Last September, former NFL executives Mike Tannenbaum and Joe Banner officially launched their The 33rd Team media venture (following a 2020 soft launch). The company’s added lots of prominent people since then, including former NFL players, coaches, executives, and media members. And now they’re bolstering their executive suite with two notable hires, Tony Petitti (former president and CEO of MLB Network and MLB deputy commissioner) and John Entz (former president of production for Fox Sports). They’ve also announced a range of major strategic partnerships with NFL Films, Liberty Media, and The Baupost Group. Here’s more on that from a release:
The 33rd Team, a media company focused on providing unparalleled NFL insight for fans, fantasy players and bettors through an unmatched roster of NFL-experienced contributors, announced today key additions to the organization. Tony Petitti and John Entz join the leadership team as co-CEO and chief content officer, respectively, alongside founder Mike Tannenbaum and founding partner/senior advisor Joe Banner. The 33rd Team has also partnered with investors Liberty Media Corporation, an American media company that owns interests in a high-quality portfolio of assets across the media, communications and entertainment industries, and The Baupost Group, a Boston-based investment manager with a long-term, value-oriented approach.
…“After starting The 33rd Team over three years ago, I am thrilled to partner with Liberty Media and The Baupost Group while also welcoming such an accomplished media executive like Tony to the team,” said Mike Tannenbaum. “Tony has taken the reins on building a forward-thinking production team to work alongside our incredible roster of analysts to create unmatched football, fantasy and betting content that continues to transcend traditional football analysis.”
…“We are proud to combine perhaps the greatest coaching staff ever assembled and a remarkable roster of former and current NFL players with industry-leading fantasy and betting experts to create content that arms fans with football knowledge they can’t get anywhere else,” Petitti said. “John and his production team are tapping into unmatched football IQ that will change the way you see the game.”
That release also has some notable details on the NFL Films partnership. That will see the companies work together for “Now You Know” segments highlighting key moments from Sunday and Thursday night games, using 33rd Team analysts and NFL Films production. Beyond that, The 33rd Team has also launched free fantasy and betting analysis tool “The Edge,” powered by Sports Info Solutions.
The 33rd Team has certainly added some prominent figures and partners here. Petitti has spent three-plus decades in the media world, from that MLB Network work through previous stops at CBS Sports and ABC Sports. He’s also worked at Activision Blizzard and is a member of the USGA executive committee.
Entz is another long-time media figure, and he’s done prominent work at Fox, MLB Network, and ESPN. His producing credits include everything from The Last Word With Jim Rome to The Best Damn Sports Show to American Idol to the MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Show, BCS pregame specials, and more. He was a key part of MLB Network’s 2008 launch, alongside Petitti, and worked there through 2012 before leaving to join Fox Sports. At Fox, he held roles including executive vice president (production) and executive producer, Fox Sports Media Group, and eventually president of production. He worked there through early 2019 before Fox trimmed their executive staff. Since then, he has consulted for DAZN and others.
Meanwhile, Liberty Media’s portfolio includes ownership stakes in the Atlanta Braves, SiriusXM, and Formula 1, plus smaller stakes in LiveNation and a variety of sports enterprises. And The Baupost Group has around $31 billion in assets under management, so they’re a significant partner as well. It will be interesting to see where The 33rd Team goes from here, but they’re certainly signing some big names and big partners.
[Logo from The 33rd Team on YouTube]