These are 28 of the most influential women executives in sports media, driving deals with the NFL and NBA, expanding coverage of women’s sports, and more

  • Women are making inroads into the traditionally male-dominated sports media industry.
  • Female executives capitalize on trends and innovate in novel ways.
  • Insider identified the top 28 female sports media executives who are innovating and shaping the industry.

When Insider published a list of the top executives in sports media in 2022, the majority of them were men, as are many industry leaders.

However, there is a powerful cohort of women changing the business in the male-dominated worlds of sports, sports business, sports tech, and sports media, and Insider has identified 28 of the most influential leaders in that group. They’re innovating in key areas, capitalizing on trends, and creating new opportunities for others to emulate.

Women can be found in key roles at the media rights table — YouTube TV’s Lori Conkling was instrumental in the streamer’s NFL Sunday Ticket deal — and tapping into growing audiences and fandoms — Haley Rosen’s Just Women’s Sports grew from 155,000 to more than 900,000 TikTok followers in the last year.

Executives on this list also serve as mentors, lead teams primarily comprised of women, and make a point of passing on their knowledge to the next generation.

Rising stars like Olivia Hancock, a Gen Z entrepreneur making waves with her new college sports storytelling company ByUS Media, and Khristina Williams, the founder and face of Girls Talk Sports TV, a content hub for all things women’s basketball, are already reaping the benefits of that investment in the future of women’s leadership in sports media.

Insider focused on more established players for this list, including executives and influential higher-ups at prominent media companies, leaders at top tech companies shaking up the space, and founders of recognized and growing media brands.

The list was compiled using nominations and recommendations from industry insiders that were vetted by Insider.

Here are the 28 leaders, organized alphabetically by media company:

Amazon’s Marie Donoghue is growing the streamer into a live sports powerhouse


Donoghue is in charge of Amazon’s efforts to become a major player in live sports. The tech giant’s vice president of US sports content and partnerships oversees Prime Video’s sports-rights negotiations and was instrumental in securing an 11-year deal for “Thursday Night Football,” the NFL’s first all-streaming package.

Amazon now claims to reach over 240 countries and territories with its sports content, thanks to deals with UEFA’s Champions League, Singaporean combat-sport promoter ONE Championship, the French Open, and the NBA in Brazil.

Donoghue has reimagined live sports for the streaming audience in addition to securing rights deals. She energized the “TNF” broadcast with new on-air talent such as Ryan Fitzpatrick and Richard Sherman, as well as an alternate broadcast featuring YouTube stars Dude Perfect and data-enhanced viewing.

It took some time for some fans to discover the “TNF” stream, which is now in its second year, but according to Nielsen, “TNF” helped sign up new Prime members and attracted a younger and more affluent audience than the NFL attracts on linear TV. This year, Amazon will broadcast the NFL’s first Black Friday game, which the e-commerce giant plans to fully capitalize on by attempting to convert people into shoppers.

Donoghue is also looking for new acquisitions, as Amazon has made no secret of its desire to acquire more sports rights, owing to sports’ unique ability to command audiences. The Bronx native, who worked for ESPN for about 20 years before joining Amazon in 2018, reports to Jay Marine, vice president and global head of Prime Video Sports.

Amina Hussein is shaking up the Prime Video sports experience


Hussein, the Emmy-winning head of US sports on-air talent and development for Prime Video, created the on-air broadcast lineup for Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football,” combining the legendary Al Michaels with recently retired players such as Ryan Fitzpatrick and Richard Sherman. According to Nielsen, Amazon credits the crew with helping Prime Video average 11.3 million viewers during the 2022 season and attracting audiences who were younger and more affluent than linear NFL viewers. “The biggest challenge was the unknown, especially because chemistry is really important in these pregame shows,” Hussein said of the lineup.

Hussein worked at ESPN for 18 years, first on the radio and then on TV, where she rose to the position of senior coordinating producer. She was in charge of 10 on-air personalities as well as field reporters for NBA Countdown and Sunday NFL Countdown. Hussein previously worked for ESPN as a coordinating producer for the daily shows “SportsCenter” and “NFL Live.” She worked as the vice president of content at Peloton before joining Prime Video in 2022.

