Industry Thesis

The rise of OTT, livestreaming, sports betting, and the “passion economy” have combined to make sports media more valuable than ever. The NFL and NHL each increased the value of their live rights package by 108% in 2021, and the unlocking of legal sports betting is projected to inject billions of dollars of incremental “fan engagement revenue” into the ecosystem. However, many traditional sports properties are built on legacy models, and they’ll need to reimagine their media strategies in order to stay relevant with the next generations of fans.

Testimonials

Case Studies

XL Media

XL Media (LSE: XLMedia PLC) is a global performance publisher. It combines the power of people, data-driven behavioral insight, and captivating ...

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Whistle

Team Whistle – comprising Whistle, Tiny Horse, New Form Digital and Vertical Networks – is a global digital sports and entertainment company. ...

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XL Media

XL Media (LSE: XLMedia PLC) is a global performance publisher. It combines the power of people, data-driven behavioral insight, and captivating editorial content to build valuable connections between brands and consumers.

When we began looking for intelligence partners, we knew we wanted a group who would work with us as part of a team, not a vendor. We found exactly what we were looking for in RockWater. Starting from a very open place, they were comfortable with and capable of helping us identify and focus on the most advantageous areas of business for the group. The research they deliver is consistently contextual, actionable and valuable in driving strategic decisions and growth.

Elizabeth Carter, VP of Marketing and Taylor Quist, Head of Global Brand Strategy

Who to know

Elizabeth Carter

VP of Marketing

Taylor Quist

Head of Global Brand Strategy

Whistle

Team Whistle – comprising Whistle, Tiny Horse, New Form Digital and Vertical Networks – is a global digital sports and entertainment company. Team Whistle creates and distributes engaging content experiences for today’s audiences, boasting over 4.2 billion monthly video views, 629 million total aggregated social audience, and 1600+ network channels.

Chris’s team delivered sharp decision-making frameworks and actionable market intelligence for our leadership. Their work significantly accelerated our go-forward planning and new product development

I regularly bounce new business ideas off Chris, as he has a great mind for sustainable value creation vs short term distractions in the media, tech and commerce industries. I look forward to working with him again

Michael Cohen, CEO

Who to know

Michael Cohen

CEO

All Sports

The Audio Wars: Buyer-verse Expansion (Pt 2)

Dan Levitt — Founder and CEO of Long Haul Management on $6,000 Salaries, Disney’s Big Miss, and Cracking YouTube SEO

From 9-Figure Cash Grabs to Redefining Sport: The Evolution of Creator Competitions

1H 2021 Celebration

16 Podcasts, 13 Writings, and Celebrating 1H 2021

Paul / Mayweather and the Growth of Sports Creator Competitions

Sports Betting x Media Watch List

How Media Operators Capture the $60 Billion US Sports Betting Market

Matthias Metternich — CEO of Art of Sport on Being a 5x Founder, Skincare for Athletes, and Pitching Kobe Bryant

The Future of Livestreaming: Music and Sports

Sports Betting Media in Overdrive

Kevin Jones — Founder of Blue Wire on Getting Fired for a 49ers Tweet, $3.5 Million from WynnBet, and the Future of Sports Podcasts

2021 Predictions: Sportsbook Content Strategy for the $60 Billion Online Gambling Market

From Attention to Passion. A Look Back at 2020.

Surfline Gets $30 Million: Our Deal Concerns, the CEO on Growth, and the Future of Water Sports

Why Only 61% of Gen Z Watches Sports, and How to Future-Proof Sports Media by Unbundling Live Rights

Interview with Christian Baesler, President of Complex Networks on German Village Life, Being a Touring DJ, Hot Sauce, and ComplexLand

Explained: 4 Deals Powering the “At-Home-ification” of Stadium Foods and the War Against the Couch

How “Player Empowerment” Will Unlock Billion-Dollar Sports Brands: The Rise of Athlete Podcasters (Part 2/2)

Sports Media Enters 3rd Wave: The Rise of Athlete Podcasters as the Next Billion-Dollar Brand Builders (Part 1/2)

11 Must-Read Articles for Nextgen Consumer Execs

Winning in Nextgen Sports Media: The RockWater Playbook (Part 3/3)

Lessons from Call Her Daddy: IP, Food, Talent, Leadership

How to “Follow Your Fans” – Lessons from Fortnite, NFL, WWE (Part 2/3)

How Gambling and ‘Live’ Impact Fandom, the Real Money Maker in Sports Media (Part 1/3)

Barstool Sports & The Ringer: Lessons About Growth

RockWater 2020 Predictions

KSI vs. Logan Paul Rematch: The Most Aggressive New Bet in Sports Media

Is Nike Adventure Club, a Subscription Service for Kids, a Winning Commerce Strategy?