Technology has changed the media forever. Before social media, television was the center of entertainment, news, and sports. Families would flock to the TV in order to watch the most well known sports events. In fact, celebrities and athletes needed the television and radio networks to broadcast them for their fame. Nowadays, this could not be farther from the truth. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok have opened up many avenues for athletes and celebrities to not only engage their fans but also to generate substantial income through brand deals, promotions, and sponsorships.
The history of sports coverage first started in 1836 after the first newspaper article about a sporting event was published. Sports broadcasting moved to radio in 1921 and on May 17th 1939, the United States’ first televised sporting event was a college baseball game between the Columbia Lions and Princeton Tigers, broadcast by NBC. In 2022, Super Bowl LVI reached over 100 million viewers from television alone.
However, according to NPR, online streaming took over broadcasting for the first time this August 2022. The trend also appears to be steadily climbing as Google projects the number of digital viewers of live sport to exceed 90 million people in the USA in 2025, which is a 26% projected increase. With the rise of mobiles phones, social media has revolutionized the way sports content is distributed and also how they reach new fans. Scott Savlov of SAVLOV CONSULTING INC, a full service television and sports entertainment production company, says “Sports television was around well before social media. But now with advertisers needing social media influence, and sports organizations needing customers, the way you cast a show or how you present yourself becomes very critical to have the right look / brand image on social media. Social Media is essentially moving the business forward in new ways”
With 25+ years of experience broadcasting in sports media, Savlov specializes in creating sponsorships, commercials, infomercials and business opportunities for clients like Walgreens, T-Mobile, Paramount Studios, PGA Tour, Team McClaren (Formula One), the America’s Cup, and many more. Furthermore, he has utilized every medium like radio, news casting, and television. He is regarded as creating more golf shows than any other producer alive and has hosted TV shows on Fox Sports, A&E, and even produced a music event on the famed prison Alcatraz. He is currently producing the Omega Masters Celebrity Pro-Am in Crans Montana in the heart of the Swiss Alps, which is one of the most prestigious golf competitions on foreign soil.
“Sports television production sounds easy but it’s not. It requires knowledge of the sport, keen sense of current pop culture, an appeal to sponsor celebrity talent, and most importantly an extensive database of contacts. Furthermore, sports production is constantly changing and we heavily leverage social media to build relationships with the public, reduce marketing costs, and increase revenue and attendance for our clients. My style is to wear my heart on my sleeve and be passionate about everything I do. Companies seek me out or contact me because they know I will give 100% of my energy. They also want to leverage my friendships and network in the sports and entertainment space to help their brands flourish. But it’s more important to take your time and work with people you like, trust and can collaborate with in order to succeed.”
Interestingly enough, golf has seen a resurgence due to the pandemic. The National Golf Foundation reported that in 2020 the number of people who played golf increased by 2% resulting in over 500,000 new golfers to the sport. The PGA store also saw an increase of 70% in online sales for 2020 and 2021 according to the same source. While business boomed for golf courses and ecommerce sales, in person golfing events like charities suffered due to a lack of attendance and stringent regulations to keep attendees safe. Savlov says, “With the pandemic, the event and hospitality industries were stuck for more than 18 months. We had to create events that fit the health and public safety guidelines. It was not an easy task, but I created events that flourished meeting those criteria like the Walgreens Charity Classic—where we successfully raised the much needed capital for charity by bringing celebrities and sponsors to Chicago during the pandemic. I am proud to have been a part of that hard work and not one Covid case came out of that major event.”
Where is the future of sports production going? The future trend suggests that streaming will continue to climb until 2022 and sports fans will continue to consume content online. Social media will remain the hub for fans to follow their favorite celebrities, athletes, and sports pages. Despite the economic decline of 2022, Savlov sees the next two to five years as a pivotal time in the sports media world as sports brands are starting to go all in on ecommerce and social media. He is focused on creating and hosting new TV shows online with celebrities like his podcast The Path Here where he shares his celebrity network and the decisions they made on the path to success.