Hussein has received several Sports Emmys, including one in 2022 for “TNF’s” suite of alternate streams and another in 2016 for ESPN’s College Football MegaCast.

The Athletic’s Charlotte Winthrop is helping the publication reach new audiences


Charlotte Winthrop oversees growth and marketing at The Athletic, where the subscription-based model prioritizes audience.

Winthrop, the chief growth officer, increased brand awareness by spearheading campaigns such as “Losing is for Losers,” which encourages fantasy football fans to use The Athletic as a resource to avoid an embarrassing punishment and stay out of last place.

The executive has also been focused on increasing The Athletic’s readership, particularly through its parent company, The New York Times. She oversaw the integration of the sports division into the Times’ All Access package, which also includes news, games, cooking, and the product review site Wirecutter.

According to the company, Winthrop is proud that the majority of the team leaders reporting directly to her are also women.

Barstool Sports’ Erika Ayers Badan is leading the brand’s turnaround effort

Ayers Badan.

Ayers Badan, the CEO of Barstool Sports for the past seven years, is a rare female CEO at a major sports media brand.

She is currently co-creating the sports media brand’s turnaround strategy with founder Dave Portnoy as the company prepares to stand on its own again. Portnoy now owns Barstool again after gambling operator Penn Entertainment sold it to him for $1 this year.

Ayers Badan faces numerous challenges, including right-sizing the company for its next phase. According to the New York Post, Barstool planned to lay off about 25% of its roughly 400 employees after hiring hundreds during the Penn days. A September Daily Beast investigation also discovered evidence that Barstool was boosting its engagement numbers with anonymous Twitter accounts that ripped off other people’s videos and violated copyright protections.

Nonetheless, Ayers Badan has contributed to the growth of Barstool Sports into an undeniably popular and influential player in sports media. It has over 100 podcasts and social media series, 95 personalities, and 230 million social media followers — and its content reaches roughly one-third of US 18-to-34-year-olds, according to Vanity Fair. According to Comscore, the site receives approximately 1.7 million unique visitors per month on average.

“Everyone is all focused with their mouths hanging open over what Dave Portnoy’s doing,” Ayers Badan said in an interview with Vanity Fair, “and I’m over here building a business.”

Ayers Badan worked in media, technology, and marketing before joining Barstool in 2016 and becoming the “token CEO” she’d been labeled with. According to her LinkedIn profile, she was Bkstg’s president and chief revenue officer, AOL’s marketing chief, a vice president at Yahoo, and a senior director at Microsoft, among other positions.

Blue Wire Podcasts’ Maggie Clifton is growing the sports podcast industry


Sports is one of the most popular podcast genres in the United States, and it is the primary focus of Blue Wire Podcasts. As senior vice president of business development, Clifton is critical to the company’s growth.

She is in charge of ad sales, strategic partnerships, talent partnerships, network partnerships, and other responsibilities, much of which she established as a founding employee of the company; she was Blue Wire’s sole ad seller for about a year and a half.

According to the company, she has overseen approximately $22 million in total revenue since 2020 and has helped expand the business to over 300 podcasts with 13 million monthly audio downloads.

Clifton has also led the company’s partnership with Wynn Resorts, which includes a Las Vegas production studio, and she has negotiated deals with Fubo and Action Network owner Better Collective in the last year.

Clifton will be four years at Blue Wire in March. She began her sports career at the Wasserman agency, where she worked with major sponsors such as American Express and Microsoft.

As of August, Blue Wire had raised approximately $12 million in funding, including seed and Series A rounds, and hoped to raise an additional $1 million through equity crowdfunding.

Patty Power makes sure things run smoothly at CBS Sports


Since 2016, Power has served as CBS Sports’ executive vice president of operations and engineering. According to her company bio, she oversees production and technical management, network and commercial operations, post production, and media services for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network’s broadcast and cable properties, as well as the technical production of tentpole events such as the Final Four and the Masters.

