Men in Blazers' Roger Bennett (L) and Michael Davies at a live show in DC on Nov. 26, 2022. Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett (L) and Michael Davies at a live show in DC on Nov. 26, 2022. (Men in Blazers.)

The Men in Blazers media empire continues to expand. Roger Bennett and Michael Davies (seen at left and right above respectively at a live show in D.C. last November) started that titular podcast in 2012, and it’s since grown into a weekly TV show with NBC Sports (now airing on Peacock, in its ninth season overall), a number of live events, and a lot of plenty of spinoff content and podcasts from others. Earlier this month, they launched a new podcast, Vamos, with former U.S. men’s national team player turned broadcaster Herculez Gomez. And they’ve now announced three more notable additions.

Now, Men In Blazers will be bringing in the twice-a-week Here We Go podcast from Italian transfer insider Fabrizio Romano (who has 14 million Twitter followers). They’ve also announced a six-part show with U.S. women’s national team captain Becky Sauerbrunn ahead of this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup. And they’ve announced that USWNT star Sam Mewis (who is recovering from injury) will co-host their Twitch commentary show during that tournament. Here are some quotes on those moves from a release:

“We have always joked that Soccer is “America’s Sport of the Future… As it has been since 1972” but with the World Cup coming to the United States in 2026, the Women’s World Cup in 2023, and Lionel Messi headed here to compete in the Copa America which will also be hosted on our shores, as well as the phenomenal growth of Premier League, Champions League and the National Women’s Soccer League, that future is very much now,” said Men in Blazers Co-Founder Roger Bennett. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing in this diverse, talented, and widely recognized group to capture this pivotal moment, with the passion and engagement that our fans expect from Men in Blazers content.”

…“Men in Blazers have spent the past decade traveling from city to city building their fanbase one soccer fan at a time; their relationship with fans across the country is truly unique and deeper than a more typical media company might see,” said Matt Davis, Head of US Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch. “Today’s fans seek an enriched connection to the sports they love, and our relationship with Men in Blazers ensures that our brands are at the heart of rich, passionate and engaging storytelling that drives conversations and connects across both the Men and Women’s game.”

In a new The Hollywood Reporter piece on the company, Julian Sancton describes Bennett’s pitch to an unnamed USMNT player:

His objective for the meeting was to persuade the player to join the growing roster of voices featured on Men in Blazers as it seeks to expand beyond “Rog and Davo,” as the two hosts call themselves. Bennett laid his best lines on the player: “Tell me what you would like to do, and then we’ll talk about how we can pull this off, because we want to do it by sea, by land, by air.”

For the most part, the player appeared to let the flattery wash over him. But his interest was visibly piqued when Bennett mentioned several other marquee partnerships Men in Blazers had just signed. The next day, former U.S. Men’s National Team defenseman and current ESPN commentator Herculez Gomez would premiere his own podcast on the Men in Blazers network, Vamos!, targeted at Hispanic soccer fans. Women’s National Team captain Becky Sauerbrunn will chronicle the run-up to this year’s Women’s World Cup, while her teammate Sam Mewis, who is recovering from injury, will co-host a show on Twitch during the tournament. Milan-based Fabrizio Romano, arguably the most influential soccer journalist in the world, known for his coverage of big-money player transfers, will be bringing his massively popular podcast to the network.

The player nodded in admiration. Men in Blazers, it was clear, had global aspirations and was well on its way to achieving them. “You’re the only network I would consider doing this for,” he said, even as he explained that his training schedule might make it difficult to commit.

Bennett pressed on: “On this show, I’ve always joked that soccer is America’s sport of the future, as it has been since 1972,” he said. “That’s changing. The future really is now.”

It’s interesting to see Men in Blazers expanding their network this way. And we have seen some successful transitions from individual podcast or show to wider media network, particularly when the central show has a strong personality-focused identity and the new additions fit with that. A few examples there include what Bill Simmons has built (first with Grantland, now with The Ringer and Spotify), and more recently, what we’re seeing with Jomboy Media. We’ll see if Men in Blazers can follow suit.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

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.