A graphic promoting a Tom Brady-Stephen A. Smith panel. A graphic promoting a Tom Brady-Stephen A. Smith panel. (Fanatics Fest NYC.)

The upcoming Fanatics Fest NYC event continues to announce more names, and those now include two of sports media’s top-paid and top-discussed figures. Those would be ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith and new NFL on Fox analyst Tom Brady. And they’ll be teaming up for an Aug. 16 discussion at the event. Here’s more on that from a release:

Two of the biggest names in sports are set to collide at Fanatics Fest NYC on Friday, August 16th as the festival’s main stage will host “True Grit with Tom Brady hosted by Stephen A. Smith,” an exclusive discussion featuring the NFL’s most decorated quarterback and one of sports media’s most influential voices.

What to Expect:

  • A No-Holds-Barred Exchange: Tom Brady and Stephen A. Smith are known for their unfiltered opinions and passionate debates. This panel promises a candid, unscripted conversation that will delve into the biggest topics in sports and beyond.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Insights: Get a glimpse into the minds of two icons as they share their personal experiences, challenges, and triumphs.

  • A Unique Perspective: Witness the rare pairing of an all-time great athlete and a sports media titan as they engage in a lively exchange of ideas and perspectives.

It’s interesting to see Brady and Smith involved in this. They’re certainly both massive sports stars, and they’re certainly used to appearing in front of an audience, whether on the field or at Fox upfronts (Brady) or with countless ESPN platforms and live shows (Smith). But a panel together is unusual, especially with them normally working for competing media companies. And it’s notable to see this coming shortly before Brady’s much-discussed first season in the top NFL on Fox booth (which will start with a Cowboys-Browns game on Sept. 8).

The overall Fanatics Fest NYC will run from Aug. 16-18, and will be held at the Javits Center in New York City. It will have plenty of other prominent panels, including one with MLB on Fox analysts Derek Jeter and David Ortiz, one with Knicks stars’ Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson and actor Ben Stiller, one with NHL on TNT analyst Henrik Lundqvist and other former Rangers, one with Kevin Durant, and separate panels hosted by ManningCast stars Peyton and Eli Manning. Here’s more on the full event from a release:

In April, Fanatics Events, the live and special event division of digital sports platform Fanatics, announced details for its first flagship event – Fanatics Fest NYC – which sits at the nexus of sports fandom, culture and collecting, and will bring together fans across all sports to celebrate their passions under one roof at New York City’s Javits Center from August 16 – 18. The multi-day event will be laced with interactive features, multiple stages, exclusive merchandise, products drops, major announcements, live podcasts and more to celebrate and elevate modern sports fandom in all its forms.

…The event will host many of the biggest names in sports and culture, including two-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant, alongside his sports, media and entertainment brand, Boardroom; NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning; two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning; NBA Legend Carmelo Anthony; New York Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist; Director and Knicks Superfan Spike Lee; NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson; NFL Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders; NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice; MLB Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.; Philadelphia 76er Tyrese Maxey; MLB Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez; WNBA superstar Sabrina Ionescu; WWE Legend Hulk Hogan; and more. Fanatics Fest NYC will be highlighted by a 2,500-seat main stage that will serve as a backdrop for a range of bespoke content throughout the weekend. The stage will complement a more than 400,000 square foot show floor with activations featuring many preeminent leagues, teams and brands, such as the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, UFC, WWE, Fanatics, Topps, Mitchell & Ness, Lids, Fanatics Collect, Fanatics Sportsbook and Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), with many more to be added. 

More information on Fanatics Fest NYC is available here.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.