Power has spent the last year focusing on the company’s 24/7 soccer streaming offering, the Golazo Network, which launched in April, as well as preparing for the upcoming Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, a first-time venue.

“Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of female mentors when I first broke into the sports business,” Power explained via email to Insider. “We are so blessed to be in a situation now to pay it forward to the future generation of women leaders.”

ESPN’s Rosalyn Durant is the company’s new programming chief and a key player in its NBA rights negotiations


Durant was named ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and acquisitions in March, giving her one of the top jobs at the world’s largest sports network. She is in charge of programming, media rights deals, the streaming service ESPN+, international business, the sports-and-culture website Andscape, and the women’s brand ESPNW.

Disney, a Disney veteran of more than two decades, began as a summer intern at ESPN in 1998 and went on to serve in a variety of roles, including negotiating distribution agreements for the carriage of ESPN and Disney networks and overseeing college football programming.

She was a key figure in Disney’s negotiations for NBA media rights after helping to secure the company’s 2007 deal extension as ESPN’s programming and acquisitions vice president.

Durant most recently spent three years at Disney’s parks division, where she helped the NBA resume play during the pandemic within the “bubble” at ESPN’s sports complex at Walt Disney World.

Susie Piotrkowski is in charge of ESPNW and women’s sports programming


Piotrkowski is in charge of ESPN’s women’s sports strategy and expanding its female audience.

She was promoted to vice president of women’s sports programming in June, in addition to her previous position as vice president of ESPNW.

In 2023, women’s sports are breaking viewership records at the network. The most recent WNBA season was the most watched on ESPN since 2006. The US Open featured the most-watched women’s tennis final on the network’s history, with American star Coco Gauff winning her first Grand Slam title. So far, the current NCAA women’s volleyball season has featured two of ESPN’s most-watched regular-season matches in college volleyball history.

ESPNW, which was founded in 2010 by former ESPN marketing executive Laura Gentile, now has 2.5 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, up 54% from last year — with 1.2 million followers on TikTok alone. According to Shareablee data from ComScore, it is one of the top women’s sports media brands across platforms.

Piotrkowski previously oversaw women’s team sports at the sports agency Octagon and sales at the National Women’s Soccer League before joining ESPN in 2022.

Fox Sports’ Elizabeth Casey oversees legal matters and media rights strategy


Casey oversees the legal team and legal strategy for Fox Sports, which includes properties such as the NFL, MLB, and NASCAR. She oversaw the Big Ten and Big 12’s new media rights deals, which shook up college sports, and led negotiations to land former athletes such as Derek Jeter, Julian Edelman, and Mark Ingram II as analysts and talent.

Casey handled all legal matters for the USFL spring football league, including player and personnel contracts, as well as sponsorship and rights agreements. The Fox Sports-owned league announced plans to merge with the XFL in September.

Casey has been with Fox for over 20 years and currently serves as executive vice president and deputy general counsel for the entire Fox Corporation.

Terri Hines leads Fox Sports’ strategic communications


Hines, Fox Sports’ executive vice president of communications, is the company’s primary spokesperson and is in charge of strategic communications. She’s been with Fox Sports since 2016.

She oversaw a variety of projects aimed at increasing brand awareness over the last year, from Fox broadcasters throwing opening pitches and ringing the NASDAQ opening bell ahead of the Super Bowl to a press conference at the Paley Center for Media ahead of the Women’s World Cup.

Hines directs Fox Sports’ brand image by leading strategic direction and corporate positioning conversations; she also advises the company on crises, social justice, and DE&I.

Hines is a dedicated mentor who helps the next generation of women and people of color advance to executive positions in sports media, according to the company.

Fubo’s Pamela Duckworth is rebranding and expanding the sports streaming service


Duckworth is the CEO of Fubo Sports, which she launched in 2019 after joining Fubo three years prior, as well as the head of Fubo Studios, the company’s original sports and entertainment division; she also oversees Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort Channel.

