Have you ever wanted to get connected with someone in the sports business industry? Nick Hayden of the Sports Biz Group is our guest today and talks about his up and coming business. He has a growing slack channel along with a sports business networking event on the horizon. Hear what Nick has to say about sports, sports betting and the overall “business” side of this niche.

Show Notes

Ryan Knuppel: 00:00 On today’s show I sit down with Nick Hayden of Sports Biz Group. We sit down and we talk about one thing only, sports business.

Ryan Knuppel: 00:09 Everywhere you turn, it’s the same old sports talk, the same headlines, the same news and the same boring information. This podcast is here to change all of that. We bring you hot sports takes, winning sports betting strategy and picks, reliable gaming industry news and breaking interviews with some of the biggest names in sports business. My name is Ryan Knuppel. Welcome to the Knup Sports Show.

Ryan Knuppel: 00:30 Hey, what’s going on everybody? It’s your host Ryan Knuppel here of the Knup Sports Show. Thank you so much for taking your time tuning in to our show, this podcast called the Knup Sports Show at knupsports.com.

Ryan Knuppel: 00:42 Hey, today I’m joined by a special guest. I Have Nick Hayden joining me. Nick is with the Sports Biz Group and Nick really focuses on one thing, the business of sports.

Ryan Knuppel: 00:52 Nick runs a very successful slack channel along with a Linkedin page, plus is hosting a networking event this coming week. Nick is all over the place in sports, and he’s a great guy. What he’s looking to do is connect people in the industry and really give people a shot. I mean, he’s connecting employers with employees, he’s helping people spread the word about their new products. He’s doing a lot of things with Sports Biz Groups, so I think you’re really gonna enjoy what he has to say.

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Ryan Knuppel: 01:18 But first I wanted to talk a little bit about my upcoming plans, my individual, my personal upcoming plans. I’m really excited about this coming week. I know this is Saturday that this got published, but this coming week, actually tomorrow on Sunday, I fly out to New Jersey to go to the SiGMA Roadshow event in New Jersey/New York for the weekend. Actually, I’m a speaker on a panel. I’m a speaker on a panel at the SiGMA Roadshow on Monday. Really excited about that. I’m talking kind of about the future of affiliate marketing in sports gambling and sports betting world. So that’s going to be great. I can’t wait to kind of share some of my insight on that. You know, I’ve been in this industry for 15 years, really closely in the affiliate side of things. Not necessarily as an affiliate myself, but helping affiliates, helping them with content creation, helping them just grow their website and their, I guess, presence in this space.

Ryan Knuppel: 02:12 So I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge with everyone at the Sigma Roadshow. If you are going to that, please, please connect with me, [email protected] or whatever, on LinkedIn you can find me. I’d love to schedule a time to talk to you. I’m actually going to be at the AASBS event right after that on Tuesday, and then Tuesday night I’m heading to Nick’s networking event, which is in downtown New York in Manhattan, so I’m excited for that as well.

Ryan Knuppel: 02:37 Hopefully all of that will be able to happen. It’s going to be a big week, and then head back home on Wednesday, Head back to Orlando, Florida from New York. So a lot of travel, but it’s great. I can’t wait to connect with all of you in the industry. If you’re going to any of those events, please reach out and let me know, and we can sit down and talk about what you do. I’d love to hear about what you’re doing in this industry, the sports betting space in particular, as we look to legalize sports betting in nearly all the states hopefully within the next five years or so. It’s slowly happening, guys. New York just had a some big news where they’re legalizing it for a few of the different locations or venues in New York, and Illinois had some big news this last few weeks, so some of the big states are coming on board. I’m ready for Florida to jump in on the action as well, but we’ll see. Time will tell how all that goes.

Ryan Knuppel: 03:25 So anyway, that’s my plan for this coming week. I hope I can see some of you guys there and talk to you. I hope you, enjoy my little speaking engagement. I mean I’m looking forward to. It should be fun. Who knows where that’s going to go. Hopefully I can drop a few nuggets for you guys. Really honored to be chosen by SiGMA, a huge event, I mean a huge company in this industry, and so really honored to be able to help them out as well and do that. So.

