Joe Favorito has over 32 years of strategic communications/marketing, business development and public relations expertise in sports, entertainment, brand building, media training, television, athletic administration and business. The Brooklyn, New York native has managed the day-to-day activities in strategic communications for: Two of the world’s hallmark sports and entertainment brands (the New York Knickerbockers and Philadelphia 76ers), the world’s largest professional sport for women (the WTA Tour), the world’s largest sports National Governing Body (the United States Tennis Association) and the world’s largest annual sporting event (the US Open). He also oversaw the strategic planning, investor relations, communications and digital business development of the International Fight League during its two year run as a Mixed Martial Arts venture and a publicly traded company.
Since 2008, Joe has been an independent consultant on crisis communications, social media, strategic planning, brand marketing, publicity and business development for clients that have included or now include: Bloomberg LP, Intel, NFL Films, Fantasy Sports Ventures/The Big Lead, Major League Baseball, Spike TV, Sony Entertainment, Nickelodeon, EPIX, Wizard Entertainment/Comic-con, TOPPS, the John McEnroe Academy, USA Rugby 7’s, AVP, USA Wrestling, USA Baseball, Beyond Sport, Leaders In Performance, Right To Play and others.
He was part of the USA Wrestling Communications team that won four CLIO Sports Awards in 2014, and was named one of Forbes’ “100 Sports Business Must Follows On Twitter” for 2015 and “50 Must Follows” for 2016 and 2017 and Huffington Post’s “Sports Media People To Follow” for 2017 & 2018.
In 2017 he was named as one of Sports Business Journal’s “Power Players” in media communications, the only independent consultant to make the list of 20. He is also co-host of the Columbia University Sports Podcast (“The CUSP Show”).
Additionally, Joe was associate producer for the Tony nominated hit Broadway show “Lombardi,” and was part of the creative team for the production “Magic/Bird,” the Tony-nominated musical “A Christmas Story,” and the plays “Bronx Bombers” and “Dinner With The Boys.” He has also worked on marketing and publicity for a series of feature films and documentaries including: “Coach Carter,” “Act of Valor,” “Warrior,” “Never Back Down,” “Knuckleball,” “Glickman,” “Need For Speed,” “Schooled: The Price of College Sports,” “The Other Dream Team,” “Forgotten Four,” “The Road To The Winter Classic, 2015 and 2016” and “When The Game Stands Tall,” as well of a host of book projects ranging from “Yankee Miracles” to “Football’s Greatest,” “Club Soccer 101” and “Steelers Pride” (for Time Life books). He serves on the boards of the Weinstein Carnegie Group, New York Sports Venture Capital, the National Sports Marketing Network, and Columbia University’s Sports Management program (where he is an instructor in Strategic Communications and Director of Industry Relations). Joe also authored the first-ever text on the sports publicity industry (“Sports Publicity” published in August 2007 by Reed Elsevier and updated in 2012 by Taylor Publishing), which is used in over 40 sports management programs in the U.S. He has been a guest speaker on sports marketing, social media and communications at a host of institutions, including Princeton University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, the University of Florida Law School, New York University, the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and many others. He is also a frequent spokesperson on the industry for publications ranging from Ad Age and The New York Times to NPR and CBS News.
A graduate of Fordham University, Joe, his wife and two children reside in River Vale, New Jersey.
Additional Career Accomplishments
WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT/INTERNATIONAL FIGHT LEAGUE
- Senior Vice President, Business Development and Communications2006-2008
Oversaw all new business development, communications and strategic partnership growth for this start-up brand.Created almost $10 billion in impressions in mainstream business, lifestyle and sports exposure for the IFL during its two years of existence.
- Developed strategic business partnerships, including revenue sharing deals with YouTube, NeuLion, PalTalk, Getty Images, Stats Inc, the USO, USA Wrestling and others.
- Oversaw all strategic new media planning and implementation.
- Created and implemented all strategic communications plans for the brand, its athletes and world champion coaches.
- Oversaw the aggressive and proactive placement of media on a national and local level, including print placement on IFL-specific topics in 23 of the top 25 major circulation dailies, television placement ranging from 60 Minutes to The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency and wide ranging sports, business, trade and new media coverage for the brand and the sport.
- Developed and oversaw the implementation of the IF.s broadcast components with HDNet, MYNetwork TV and Fox Sports Net, reaching over 140 million homes weekly in the first two years.
- Oversaw all business correspondence and investor relations.\
- Oversaw development of unique grassroots programs to reach the spor.s core demo and expand the brand as a lifestyle.
NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS
- Vice President, Public Relations:2001-2006
Created a comprehensive and proactive communications plan that expanded the tea.s exposure across all media platforms. Enhanced business and community relationships by creating unique programs to help partners maximize their investment with the team.
- Oversaw all aspects of publicity, media relations and interaction, internal communication, media training and crisis management for one of the worl.s most identifiable brands.
- Served as principle spokesperson on all major announcements. Handled key correspondence for president Isiah Thomas and all Knicks coaches.
- Greatly expanded the scope of non-traditional publicity by pitching lifestyle pieces on players, coaches and staff. Highlights have included appearances ranging from.David Letterman. to.Good Morning America. NP.s.Weekend Edition. and.The Apprentice. as well as print features in Me.s Health, Stuff, USA Weekend, The New York Times Magazine, and Black Enterprise among others.