Duckworth recently spearheaded deals with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship and Lights Out Xtreme Fighting to expand live fighting coverage on Fubo Sports. The Professional Fighters League and the World Poker Tour are also partners of the network. Duckworth oversees creative direction for original programming, such as “No Chill with Gilbert Arenas,” which features the former NBA player, and “Airing It Out,” which is hosted by two former NFL players.

Duckworth assisted in the acquisition of brand sponsorships and coproduced a number of original programs for Maximum Effort Channel. She was also in charge of Fubo’s rebranding, which included new logos, branding, and an ad campaign with former NBA player Kevin Garnett and former NFL player Mark Sanchez.

According to Duckworth, more than half of her team at the network is made up of women.

The Gist’s Ellen Hyslop is bringing female sports fans into the conversation


Hyslop and two college friends cofounded The Gist in 2017, and she is still the head of content. The main outlet for the Toronto-based startup is its newsletters, which provide readers with “the gist” of what they need to know in sports news four times a week.

While geared toward female fans, The Gist’s content covers both men’s and women’s sports, inspired by its founders’ initial mission to include everyone in sports conversations.

“I think that we truly are challenging the status quo of how things have been in the sports industry,” Hyslop said in an interview with Insider. “And I think that we’re proving that you can do something different and still do it really, really well.”

According to the company, the combined audience of the three newsletters reaches more than 850,000 inboxes. A team of about 25 full-time and 20 part-time employees produces “The Gist of It” podcast twice a week and writes online content such as game coverage, explainers on how to place a sports bet, and FAQs about sports such as rugby and golf. Specific sport guides break down the rules and show how women have shaped the game. The Gist’s TikTok and Instagram platforms each have approximately 170,000 followers, with a further nearly 45,000 for Canadian sports news. In addition, the company maintains a curated job board to assist women working in sports.

Hyslop’s responsibilities range from strategy, monetization, and expansion to editing special projects. She stated that audience growth has been a major focus this year, such as driving engagement and followers by producing content for every US and Canada game in the Women’s World Cup and providing extensive coverage of the Women’s March Madness tournament.

The Gist has participated in a number of startup accelerator programs, including Meta’s Digital News Innovation Challenge in 2018, Techstars’ Comcast NBCUniversal Lift Labs Accelerator, and the Billie Jean King Enterprises Program in collaboration with Elysian Park Ventures and R/GA. The majority of the company’s revenue comes from brand sponsorships on its newsletters, social media, and podcast, and it has collaborated with companies such as Nike, State Farm, the NBA and WNBA, Under Armour, and FanDuel.

Haley Rosen and Just Women’s Sports are providing media attention all year roun


Rosen struggled to find coverage of women’s sports after her days of playing soccer — first at Stanford University and then briefly as a pro — came to an end. “I think my friend just got traded, but the only way I can know this is if I go text her,” Rosen said.

She began posting on Instagram about cool moments in women’s sports and eventually founded Just Women’s Sports in 2020. Articles, podcasts, newsletters, and a website with scores, stats, and schedules are all produced by the media company.

The brand is also doing well on social media, with an Instagram account that has 650,000 followers and a TikTok account that has grown from 155,000 to more than 900,000 followers in the last year. The content is similar to ESPN’s social pages in that it includes a mix of videos, still graphics, game highlights, important stats, podcast clips, and breaking news.

Rosen was particularly proud of Just Women’s Sports’ coverage of the Spanish soccer controversy, but she stressed that her focus is on year-round coverage for the casual fan, rather than just tentpole events like the World Cup and March Madness.

“Media is the missing piece that’ll take it from being this sort of niche thing to something truly mainstream,” Rosen said of women’s sports.

Rosen is the CEO and oversees a staff of about 20 full-time employees. Just Women’s Sports is venture-backed and has raised $10 million to date, according to the company, from investors including the owners of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty, the Washington Spirit, the Utah Royals, and the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as athletes such as Billie Jean King, Abby Wambach, Kevin Durant, and Allyson Felix.

