CNBC kicks off sports vertical

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CNBC is launching CNBC Sport, a new vertical that will harness the strength of network’s reporting on the intersection between business and sports. 

“The spotlight on sports has never been brighter with more money at play than ever before,” said K.C. Sullivan, CNBC president, in a statement. “CNBC Sport will offer the highly engaged sports business audience and those looking to invest in this rapidly growing sector, a trusted destination where they will get analysis, updates and insider insights to help them get in on the action.”

Michael Ozanian, best known for his unique rankings of the most valuable sports leagues and teams, has been hired as CNBC senior sports reporter, where he will create a new valuation program that dynamically provides audiences with an understanding of how the money is moving across franchises and leagues.

In addition to showcasing his data-driven rankings, Ozanian will provide breaking news, insights, and analysis of the inner workings of the business across all CNBC platforms. He will follow the money reporting updates when sports franchises change hands, enlist new sponsors and when leagues strike media deals, among other topics.

“Mike’s work has been the gold standard for years,” said Sullivan. “Now as sports franchises have grown to attract new kinds of owners and partners, his unique coverage of the industry will give our audience the same kind of insights and reporting CNBC has brought to stocks, bonds and other financial markets for more than three decades.”

Ozanian joins CNBC from Forbes where he has been compiling team valuations since 1998 and was managing editor and co-host of “Forbes SportsMoney,” a four-time Emmy Award winning television show on the YES Network since 2008.

CNBC has already gained momentum in the sports vertical, having already launched the sports conference Game Plan, produced in partnership with Boardroom.

CNBC Sport will utilize the organization’s unmatched roster of journalists to provide distinctive insights and breaking news on this fast-paced industry, including:

  • Alex Sherman will expand his role to become CNBC’s media and sports reporter focusing on the intersection of sports and media. Sherman who joined in 2018 as a Media Reporter, has built an impressive record of breaking news and interviewing the biggest names in media and sports, most recently getting an inside look at ESPN.
  • Contessa Brewer, who has been covering the fast-growing sports gambling world for CNBC, will continue to focus on the money, data statistics and strategy behind the sports gaming industry. The companies on her watch list include big Las Vegas players such as faesars, and MGM Resorts, regional casinos Penn Entertainment and Boyd, online gambling juggernauts DraftKings and Flutter’s FanDuel and global luxury casinos Wynn and Las Vegas Sands.
  • Renowned for his knowledge of the trends influencing decisions and access to the decision makers, Scott Wapner will deliver news making interviews with league commissioners, team owners and investors who are driving the business of sports today.
  • Jessica Golden, who serves as senior sports business producer, will bring her extensive experience reporting and producing sports content to the vertical. Golden has a pulse on the sports world having interviewed the commissioners of all the major sports leagues as well as some of the biggest players on the field, court, and ice. She has covered high-profile sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Olympics and follows the big money behind them. She also closely watches the intersection of sports and retail from Adidas to Nike to Under Armour.

CNBC Sport will also lean into many of CNBC’s other journalists to contribute content to the vertical particularly where it crosses over with other coverage beats such as retail, travel, technology and wealth. Some featured reporters will include Dominic Chu on golf, Sara Eisen on Formula 1, Brian Sullivan on motor sports, and Lillian Rizzo on media rights, among others.

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