Joe Asher & Impact on Sports Betting
Mar 17 • 18 min
Bill King is joined by Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill, to discuss COVID-19’s impact on sports betting.
10. Weathering COVID-19: Impact on the Olympics
Mar 16 • 16 min
Bill King and Ben Fischer talk about how COVID-19 is disrupting Olympic qualification events and what that may mean for the Tokyo Games.
9. Weathering COVID-19: Impact on NASCAR
Mar 13 • 13 min
Bill King and Adam Stern discuss NASCAR’s decision to postpone their upcoming races.
8. Weathering COVID-19: Interview with Andy Dolich
Mar 12 • 18 min
It has been a tumultuous 24 hours across sports business. Former NBA, NFL and MLB team executive Andy Dolich takes us inside the minds of his peers and behind the decisions they face.
7. Weathering COVID-19: Interview with Bill Oakes & Impact on Professional Tennis
Mar 11 • 13 min
SBJ’s Bret McCormick is joined by Bill Oakes to chat about how COVID-19 is disrupting the professional tennis tours. The former tournament director of the Winston-Salem Open and ATP Tour 250 Tournaments Executive Committee chairman shares his thoughts on…
6. Weathering COVID-19: Interview with Jim Palmer
Mar 10 • 11 min
Precaution for COVID-19 is creating major sporting event cancellations and some organizations are playing in empty arenas and stadiums. John Ourand spoke with Orioles TV analyst and baseball hall of famer Jim Palmer about his experience calling games…
5. Weathering COV-19: Interview with Regina Phelps
Mar 9 • 13 min
In the wake of the first major sporting event cancellation in the US, Bill King speaks with crisis management and pandemic planning consultant Regina Phelps, founder of Emergency Management & Safety Solutions. They discuss the decisions facing teams,…
4. Weathering COVID-19: College Sports
Mar 6 • 11 min
Michael Smith joins Bill King to talk about the impact COVID-19 is having around the college sports landscape.
3. Weathering COVID-19: Interview with Attorney Tim Browne
Mar 5 • 15 min
Attorney Tim Browne joins us to discuss the potential financial ramifications on the US sports industry if an outbreak leads to the cancellation of games, as it has elsewhere, and looks at the likelihood that insurance would cover any of those losses.
2. Weathering COVID-19: NBA & NHL React
Mar 5 • 15 min
Bill King is joined by John Lombardo and Mark Burns to talk about how the NBA and NHL head towards their respective playoff pushes with COVID-19 casting a shadow over the sporting world.
1. Weathering COVID-19: Europe & The Olympic Games
Mar 5 • 18 min
As fear of the coronavirus spreads, we take a look at how the sports industry is reacting in the US. We then move abroad to the discuss the 2020 Olympic Games and esports.