Elyse Noonan is NBC Sports’s sports talent whisperer


As the executive in charge of NBC’s high-level talent negotiations and strategies, Noonan has a say in every decision involving talent on NBC Sports. When NBCUniversal announced its largest acquisition in years, the Big Ten Conference, in 2022, Noonan worked to fill every position. Noah Eagle will lead the coverage, with assistance from ESPN veteran Todd Blackledge and sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen. In total, NBC Sports’ vice president of talent development and negotiations has negotiated or overseen negotiations for over 1,000 on-air broadcasters; she also manages NBC Sports’ talent budget.

Noonan began her career at NBC Sports in 2005 as a production associate and rose to her current position in 2017. In 2020, she helped NBC Sports make NHL history by advocating for the first-ever all-women game broadcast. Around 30 women worked the Chicago Blackhawks-St. Louis Blues game, including backstage crew.

Sam Flood, executive producer and president of NBC Sports production, reports to Noonan.

Molly Solomon produces NBC’s Olympics coverage


Solomon is responsible for all day-to-day editorial production of NBC Olympics coverage as executive producer and president of NBC Olympics production, making her one of the most important production jobs at the Comcast unit. The Emmy and Sports Emmy winner was also the executive producer of Golf Channel, becoming the first woman to hold that position for a national sports network in 2012.

Solomon was hired for the Olympics role just before the 2020 Tokyo games were scheduled to begin (they were ultimately postponed until 2021), and oversaw all aspects of those games as well as the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, overcoming major obstacles to win NBC the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Special for Beijing. While navigating COVID-related logistical and operational hurdles, she produced record-breaking hours of coverage for both games — NBCUniversal presented more than 7,000 hours of Summer Olympics coverage in Tokyo and more than 2,800 hours of Winter Games coverage — for both games.

Solomon and her team are preparing for the Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024, which NBC promises will generate more programming hours than any previous Olympics. To compensate for the six-hour time difference between Paris and the Eastern time zone of the United States, Solomon will provide coverage of events during the day, followed by a three-hour primetime show featuring a mix of big competition moments and behind-the-scenes access to athletes.

Solomon reports to Rick Cordella, president of NBC Sports, and has been with the company since 1990.

Jennifer Storms gets big audiences for NBCU’s sports and entertainment properties


Storms, who goes by Jenny, is the CMO of entertainment and sports at NBCUniversal and is responsible for the success of some of the Comcast unit’s most valuable franchises, including NBC, USA Network, Bravo, Oxygen, and NBC Sports. She also serves as the chair of NBCU’s Marketing Council, a group formed to help NBCU and Comcast work more closely together to market all of their properties.

Storms aided in the extension of NBCU’s long-term rights to the Premier League, as well as NBC’s historic seven-year rights agreement with the Big Ten Conference. Her team is credited with consistently delivering record audiences for the Premier League, IndyCar, and other sports.

To maintain the viewing momentum for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, she launched a year-long campaign called “Save the Date” this summer, enlisting the help of celebrities including Dolly Parton, the Minions, and WWE superstar Roman Reigns. She’s also promoting Fortius, a new program that pairs athletes with experts from NBCU networks like Bravo and NBC Sports to help them gain social media traction ahead of the games. “People are more invested when they know the stories and background of these Olympians,” she said in an interview with Variety.

Storms became CMO of NBC Sports in 2015 after working as a senior marketing executive at PepsiCo, Inc., Gatorade, and Turner Broadcasting System. She expanded her responsibilities to include entertainment in 2020, when Frances Berwick, to whom she reports, was appointed chairman of NBCU Entertainment.

Ashley Braband has shaped Omaha Productions from the very beginning


As the media company’s first official employee, Braband began in development, figuring out the brand and pitching it to networks, then moved to programming, and now serves as head of people.

Braband was instrumental in the launch of ESPN’s “Places” docuseries, which has since expanded beyond Manning’s NFL focus to include soccer, baseball, tennis, and other sports hosted by iconic athletes such as Abby Wambach, David Ortiz, and John McEnroe. According to Insider, Braband also oversaw the development and launch of “ManningCast,” which averaged 1.5 million viewers per episode during Monday Night Football in 2022. Omaha, which was founded in 2020, also struck gold with its Netflix docuseries “Quarterback,” which became the streamer’s No. 1 TV show in the United States this summer.

