In the last two years, a whole bunch of media companies pivoted to video (with disappointing results). In Alex Rodriguez’s case, it turns out he pivoted to nothing.
Back in May, A-Rod and ESPN announced a new interview-style show called Pivot. The four-part series would see Rodriguez “conduct an in-depth, one-on-one interview with a current or former star athlete who is navigating through obstacles in their life and career.” According to the announcement, “Rodriguez will use his personal experiences to lead an unfiltered, dynamic discussion about the changing phenomenon of life in the public eye and to help these athletes share their side of the story regarding their challenges. He will conduct these interviews in an environment relevant to each athlete’s personal story.”
Per the release, the show was set to air during the 2018 Major League Baseball season. Except that, the 2018 MLB season has come and gone and there was certainly never any kind of pivot to Pivot.
So what happened? According to Andrew Marchand at the NY Post, the show was simply never produced. However, according to a statement from ESPN, “there were a few scheduling conflicts amidst a busy 2018 baseball season that caused delays. We’re now focused on premiering Pivot in 2019.”
It’s a curious move made all the more curious that A-Rod just premiered a seven-part interview podcast series with Barstool Sports called The Corp. Along with Pardon My Take host Dan Katz, the duo interviews successful people such as Kobe Bryant, Barbara Corcoran, Mike Francesa, and Fanatics founder and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin with a focus on their “business success and failure.”
“All of our guests had one thing in common: they all had miserable falls,” Rodriguez said in the announcement. “And they all had the ability to get back up, dust off, and redefine themselves. That jumped off the page to me, and how much they own their failures. And I speak a lot about my situation and my comeback.”
While it doesn’t exactly like the idea for Pivot, it certainly doesn’t sound all that far off either. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini said that the genesis for the podcast came from A-Rod’s appearances on Pardon My Take over the course of the last year, which certainly coincides timing-wise as well. Strange.
We’ll see if and when Pivot finally shows up on ESPN and whether or not it ends up resembling the initial idea or changes based on the (presumed) success of The Corp.