In this episode, we chat with Mike Schreiber about his path to becoming a household name in the sports marketing landscape. Mark founded Playfly Sports, a leading sports marketing & media company that brings an innovative, digitally enabled approach and solutions to the growing collegiate, high school, and pro sports sectors. He shares how the Playfly Sports platform is powerful sponsorship tool that benefits players, communities, and brands.
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Playfly Sports: Changing The Sports Property Landscape With Mike Schreiber
We welcome Mike Schreiber, the Founder, and CEO of Playfly Sports, onto the show. He’s a visionary who has helped revolutionize the world of sports entertainment. Let’s get into it.
Mike, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me, Evan. I’m excited to be here.
We are psyched to have you. Mike was generously offering little Playfly cribs. This is your new office, Mike?
We’ve got our Certificate of Accuracy now. We are not even 100% finished but I’m so excited to be here in the space. It comes with the culture and community of Playfly Sports and what we are all about, which we will get into. Here’s a little background. It was built in 1913 as a live stage theater about ten years before movies came out. They turned it into a pretty cool picture house. It was a roller rink in the ’40s and ’50s. Even Dick Clark at his local Bandstand events was here in the late ’50s when he was a Philadelphia guy before he went national and moved to LA for American Bandstand, the TV show.
Anyhow, it’s got this cool history and these interesting, neat metal and brick bones here. I will show you around real quick. I will take you out to the main floor here and give you a sense of this. You can start to see what it looks like. We carved the hole in the middle of the floor for our basketball court. We’ve got the basketball court here, which is pretty cool. We are doing some painting now of the space. Each of the offices sits surrounding the open space where we have our basketball court.
We’ve got our Jumbotron on the back, which is not on but a big, huge screen to allow us to project scores. A lot of times, we put the games up there that we want to watch during the day while we are working. You can see the structure as I take you around on the basketball court down in the middle. We have offices surrounding that on the bottom.
We’ve got this cool Skybox conference room where we have meetings. It overlooks three floors down, which is fun. It gives you a little bit of a sense of the spot. I even tried to use some of the reclaimed wood. If you look at the top of these offices, you can see the beams. Those beams are pieces of the beams that we cut out for the opening of the basketball court. We wanted to use some of the histories here in what we built. That’s it.
Who is the office champ at the free-throw shooting?
I would say I am but that would be a lie. I would only be trying to influence the audience because I’m the CEO. We have some pretty significant sports leaders inside of our company. The president of our college and high school division won the national championship with Stanford Basketball in 1992. She’s the Captain of the team. She’s probably one of our best. We have AJ Bramlett, who was on the Arizona National Championship team a while back. They may even pull it off again this 2022. We will see. AJ works for us.
We’ve got people with World Series rings and Stanley Cup rings. I am the least qualified to be the champion of the basketball shooting contests at Playfly Sports. My career ended in twelfth grade when I decided that I didn’t want to practice every afternoon in college and said I wanted more free time. My organized sports career ended at that point.
Let’s start there. I’m so excited to learn about everything going on at Playfly. Congratulations on the new office. It is incredible. Let’s talk about high school. Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Baltimore and spent my early days as a Baltimore Colts fan. It gives me a little bit of an age factor for you on that. Ten years old, middle of the night, they disappear. Back then, you’ve got an evening paper. The evening paper landed on our doorstep. The Colts are gone, and I’m this kid like every Halloween picture in a Colts uniform. I went with my grandfather and my father to the games at the old Memorial Stadium and that hurt.
I grew up in Baltimore. I have played sports my whole youth in high school, all three sports. I played football and basketball and switched between tennis and lacrosse because lacrosse was a huge thing in Baltimore. It still is a huge thing in Baltimore. I couldn’t hack it. I wasn’t good enough. I had to switch out of lacrosse with all my friends being amazing lacrosse players and me sitting on the bench. I switched to tennis so I could play.