Braband has been setting company policies, figuring out benefits and tax information, leading hiring efforts, and organizing the staff of 29 full-time employees and additional freelancers into verticals since taking on her new role in January. She is also concerned with Omaha’s strategy, mission, and brand identity.

“I kind of think of it as being the showrunner of Omaha,” she explained her new role to Insider via email.

Overtime’s Sascha Malas runs content operations and helped launch its high school sports leagues


With a focus on Gen Z and millennial fans, Overtime has shaken up sports media. It is based on a network of creators who use its camera app to film high school and other sports game highlights. In recent years, it has expanded to run its own sports leagues.

Malas has played an important role in Overtime’s evolution, wearing many hats during her four years at the startup, which launched in late 2016. She oversees a team of nine people who are in charge of content operations and business development strategy. She oversees the company’s internal talent strategy, which includes signing athletes and influencers to create Overtime content and managing relationships with sports agencies. She has led brand partnerships with companies such as Nike and State Farm. She also assisted in the formation of high school leagues for men’s basketball, football, and women’s basketball, and was most recently named director of the Overtime Select women’s league.

Before joining Overtime, Malas worked as a production assistant at the media and marketing firm Intersport.

Juliet Litman is expanding The Ringer into the TV realm


Litman oversees The Ringer’s audio, video, and social content production. Since 2018, the head of production has created, launched, and hosted numerous pop culture podcasts about reality TV, celebrities, and food. She has been with The Ringer since its inception, first as managing editor and then as executive editor.

The Ringer has long produced video content, but the company told Insider that in the last year it added seven hours of programming per week on the cable and satellite network FanDuel TV. Litman hired producers and collaborated with them to build the infrastructure for the new type of content, which includes a live Sunday morning show previewing the NFL schedule called “Ringer Wise Guys” and a Friday morning sports gambling show with comedian Cousin Sal Iacono.

Litman also assists in the development of new revenue streams, such as live theater shows, and in finding a creative approach to partnerships.

The Ringer’s Mallory Rubin is leading development of new projects


Rubin oversees The Ringer’s editorial strategy, particularly the NFL and nerd-culture offerings that delve into “Game of Thrones,” “Star Wars,” and other fictional worlds. Since 2020, the founding member has served as head of editorial, specializing in cross-platform initiatives. Over the years, she has also created and hosted podcasts such as “House of R” and “Binge Mode.”

In the last year, Rubin has refined and expanded both NFL and nerd-culture content, including the addition of two podcasts — “Button Mash,” which focuses on video games, and “Splash Page,” which this season focuses on Disney+’s “Loki” — with new talent and video production. She has also directed NFL messaging as the vertical experimented with new platforms. Rubin has also assisted in the expansion and addition of immersive special projects in The Ringer’s key coverage areas.

Rubin hired and managed much of The Ringer’s editorial staff and assisted her employees in transitioning between media, such as moving writers and the copy desk to the audio side. Rubin joined The Ringer in 2016 as deputy editor, then executive editor, then editor-in-chief from 2019 to 2022 before relinquishing the title while continuing as head of editorial.

Roblox’s Tian Pei helps create immersive sports experiences for younger fans


Pei is working hard to make Roblox a major sports player. She believes that immersive media and 3D simulations will be critical in how leagues and athletes build and mobilize fandoms, particularly among Gen Z.

Pei, Roblox’s head of sports, collaborates with leagues, teams, athletes, and brands to develop sports experiences for the gaming platform.

She’s been in charge of global deals for Wimbledon, the Australian Open, and the FIFA World Cup. Pei worked with FIFA to expand the FIFA World experience, which debuted in 2022 for the Women’s World Cup; for example, users could watch virtual match recaps simulated by avatars and play games with other users. According to the company, FIFA World has become the most-visited branded sports experience on Roblox, with over 20 million visits to date.

