• Andy Marston

Networking with Sam Shosanya, Co-Founder at Undiluted Media

Welcome to the the Sports Pundit Networking Series. For the latest edition, I caught up with Sam Shosanya, Co-Founder at Undiluted Media. After gaining experiences through a number of internships, Sam decided to capitalise on a current trend sweeping the sports industry by starting his own thing.

When did your journey (in the sports industry) start? And how did you get to your current role?

My journey to the sports industry started in 2014 as an Intern at M&C Saatchi Sports & Entertainment. It was the result of sending out numerous emails per day to different companies across the sports industry. Eventually, I got a response from Karen Earl, who gave me some advice and feedback and the rest was history. I can say it was worth the grind.

I then went on to do a few more intern roles at ESP Properties, Hill & Knowlton Sports Marketing, and Sportquake. My experiences were great as they all gave me a deeper understanding of the business side of sports and how everything came together within the marketing mix. I had always been passionate about the commercial side of sports, I was fascinated by how sponsorship/sports marketing can help meet a company’s business objectives.

This lead to me co-founding my own business, called Undiluted Media. It is an Athlete first media company & sports content network. Essentially, a place where athletes can share their voices from their own POV.

Who inspired this journey? And who continues to inspire you today?

I wouldn't say anyone in particular but I am inspired by the Nike branding. I just love what they do and how they amplify stories about all the great athletes they sponsor through storytelling. They have produced many great adverts especially the famous Brazil World Cup 1998 ad in the airport. I personally see Nike as more of a storytelling company similar to Disney rather than an apparel business.

Photo Source: YouTube

Besides Sports Pundit, where do you look for insight?

There are so many great sources of information for the business side of sports, so we have in no particular order: Joe Pompliano, Sportico, SBJ, SportsPro, Unofficial Partner, Forbes Sports Money, Front Office Sports and Are You Not Entertained.

What trend in the industry most excites you for the future of sports? And why?

I would say new media. We are seeing the way Gen Z are consuming content is very different as they're interested in the athlete more than a specific team. Social media and digital has helped develop individualism and we're also seeing in the content economy voices on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube being increasingly important. Social-first creators are the new sports pundits, fans care more about their favourite influencer than any journalist.

Photo Source: YouTube/ The Undiluted Football Show

Who is an example of someone that is well positioned to take advantage of this trend?

Everyone is aiming to take advantage of the surging demand for programming. Emerging areas like podcasting and streaming have scaled dramatically in recent years. There are quite a few examples, such as Bill Simmons (The Ringer), BlueWire Sports, Overtime, Uninterrupted, House of Highlights, Wave.tv, Barstool, Bleacher Report, Pat McAfee. Hopefully ourselves here at Undiluted Media, can soon be included in this category too!

We've also seen DraftKings making a big media play by acquiring the rights to Dan Le Batard’s Podcasts in a reported $50M Deal, this shows that there is so much potential and opportunity to scale.

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