- Oversaw the content and development of Knicks-related programming on MSG Network, and on Knicks national broadcasts on TNT, ESPN and ABC.
- Created.them. programs, incorporating celebrities and players in community events. Included are recent partnerships with the casts of.Yours, Mine and Ours..Coach Carter. and.The Lord of the Ring. among others. Maximized exposure with key national photo and video placement post-event, which has expanded the scope of celebrity and entertainment company relationships.
- Created partnerships to enhance year-round sponsored community relations and field marketing programs. Innovations have included a yearly fitness supplement that reaches over 150,000 school children in the tristate area, a first-time partnership with area minor league baseball teams, and the development of awards programs honoring the top scholar-athletes and minority community leaders in the tri-state area. All led to increased branding and ticket sales opportunities.
- Oversaw the development and implementation of a comprehensive alumni program that is a vital part of team activities and business partner development. Created a series of special events that fostered new business partnerships with the Naismith Hall of Fame and the History Channel, among others.
- Managed fulltime staff of five and game night staff of 50.
- Accomplished all growth while continually coming in at or under budget.
UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION
- Director of Publicity and Media Relations: 1999-2001
In newly created position, expanded the media scope of the USTA, the US Open and Davis Cup brands. Enhanced marketing and media relationships by forming strategic communications/marketing opportunities to help partners get maximum value on their investments.
- Developed communications activities for the USTA, with particular emphasis on special events, professional tennis, Davis Cup and the US Open.
- Managed communications and publicity for the US Open tennis championships. Supervised media activities for over 1,500 worldwide media members.
- Developed strategic media outreach programs with the ATP and WTA for all American tournaments, as well as Davis and Fed Cup, giving tennis a unified publicity push for the first time.
- Greatly increased the diversity and extended the timeframe of media coverage for the US Open by forging new relationships with national, multicultural, business and lifestyle publications and broadcast outlets. Brought shows ranging MSNBC.Business Tonigh. to.Americ.s Black Foru. on site for the first time. Created a nightly news feed to showcase all onsite business activities and make coverage of local stories easier for outlets not able to attend.
- Maximized celebrity involvement and increased exposure for the USTA by raising the profile of key events nationwide.
- Oversaw content development for.Topspin. a critically acclaimed weekly kids television show on CBS during the summers of 2000-02. Partnered celebrities, community events, children and pros in different vignettes to highlight the game of tennis from all angles.
- Vice President, Communications and Special Projects: 1996-1999
Created the WT.s first-ever multi-tiered, worldwide integrated marketing and communications plan.Worked with players, sponsors and media partners to maximize the on and off-court personalities of the rising young women in the sport, a key component in the controlled mass exposure of personalities such as Venus and Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova, Lindsay Devenport and Martina Hingis among others.
- Created unprecedented media exposure for the sport, with results that included Martina Hingis as the first-ever female athlete on the cover of GQ, wome.s tennis simultaneously featured in Time, Newsweek, Business Week and Fortune, and increased appearances on virtually all lifestyle shows and publications with year-round consistency.
- Unified efforts for all 56 worldwide tournaments so that media reps in each area received regular updated information, story opportunities, and biographical information. Result was substantial increase in consistent coverage for the sport.
- Created new opportunities with local and international celebrities and players, including the first-ever awards gala with Dennis Miller and other celebrities .Tennis by Denni.). The expanded program led to a partnership with New Regency films as a tour sponsor and more than doubled worldwide television exposure.
- Implemented Tou.s first-ever weekly newsfeed to promote player on and off-court activity to local media markets, resulting in greatly increased television exposure.
- Overhauled all publications and created content for Tou.s first website.
- Oversaw worldwide staff of ten and brought all projects in under budget annually.
- Director, Public Relations/Publicity: 1993-1996
- Oversaw all media relations and community activities.
- Created unique programs which gained national exposure for All-Star guard Dana Barros .little big ma. campaign) and rookie of the year candidate Jerry Stackhouse .Stick with Stac. promotional and video campaign), among others.
- Created unique sponsored program .The Final Fastbrea.) involving Sixers legends and the closing of the Spectrum as home court.
- Overhauled all print publications, managed fulltime staff of three and game night staff of 30.
ADDITIONAL RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
- FORDHAM UNIVERSITY
- Director, Sports Media Relations: 1988-1993
- SPORTSCHANNEL ASSOCIATES
- Assistant Director, Public Relations and Marketing: 1987-1988
- MONMOUTH COLLEGE
- Director, Sports Media Relations: 1986-1987
EDUCATION AND AWARDS
- Bachelor of Arts, Fordham University
- Major in Communications, Minor in Economics: 1985
- Recruited to write and have completed the first-ever text book on sports public relations,”Sports Publicity, A Practical Perspective,” published by Elsevier in Fall, 2007, updated in 2012 and again in 2018.
- Member of the Board of Advisors for the Sports Management programs at Drexel University, Manhattanville College and Columbia University
- Member of the New York Steering Committee for the National Sports Marketing Network
- Instructor in International Public Relations, New York University: 2000-2003
- Selected as one of Tennis Industry Magazine’s 40 Under 4.: 2000
- ACE award for.creativity in communication. for USTA’s.Tennis-e. program: 2001
- Highlighted as one of PR Week Magazine’s People in Sport.: 2004