Ryan Knuppel: 03:52 All right, without further ado, I’ll quit rambling, and let’s hear what Nick Hayden of Sports BiZ Group had to say.

Ryan Knuppel: 04:00 Okay, welcome to the show today. I’m joined by a very special guest. I’m here with Nick Hayden. Nick, are you with me today?

Nick Hayden: 04:07 Yes, Ryan. Thank you so much for having me.

Ryan Knuppel: 04:09 Awesome so much. Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to the listeners and talk to myself about what you have going. I mean, you have a lot going. Just from our small talks that we’ve had and from kind of watching some of this stuff you’re doing it looks like you’re heavily invested into this sports business area.

Ryan Knuppel: 04:29 Nick, tell us a little bit about, I guess you know, your background, how you got involved with the sports business and what you’ve got going on these days.

Nick Hayden: 04:38 Ryan, well I appreciate that intro and and likewise to you. It looks like you’re traveling, speaking, connecting with a lot of people, so much applause to you for that as well.

Ryan Knuppel: 04:48 Appreciate it.

Nick Hayden: 04:49 Yeah, so I’ve covered kind of a lot of different areas in sports business over the years, from doing ticket sales, to sports betting, to doing recruiting in sports, to selling sponsorship in sports, and been able to touch a lot of different aspects over the years through different jobs back in the days of internships, and started different companies. For instance, started a travel agency for sports fans a few years ago, and then now I’m transitioning into operating the Sports Biz Group community.

Nick Hayden: 05:20 So, from that I’ve been able to get a very interesting perspective of all the different aspects of sports, and what I saw is that is sports is really fragmented. You see people super competitive, which is really what attracts a lot of people with sports, but it’s super competitive and not as collaborative as it should be.

Nick Hayden: 05:39 So, people are working in their own silos or in their own verticals, but they don’t really open themselves up to collaborate, work with new people, open to new ideas, and I saw that as a problem. So, that led me to start the Sports Biz Group, which is a global sports community of business professionals, and we have people covering sports betting, sports law, sports tech, sports media. It goes on.

Nick Hayden: 06:04 So we have people covering that mostly in New York, mostly in LA. We have people in India, we have people in Australia, we have people in the UK. So, it’s been able to just organically grow from that. We have a community that we’re curating news, events, jobs, opportunities, and we’ve seen a lot of interesting things happen for our members. Like people landing dream jobs, people closing deals, people acquiring new users.

Nick Hayden: 06:30 So all of those user cases just kind of show that this community is needed for the sports business industry. So, we’re continuing to do that, continuing to ramp it up, and we’re organizing an event next week, so hopefully do more of those and we’ll have more content. So, that’s kind of a small gist of what Sports Biz Group is.

Ryan Knuppel: 06:49 Absolutely. Man, that’s amazing, and it’s pretty cool to see. A lot of my listeners and a lot of people here listening to the Knup Sports Show are really connected into the sports betting space. when I first got connected with you I thought, well, you know, sports business, what are we talking about here? Are we in sports betting? Are we in e-sports? What’s Nick doing?

Ryan Knuppel: 07:06 And then as I really dove into … I think you just mentioned this, but as they really dove into what you were doing, it’s across so many different spaces in sports and it’s really neat. I start looking through, I think one thing you mentioned is this slack group. I don’t know if you mentioned it or not, but this slack group that you started that’s a part of your Sports Biz Group, it’s just amazing to go through some of this stuff and really see the different angles I guess that are part of sports business, and it really kind of interests me.

Ryan Knuppel: 07:34 From a personal standpoint, I have a 16 year old son who wants to get into the sports business, right? And he doesn’t even really know what that means, but as I start looking at some of this stuff, I’m like man, there are so many opportunities in this space for up and coming high school, college kids that really want to get into this space. I mean, is that kind of where you’re going with this? Are you looking to get some of those younger kids and people in here that are looking to maybe start a career in the sports area? Is that one of your, I guess, target audiences, or what are you thinking in that space?

Nick Hayden: 08:06 Yes. So what I think is really interesting with the Sports Biz Group is that it can service both people trying to break in, for instance, like your 16 year old son that’s really interested, so they can be almost observing and being a spawn this to this content. Then it also can service people like yourself that have been in sports for awhile, you’re still able to connect with new people, stay on top of the news.

