Prominent attorney Wilkinson enlisted to help in sale of Washington Spirit

A group of investors looking for control of the NWSL Washington Spirit have enlisted prominent attorney Beth Wilkinson to represent them, "increasing pressure" on the team "even as the sale of the Spirit to an outside billionaire nears completion," according to Goff & Hensley-Clancy of the WASHINGTON POST. Spirit Managing Partner Steve Baldwin is "close to finalizing a sale to Todd Boehly." That deal would "shut out Baldwin’s co-owner, Y. Michele Kang," who has "offered $10 million more than Boehly’s $25 million." Wilkinson is a high-profile attorney who investigated allegations of workplace misconduct and sexual harassment at the Washington Football Team. She "framed the turmoil at the Spirit," and Baldwin’s move to sell the team for about 30% less than Kang’s offer, as "partly an issue of gender." Wilkinson’s involvement, and the "ongoing threat of a legal battle pitting a prospective female owner against Baldwin," could "put pressure" on the NWSL. The NWSL has not "commented on the proposed sale to Boehly," but several people said that NWSL interim CEO Marla Messing and the league's BOG "prefer Boehly over Kang" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/11).

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: July 7, 2022

Talking points from Sun Valley; Pac-12 retains Sports Media Advisors; Oak View Group to sell Top Golf national sponsorships and Rapino remains influential with new deal at Live Nation

SBJ Unpacks: LIV Golf tees off in Portland

Ahead of the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in Illinois and LIV Golf Invitational Portland, SBJ’s Josh Carpenter, and David Rumsey spoke with Sports Illustrated's Bob Harig and Brendan Porath of The Fried Egg to discuss the current state of golf.

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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