The NFL reporting machine

September 8, 2014

adamInteresting piece from the Washington Post about ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, whose tireless work ethic and gift for cultivating personal relationships has made him “the most prolific news-breaker in America’s most popular sport.”  His network is so strong that he’s achieved that success even though (as the article claims) he doesn’t attend games and rarely talks to athletes face-to-face.

Schefter, the sports network’s ever-present NFL news-breaker, had a BlackBerry in his right hand — his “texting” phone — and the iPhone to his ear.

From a media standpoint, the NFL is covered unlike anything else in American sport, and somehow Schefter’s reporting rises above the din. He’s perfected the formula perhaps better than any NFL reporter who’s ever preceded him…

“He’s crucial because he basically has become sort of this omnipresent guy who seems to know everything,” said [veteran Sports Illustrated writer] Peter King.  “And if he doesn’t know everything, it takes him only 10 minutes to find out what he doesn’t know.”

The obvious parallel in our business is how our extensive network gets put to work on behalf of our entrepreneurs, providing “been there, done that” advice regarding specific industry or growth-related issues, informed thoughts on how particular industry segments are developing, and key introductions to other industry players or potential partners.

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman was once asked what advice he’d give the younger version of himself.  His short and sweet answer?  “Build a network.”


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