I spent a bunch of time and got married in Chicago. I have an amazing wife, three kids, and we live in Philadelphia now after many years in New York. We put our headquarters here in Philadelphia, selfishly, because I live here. Our largest office is in New York, and we have people spread out in 31 states throughout the country now but Philly is our headquarters.
“If you learn to sell, you can learn to do anything.”
Being an entrepreneur, the Philly area is a great place to start and grow a business. In addition to you living there, there are a lot of perks to being in Philly. You went to UVA. What was your first job after school?
Right after school, I went into a consulting firm for a time like a traditional step into the workforce. Immediately, eighteen months in, I decided that wasn’t for me. I went into a tech startup. At that point in time, I jumped out of the consulting firm, left the solid income, and went to try something. That was in the time of the B2B vertical auction type models for materials.
It was a big hype thing. It was 1999 and 2000. I did that. I had a great time and experience. I learned a ton. I joined as an employee. We were 30, and we went up to about 180. Going back to business school was my play as we went down to about twenty people. I was still there because I was cheap. It was a whole rollercoaster.
That startup, was that in the media space?
It was in the plastic space, industrial trading. It was not in the media. It happened to be people that I knew that was looking for smart people that were inexpensive talent, so I hopped in. My early entrepreneurial itch started in that space. It wasn’t until I went to business school. I went to Kellogg at Northwestern, and I was able to focus on my long-term career, which was going to be media sports and entertainment, which is what it has been. After Kellogg, I hopped out and went and worked for a company called NBC. It was not NBC Universal. Not anything else. It was NBC. It was owned by General Electric at the time. I did a General Electric Management program as well during that stint.
Over many years that I was at NBC, we bought everything else. We bought Universal. We bought all these other brands, whether it was Telemundo and Bravo, and all of these businesses to what NBC Universal is now. I’ve even got traded in the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal from General Electric. I ended up still within the org but going to the dark side of the cable company, helping them with digital transformation.
I noticed that you were part of the founding team at Hulu back in 2006 while still being at NBC. Was NBC behind Hulu? How did that work?
It was an interesting background here. I was part of the founding of Hulu. We ended up founding it with a team at Fox. It was my team at NBC Universal and a team at Fox that founded the business out of our intrapreneurship versus entrepreneurship. Inside big companies, we built that business and ultimately handed it off to an independent management team led by a guy named Jason Kilar, who’s now the CEO of WarnerMedia.
Interestingly enough, that original implementation of Hulu was focused on countering what was happening around piracy of content. The BitTorrents of the world and even the early days of YouTube that was not necessarily managed at that point like it is now, all this content that was being produced by the entertainment and the sports industry was ending up for free in these locations.
There were two opportunities, offense and defense. The defense certainly takedown notices, lawsuits, and a number of players. We are very active on the defense side. A group of us decided, “Maybe we should be on the offense side. We should figure out a window of content that allows people to access certain types of content for free.” That was the theory behind this. It’s an interesting story. I could go on for a while and all the different stories and evolutions.
We took a package of our content. We went and pitched to a bunch of interesting big digital companies at the time, which would have you think is funny if I told you. For example, one of them was MySpace, to give you a sense of the history there. I went and pitched a lot of them on this idea of taking our content, maybe aggregating some other major media content into one experience, and creating this window.
It didn’t get the shiniest reaction to that at the time, which is interesting when you think about it now. We did it ourselves and had a lot of interesting history about why it was only Fox and us and not a bunch of other companies. Disney and Time Warner came in, and all of these elements have some interesting stories in the background and the history of the media business moving into digital. My role at NBC Universal was digital transformation. The founding of Hulu was one piece of that.
For example, I put the first linear, full TV network on the phone. It was a flip phone in 2006 with our partners at Sprint. It was one frame a second. Talk about slow. One frame of second is very slow but we did it. There’s a lot of interesting first back then. I had a lot of fun doing that. As Comcast bought the company, I transitioned over to the Comcast side of the business to help with a similar digital transformation. We are taking the screen-in-box model you have in your living room, where you have all your channels and all your on-demand, and making it a digital experience. A lot of time, it’s negotiating with professional sports leagues and movie studios, etc. to get all the rights to be able to pull that off.