“Now we have a more holistic experience for most people who are not able to physically attend the World Cup — sometimes, if ever, in their lifetimes — to really participate in an immersive understanding of what it stands for,” Pei said in an interview with Sports Business Journal.

Tian also brought the NHL to Roblox in April with the NHL Blast, a metaverse hub for fans that has received over 15 million visits so far.

Roblox said that under Pei’s leadership, immersive sports experiences have grown significantly on the platform, with over 90.5 million combined visits across NHL, NFL, FIFA World, Wimbledon, and others.

Prior to Roblox, Pei oversaw the sports vertical at Unity Technologies, where she focused on creating 3D sports experiences among other things. She has also held positions at Adobe and Cisco.

SiriusXM’s Lauren Buck leads sports partnerships and marketing with leagues like the NFL and on-air talent like Tom Brady


Buck is the vice president of sports partnerships and marketing at SiriusXM, which has more than 25 sports-related channels and counts the category as one of its programming tentpoles.

Business development, partnership management, and marketing are all under her purview. She is the primary point of contact for professional leagues such as the NFL, MLB, and NBA, as well as college teams, and she works with athletes such as Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jim Gray, who cohost a weekly show in its third season.

Buck was instrumental in the company’s renewals with NASCAR, MLS, and the NWSL over the last two years. She also played a key role in SiriusXM’s marketing efforts for events such as the Women’s World Cup, Super Bowl, and the US Open tennis tournament.

SMAC’s Constance Schwartz-Morini is behind the popular football docuseries ‘Coach Prime’


As NFL legend Deion Sanders leads a resurgence in college football viewership as the University of Colorado’s head coach, Schwartz-Morini has captured the sports world’s attention with the docuseries “Coach Prime,” which chronicles his journey.

Sanders’ longtime business partner and manager, Schwartz-Morini, is the driving force behind the series, which is entering its highly anticipated second season on Amazon Prime Video. According to the company, the previous season, in which Sanders led Jackson State to a nearly undefeated season, “far exceeded expectations” for the streamer. Sanders’ first run at Colorado will be followed by new episodes.

It’s a production of SMAC Entertainment, which Schwartz-Morini cofounded with another NFL veteran, Michael Strahan.

Schwartz-Morini began her sports career in the 1990s with the NFL and has since managed some of the league’s top talent as well as others in entertainment (she once led the team that guided Snoop Dogg’s career at The Firm, a now-defunct production and management company) and helped them architect new media acts.

She is currently the CEO of SMAC. In addition to its production work, the company manages talent and incubates other businesses. Recent projects include the HBO documentary “BS High” and the upcoming Snoop Dogg-starring sports comedy “The Underdoggs.”

Jessica Robertson leads women’s sports storytelling at Togethxr


In 2021, Robertson cofounded Togethxr, a women’s sports media and apparel company, with four Olympic gold medalists — basketball player Sue Bird, soccer player Alex Morgan, snowboarder Chloe Kim, and swimmer Simone Manuel — and continues to serve as the brand’s chief content officer. The content on the company’s website is divided into three categories: series, such as a day in the life of an athlete or sportscaster; films, such as one following WNBA legend Sylvia Fowles’ retirement; and specials, such as a Women’s World Cup vlog. The company’s most-watched YouTube video has nearly 2 million views.

Robertson oversees all content planning and execution, as well as corporate partnerships and revenue generation with partners such as Nike, Buick, State Farm, and GEICO. According to the company, partnerships and sponsorships helped triple Togethxr’s revenue from the previous year.

This year, Robertson created Togethxr’s “Surf Girls” and the upcoming documentary “Power of the Dream,” both of which were sold to Amazon’s Prime Video. She also executive produced “The Syd + TP Show,” which is available on Fubo. Togethxr’s content is largely derived from collaborations with other production or media companies, such as LeBron James’ Uninterrupted, Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, and Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort.

Hania Poole keeps Warner Bros. Discovery’s league partners happy


Atlanta-based Poole is WBD Sports’ digital point person, ensuring that sports fans have the best viewing experience possible while also representing the company to its league partners in the NBA, NHL, and NCAA. She also oversees the digital strategy and operations for Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ digital sports and culture property Bleacher Report as senior vice president of digital and product.