Nick Hayden: 08:30 So it’s an interesting community where it’s helpful for both people that could be in the teenage and they’re still trying to figure out what they want to do, and a lot of people in their 20s like myself, are still trying to figure out what they want to do.

Nick Hayden: 08:42 So, it’s interesting where especially it’s just connecting people across all ages, across all verticals of sports, and that’s why I’ve gotten really excited from it because it can help people trying to break in, but it can also service people that are high level and are veteran to the space as well.

Ryan Knuppel: 09:01 Sure, and you’re doing a really good job of that. I mean, you mentioned the meetup or the networking party. Explain a little bit more about that. I’m actually hoping to get to this event. It’s on, I think … Well, we don’t know when this will be published. I hope to publish this on Saturday, but I think it’s going to be next Tuesday. So Tuesday, why don’t you explain a little bit more about what that event is, and who might be there, and I guess the interest level in that?

Nick Hayden: 09:26 Yes, of course. So for this community, we’ve kind of grown pretty rapidly, especially over the past few months, and we’ve done a small little meetup in New York maybe five months ago. It was a good turnout. It was good for people to connect offline, and that was something that a lot of people in the community were asking for is to let’s do something offline, like a meet up or happy hour.

Nick Hayden: 09:50 So, the one we’re organizing on June 18th, we have the entire 18th floor at a WeWork in Midtown Manhattan, and we’re expecting a great turnout. It will just be open networking. We have various sponsors that are donating products ranging from Anheuser Bush and they’re pairing us with one of their IPA beers, and then we have a coffee brand, we have a Rosé brand. So we have a lot of interesting … It’s going to be a fun time. We’re expecting hundreds of people there ranging from executives for tech startups, to sports people that are active in sports betting, to people trying to land jobs, to people to try to close deals.

Nick Hayden: 10:31 So we’re really interested to see what energy and how people will benefit from this kind of event. And then we’re planning to do a lot more, and do more in other bigger cities, and then expand from that way. But yeah, this is going to be a test to see how we can roll out a series of these sports business networking parties and we’re really excited about that.

Ryan Knuppel: 10:55 Yeah, I can’t wait for the event just to simply see what you have going on. And then, hey, you mentioned other bigger cities. I know a good one in central Florida. Orlando, I want you to bring one down this way, Nick. That’d be a good time.

Nick Hayden: 11:08 I love to make it out to Orlando sometime. Yeah, we’re going to take it one step at a time. Crush this one in New York, and then see what other markets that will have other people that will turn out and contribute to this meetup.

Ryan Knuppel: 11:24 That’s awesome. So, let’s get a little more specific here real quick and I’m gonna put you on the spot here for a second. So as I mentioned earlier, a lot of the people listening to this show have a really big interest in sports betting. And we know, the legalization of sports betting is slowly trickling into United States and every day it feels like we have more news and more things coming up from different states.

Ryan Knuppel: 11:46 I guess give me your real high level view on this, and where do you see this five years? Do you see every state legalized? Do you see this really continuing on the same path that’s on? Just give us your idea or your thoughts on sports betting in the United States, and are you excited about where it’s going as well?

Nick Hayden: 12:08 Yes, I’m so excited. I’m a big fan of sports betting. I do daily fantasy. I also do wagers and parlays and things like that. I’m a big fan of sports betting, and I think there is a stigma that is being broken right now with the typical, what you would imagine a sports better to be in a dark room smoking a cigar and hammering different sports parlays, and there’s a misconception with that. But now it’s more shifted towards a fan engagement mechanism, and it also could be an investment vehicle for people. So it’s starting to shift. I’m really excited with where it’s going.

Nick Hayden: 12:49 Obviously New York, there’s this news that just came out this week with legalizing it in certain areas. In New Jersey it’s been almost a full year with sports betting being legal, and being in that region, I’m really excited.

Nick Hayden: 13:01 I think there’s a huge opportunity for brands, marketers, bookmakers to really capitalize, and at the end of the day it’s increasing the fan engagement, and if fans are more engaged, they’re more willing to spend money, they’re more willing to go to the game. So I think in five years it will be interesting to see. Especially where how the sports book can innovate. You’ll have teams like in Washington, DC, where at Monumental they’re looking to put a sports book inside the venue, and that’s, I think, very forward thinking and that will be interesting to see where the technology’s there as well.