Years ago, if you were a Comcast subscriber in the country, everything in your living room was also on your phone. It’s an important transformation for a business like Comcast cable. That’s a little bit of background there. It’s fun stuff. There were lots of tough negotiations and tech builds but it took Comcast’s video service leaps and bounds in front of any other major distributor in the country.
There’s so much to unpack there. It’s incredible what you achieved in that span of your career. For starters, you were working in industrials and went to business school. At that point, did you know you wanted to be in media? What was driving you there? How did you end up graduating from business school and being in a position where you could achieve all of this?
It was interesting. I always had an interest in art and entertainment as a kid. I was a photographer and art photographer as a kid and did some professional work even in high school. I always had this sense that I liked the arts and media. I loved sports as a kid, playing a ton of sports. Those are the things I started to think about as I went to school took a bunch of art classes at the University of Virginia. As my time evolved, I went to a general experience after college and to a consulting firm where I’ve got to learn from a bunch of different industries. I did the startup to get that entrepreneurial itch going.
I wasn’t interested in industrials at the time but all those experiences showed me that you could pick the career you wanted. Meaning, you can pick the industry you want to work in, especially as a young person building the beginning parts of their career. I said, “I can work in market locomotives in Erie, Pennsylvania for the GE locomotive division. I can work in insurance in New York if I want to but do any of those things excite me? No, they don’t.”
What excites me are sports, media, and entertainment. I shifted and said, “There are tons of jobs and businesses. There are CEOs here and heads of marketing there. There are salespeople in all of those industries that I love, sports, media, and marketing. People are making movies, producing a broadcast of sporting events, running teams, all of that stuff.” Those are all jobs that are interesting. The question was, “Why don’t I focus on the stuff that I love and make it a job as well?” That’s what I did.
To that point, being an executive in one industry versus another, do you think it requires significantly different skills? Is the same skillset might as well do something you are interested in?
Mark Cuban always liked to say this line and worked with him in a lot of different worlds where he says, “If you learn to sell, you can learn to do anything.” I love that because selling is a key to anything. Even if selling an idea, you are an engineer, and you are going to sell an idea to your boss. You’ve got to understand how to make a persuasive argument.
Selling is one of the most important elements, especially for an entrepreneur who wants to create a new business. You’ve got to sell the idea, get investors, and sell the product. That’s a cornerstone of anything. Even if you are not going to be a salesperson, that’s okay but selling is such a cornerstone to the business environment no matter what you are doing and what role you are in.
I find that to be pretty interesting, even if you are in a function that has no commercial elements at all. Let’s say you are an accountant. If you are an accountant and love sports, work in accounting at a sports organization. They need accountants as much as any other company does. That’s interesting for us. By the way, we are hiring. For anyone that’s reading, if you want to shoot me a note, we have a great office. It’s exciting. You shoot some hoops on your lunch break. We are looking for accountants.
There are a lot of sports organizations where they want to work for a team directly or a company like ours, which supports teams, high school associations, and colleges. You have that opportunity. I didn’t think about it that way when I came out of college then realized that, “I might as well focus on the stuff that I like to do and be around.”
Going back to what you were saying about the founding of Hulu, I find it so interesting. If I understand it correctly, at that time, streaming consisted of BitTorrents, questionable if legal things on the internet. Was Netflix doing streaming at that point? Was there anyone else doing streaming?
No, there were some experimental things out there in the movie industry that were happening. They weren’t getting much traction yet. There were a little too early for their time. There’s not a ton yet, not much anything in mass-scale outside of YouTube. YouTube came on so quickly then got acquired by Google quickly. Everybody was worried about that, whatever it was.
