The CUSP Show
On the Columbia University Sports Management Podcast ("The CUSP Show"), faculty members Joe Favorito and Tom Richardson host thought leaders from across the sports industry as they discuss a wide array of topics. The show is produced by the Columbia University Sports Management program's staff.
Browse a selection of episodes below, and listen and subscribe to the show.
Tom and Joe welcome Rachel Baribeau to discuss her new book, Relentless Joy, and how her career as a sports broadcaster led her to a career in spreading positivity. She shares how she succeeded in adapting to the constant changes in sports media and how she was able to conduct her career on her terms. Rachel explains the importance of authenticity in destigmatizing mental health issues and how that translates to her presence on social media.
Tom and Joe welcome Miheer Walavalkar, co-founder and CEO at LiveLike, to explore how new technological innovations can enhance fan engagement for sports brands. Walavalkar explains how LiveLike has evolved over time and how market feedback drives their work. He shares why LiveLike decided to leave the virtual reality business and illuminates why VR could never live up to its initial boom. They explore what’s next in the VR space after Apple announces Apple Vision Pro before Walavalkar shares where he thinks Web3 is headed and the role he envisions LiveLike will play in its growth.
Tom and Joe welcome Jeff Eisenband to the show to discuss how his career as a content creator has changed since he last joined the show in 2019. He explains how he decided to focus his work on golf, gambling, and esports and how it has helped him advance in this industry. The group explores the PGA/LIV merger and what it means next for the game of golf and its infrastructure. Jeff explains how he is able to wear so many hats in the media space and how his age and other external factors contribute to how he is perceived in each of the sports he works with. They discuss how working with sports video games differs from working in other areas of esports and what is next for that industry after its initial boom.
Joe welcomes Megan Holgate, Vice President of Partnerships at Galaxy Racer North America, to talk about the growth of esports in the United States and her path to the industry from more traditional marketing roles. She discusses her work to improve the space for women in gaming with the HER Galaxy initiative, and the goal of debunking the notion that gaming is heavily dominated by men. The two finish by discussing the gaming industry's future and what is next for the success of digital creators.
Joe and Tom welcome Michael Dub to the pod to share his story of becoming an entrepreneur after dedicating years of his career to the corporate space. Dub shares the impetus for his company Sweet Chameleon, which uses 3D printing to create completely customized collectibles and digital experiences. Dub explains what inspired him to start this venture, the company's progress, and its potential beyond sports. Dub defines the world “phigital” and how Sweet Chameleon is bridging the gap between digital and physical collectibles.
Joe and Tom close the 2022-2023 academic year by bringing five current Columbia Sports Management students onto the show to discuss an award-winning project they worked on. Students Christina Chen, Daniel Manzi, Hernan Gonzalez, Naoya Kanno, and Pablo Aycart teamed up to compete in the SportsPro Hackathon earlier this year and devised a product designed to significantly reduce plastic-cup waste at sporting events. The group joined the show to pitch the product and share their experiences working on the project and the subsequent recognition it received, as well as their experiences so far as Columbia students.
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