Poole rose through the ranks of WarnerMedia, beginning as a product manager at Turner 18 years ago and progressing to several leadership positions. She was in charge of product development, business strategy and operations, content acquisition, and marketing for Bleacher Report’s first DTC sports business as general manager of B/R Live.

She previously oversaw business operations for NCAA Digital and WBD Sports. The company won two Sports Emmys under her leadership for its March Madness Live and NBA products. She has also served as‘s director of business operations.

Poole previously worked as a senior product manager in WBD Sports’ new product development group, where she was instrumental in the launch of PlayON! Sports, a live streaming platform for high school and college sports. She also introduced TVinContext, a premium advertising service.

Poole reports to WBD Sports chairman Luis Silberwasser.

She reports to WBD Sports chairman Luis Silberwasser. She previously worked in revenue-focused roles at Condé Nast and Hearst.

Stefanie Rapp helps ensure Warner Bros. Discovery stays on top in sports


Rapp, senior vice president of commercial growth strategy, works behind the scenes to develop WBD Sports’ revenue-focused initiatives, ensuring that sports ad sales, led by Jon Diament, has everything it needs to maximize revenue in the crucial category. WBD has rights to the MLB, NHL, NBA, and other sports, and the stakes are high as WBD negotiates a renewal of its NBA media rights deal, which expires after the 2024-25 season.

Rapp was previously heavily involved in the growth of Bleacher Report, serving as the company’s first chief revenue officer. She assisted in expanding the brand’s advertising stakes in categories such as fashion and retail, as well as commerce and events. She was appointed to her current position in 2022, following the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery.

She reports to WBD Sports chairman Luis Silberwasser. She previously worked in revenue-focused roles at Condé Nast and Hearst.

Julie Sbuttoni is building the WWE brand around the world


As senior vice president of creative services and photography, Sbuttoni works to build the WWE’s global brand.

This includes developing creative for the WWE’s three flagship shows, “Monday Night Raw,” “WWE NXT,” and “Friday Night SmackDown,” as well as developing a branding strategy for its more than 250-person talent roster and promoting live events such as WrestleMania.

Sbuttoni leads a team of more than 70 graphic designers, copywriters, producers, and other creatives who report to content chief Paul “Triple H” Levesque. Her team also provides assistance to consumer products, sales and partnerships, marketing, and other departments.

During her 12 years as a creative leader at WWE, Sbuttoni has helped brand key company initiatives such as the Next In Line NIL program, which recruits and develops college athletes as potential future WWE talent, and the WWE Network, a streaming service.

She has played a significant role in how the sport’s female talent has been represented in the Kingdom, from billboards to key art, since the WWE began running annual live events in Saudi Arabia in 2018. She has worked closely with WWE’s female talent to ensure that their in-ring appearances adhere to local guidelines and culture. She was also instrumental in having female talent featured in WWE billboards displayed in Jeddah and Riyadh in 2022, as well as prominently in key art in 2023 — both of which were firsts for the WWE in the country. She also oversaw the first female photography team to shoot ringside at WWE’s Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia.

YouTube’s Lori Conkling is driving its media rights deals


Lori Conkling was a key figure in securing YouTube’s exclusive sports rights, securing NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV for $14 billion — though some predict the streamer will suffer significant losses.

Conkling, YouTube’s global head of TV, film, and sports partnerships, oversees all of the company’s content deals with sports leagues and networks. She oversees business development, programming, and packaging for YouTube TV as well as the company’s subscription, premium, and ad-supported offerings. Conkling negotiates contracts with movie studios, broadcasters, cable networks, and local affiliates in addition to sports.

In her four years at YouTube TV, Conkling has guided its growth — the streamer has more than tripled its subscribers since she joined from NBCUniversal, according to the company.

Correction: October 31, 2023 — An earlier version of this story misstated the timeline of Pamela Duckworth’s career and the launch of Fubo Sports. Duckworth joined Fubo in 2016 and launched Fubo Sports in 2019.

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