Leaders Sport Business Podcast
Monumental by name, monumental by nature | NHL vs NBA ownership | esports | gaming | the family business | new OTT models | sports betting | international acquisitions.
Zach Leonsis (interview starts at 7.59) is SVP of Strategic Initiatives and GM of Monumental Sports Network, and his influence and interest extends across the group's growing suite of assets, which includes the Washington Wizards NBA team, the Washington Capitals NHL team, the Washington Wizards WNBA team, and Capital One Arena.
The group, owned and helmed by Zach's father Ted, also has interests in esports, American football, and broadcast media, and it is on the development of these new, growing businesses that Leonsis junior aims most of his focus.
In 2016, Leonsis spearheaded the transformation of Monumental Sports Network, the regional network co-owned by Monumental and NBC, from an ad-based blogging platform into a subscription model direct-to-consumer comprehensive broadcast product. A huge investment in programming has led to significant uptick in subscriptions.
Leonsis sat down with Leaders at SBJ's CAA World Congress of Sport, at which he was picking up a 40 Under 40 award, earlier this month.
On the conversational agenda:
- The breadth and scale of the work he's involved in at Monumental;
- Winning the Stanley Cup for the first time with the Wizards last year;
- The differences between operating NBA and NHL franchises;
- The 'wild journey' he's on with Monumental's investments in esports - including Fortnite publisher Epic Games;
- Unorthodox subscription bundles and the new OTT models esports is inspiring;
- Sports betting, the opportunity, the challenges, and the misconceptions;
- His experience working alongside Owner, CEO and father, Ted Leonsis;
- His thoughts on sports ownership, and the chance of a Monumental acquisition outside the US.