Nick Hayden: 13:42 So it’s battling and cooperating with regulators and making sure it’s done the right way. However, there’s a huge market, there’s a huge opportunity, and I’m certainly excited. As a fan and as someone that’s worked in sports betting, as someone that is a user of the product, I’m certainly excited to see how that we can push that mission to help keep the fans more engaged and see if companies can capitalize on that.

Ryan Knuppel: 14:07 Wow, absolutely. Thank you for that. I appreciate it. And you’re right on the forefront of all that with the Sports Biz Group and everything.

Ryan Knuppel: 14:13 So man, I won’t take much more of your time here. What I do want you to do is please tell our listeners what they can do if they want to get involved with the Sports Biz Group, how they can get ahold of you. Any last words, I guess, for our audience or where can they find you, Nick?

Nick Hayden: 14:30 Sure. So, the best to find me is on Linkedin. So just look Nick Hayden on LinkedIn, and feel free if anyone’s listening and you’re interested in getting involved in the slack channel, feel free to either send me a message on Linkedin. I’ll send you the link. Or fill out the form on our website. www.sportbizgroup.com.

Nick Hayden: 14:53 If you’re in New York, let me know. I’ll send you a ticket for the event on Tuesday if this episode airs before then. But otherwise find me on Linkedin. I’m very active on there with with pushing out content, and we have a channel in Sports Biz Group to help support people. So let’s say Ryan, you post this podcast on Linkedin, we’ll have a support system ready to kind of go like and comment and share, and drive more awareness to your show.

Ryan Knuppel: 15:24 Yeah, I’ve noticed that. That’s one thing I really enjoy about the slack channel, is it’s a common group of people that are helping each other, right? I mean, you have like an area where you can share some Linkedin posts. You have an area where you can share events, you can share podcasts, you can share things in this space, and it’s not like a competitive feel. It’s more of a, hey, I’m going to help you, you help me type. You know, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your type feel. Which is great to have that type of support system within your industry. So man, really cool, really good job out there on that.

Nick Hayden: 15:55 I really appreciate that Ryan. And to bounce off that point is I think we all will win if we collaborate. You see a lot of people, it’s okay to be competitive. A lot of times if you just picked up the phone and call, even if you’re talking to a competitor, people are sometimes saying I don’t want to talk to this person because they’re a competitor, but if you just spoke to them, they might be interested in collaborating in some kind of way. So, it’s kind of breaking that stigma is sports is highly competitive and it should stay that way, but we need to be collaborative and help each other to really everyone take it to the next level and we all win. So.

Ryan Knuppel: 16:31 Absolutely. Well Nick, I won’t keep you any longer. I appreciate you joining me, and I hope to speak to you again on here maybe in a couple of years when the Sports Biz Group is monstrous and you’re in every city with different meetups. And anytime you need anything from me or my audience or anything, do not hesitate to reach out and just let me know, and we’ll help out however we can.

Nick Hayden: 16:54 Awesome. I really appreciate that. Look forward to seeing you in person in a week, and keep up the great work. It sounds like a great audience and community that you’re building yourself, and let me know how I can help in a way to promote what you’re doing or help connect you with people. So, I really appreciate that.

Ryan Knuppel: 17:10 All right. That’s Nick Hayden with the Sports Biz Group. I’m going to meet up with him next week at his networking event in New York on June 18th. So Nick, have a great day and we will talk to you all later.

Nick Hayden: 17:21 Thanks Ryan. Keep crushing it.

Ryan Knuppel: 17:23 Thanks for listening to this episode of the Knup Sports Show. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider subscribing to our iTunes channel today. Plus visit us at knupsports.com for more pics, previews, strategy, and news. That’s K-N-U-P sports.com.


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Ryan is a veteran to the sports betting industry. He owns and operates Knup Solutions where they provide the highest quality sports betting and igaming content to affiliates and operators. His contributions on Knup Sports show his pure knowledge and love for the sports and gaming industry.

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