The $1.5 billion that Google paid for YouTube. Was that a great idea or a bad idea? Everybody thought it was a bad idea. It was a good idea. Fox bought MySpace for $600 million-ish, something in that range. Good idea or bad idea? I don’t know. Could it have been an execution issue, and it was a great idea? Could it have been a bad idea? I don’t know.
When you look at it now, it looks like a bad idea but that’s not necessarily the full story. There are a lot of interesting elements there. That was the launch of Hulu. It wasn’t until a year or two later that we ended up adding in a subscription component on top of the free service, which allowed you to put in content that wasn’t necessarily available for a free window like broadcast content can be. It added a whole new layer of interesting cable content that was being produced at the time. The most original content was being produced for cable channels back then.
There’s some interesting stuff from USA and FX. That was producing a lot of this and AMC, like amendment. A lot of interesting content was being produced that there was going to cable channels because those are the channels that had the wherewithal to pay for it. As those subscriptions matured and Netflix was maturing at the same time in parallel, you start seeing an opportunity to produce original content directly for the subscription service instead of having to go through a traditional network first. That changed the whole paradigm in the business and cracked it open to what it is now. That’s not how it started, interestingly enough.
You can pick the career you want. Meaning you can pick the industry you want to work in.
The challenge you are solving at that point was, “People are going to consume this content illegally. How can we do it in a way that’s super accessible and do it legally through us?” Let’s now fast forward to Playfly. What is the problem that Playfly is solving?
Playfly Sports is taking some similarities when you think back to Hulu and some of the problems I was solving. The problem we are solving is allowing sports organizations, which inherently are fragmented by their market. A pro-team, a college athletic department, a high school state association are fragmented by their market. They don’t have the national scale that ESPN or NBC Sports has to be able to necessarily sell across from a sponsorship and sales perspective to build tech across and scale. They don’t have that weight in the marketplace.
Inherently, they are a small to medium-sized business focused on certain geography. At the end of the day, we can provide that scale across sports organizations. The goal we were trying to solve was to build scale and network effects for sports organizations, so they can create more value off things like sponsorship and advertising sales by pulling in national global brands. They could pull in technology that they wouldn’t be able to invest in themselves because it would be too expensive for the size of their organization.
We can invest it on a platform level and provide it to them. We built out an organization that solved a lot of those problems. We drive significantly more revenue for all of our partners on sponsorship and advertising basis. For example, we sell, whether it’s in-venue, the signs you see in venues, sponsorships, whether you see it on digital media if you go to LSUAthletics.com or whether it’s TV. I will stay with Philly for a minute. If you are watching the Sixers or the Flyers here in Philadelphia, you are going to see advertisements, whether they are virtual, on the court or in the commercial pod that we sell at Playfly Sports. We help them sell those advertising and use that network effect.
We drive additional technology where we are providing a number of different outlets for these organizations. One project that we launched that we talked about a little bit in our pre-discussion was we combined technology advancement, ad sales, name, image, and likeness in college athletics into one project. We are having the two-star football players on Michigan State being the front-of-the-camera leads and paid commentators on a live sportscast around the basketball teams going to the NCAA tournament.
It’s this cool combination of elements that you wouldn’t necessarily have the resources, forethought or the ability to pull off if you didn’t have some partner that has the scale and a network effect attached to it. We feel excited about what we are doing. In pro sports, our biggest categories are baseball, basketball, and hockey. We have a little bit in MLS and a little bit in NFL. College and high school in and of itself are interesting categories. What we do is organized those fans for all of our partners. Delivering them to brands is one of our biggest categories from an advertising and sponsorship standpoint.
By marketing teams at all of our brand partners, we get excited about that because they can’t buy across a lot of these organizations without the ability to go to each of these organizations and put their buys together with their agencies and create a lot of time and work. They could buy from us in one shot. I will give you an example.
We have done a deal for the first time in the industry that you can buy a baseball, hockey, basketball, college, NFL, both on TV, on digital, and in-venue with one advertiser to be able to spread their brand across all of those different leagues, teams, and geographies with one buy. We created simplicity for the marketers to get their message and campaign executed across the most valuable media in the world, which is live sports.
In theory, it makes so much sense. It’s incredible what you are doing in practice because historically, you couldn’t buy across all sports and states. That’s not necessarily how the marketing and advertising teams at big brands are set up. I’m curious. How has the reception been for big brands? It’s because it is a shift in how they think about buying sports sponsorships and digital on a local basis.
It has been interesting. It has been an evolution and education. A lot of times, it’s going into the rooms with the advertising themselves and their agency in a lot of the big agency markets like New York, LA, and Chicago, talking to them about what we do and how we do it. One of the things we learned early on was not only the execution but it’s a technical layer to be able to interact with all of the brand’s agencies in a way that acts like a network.
For example, if it’s as easy to transact with the natural sports network like TNT, ESPN or Fox Sports 1, we want our interaction. Our buy is to be just as simple. We have built and learned that we needed to be as simple as possible. We built out a technology platform that interfaces with the advertisers and the agencies like a network would. What we give them is so different. We give them access to all these markets across the countries but they are all local fans.
We are not giving one national fan who might be interested in the game. We are giving them local fans across the country, that part of the community they can’t get without calling 200 different organizations and doing 200 different ad buys. We can give them all of those local fans, that passionate fan base sitting there watching. We call it rooting instead of watching. We think someone who watches the national sports network is watching. We think someone who’s either at a venue or watching their local sports team in the market is a rooting fan.
That’s much more valuable for the advertisers. We have proven that the ROI, the engagement, the recalls are higher. You name it. Every research statistic comes back higher in that model. The ratings are high. Look at a regional sports networks rating. Someone watching the Sixers game in Philadelphia is traditionally 4 to 10 times higher on the basis of a pure rating. There are no other metrics than it would be on that same person in Philadelphia watching a national broadcast of an NBA game that’s not the Sixers.
On the college side, which is where Learfield and IMG play specifically, they are focused on that category only. We have focused across the sports industry. We are excited about high school and the community opportunity there, which we will talk about. In college, yes. We are working with schools that have historically been Learfield or IMG schools that have come over to use our services but we are big believers that there’s plenty of room in the marketplace for a number of big players. It’s not us versus them.
We collaborate with them and believe they do great things as well. We are very much focused on driving these new categories and new effects. It’s one category for us that we have been driving a sports betting. If you look at college sports fan, 90% to 95% of them is not college student. It’s 25 years plus, so is the college sports fan. The student is only this group of, if it’s a 5,000-person school, it’s only 5,000 people out of the million fans of that school sports. If you think about that from that perspective, activating sports betting on college sports is interesting.
It’s all happening on the national broadcast. It should be happening on a local level, too. We have been a leader in activating sports betting with a number of our local partners in pro. Even in college, we have been leading. We did the first deal in the SEC Conference. We did the first deal in the Big Ten Conference. We have the largest deal in college sports history as well with one of our partners. We are trying to be innovative and partner with new schools that perhaps we are using one of our competitor’s services in the past.
Something that you are doing that is so impactful is we see trends where digital is often the largest bucket in advertising spend but there are trends towards reaching humans in real life when they are cheering for what they are most passionate about to complement their digital spend. You are making it easy to merge all those different spends and make it cohesive, which is incredible.
We also have the live streams of all those games as well. Look at NBA games. DREAM Baseball is coming back. Thank you, baseball, for coming back. It’s a big part of our business.
I feel like you were probably behind those negotiations in some capacity.
We’ve got phone calls from folks we know who have worked with baseball for many years every week or so about some of the progress. It was pretty not bright for a while. I was looking for some bright spots in here and there. I was surprised when they flipped a bit and went back to the full season. We are excited about that. We are one of the largest sellers of baseball inventory in the world outside of the league itself.
As we were talking about digital, all the games that are going to be presented on digital, which are all the games, we have the ability to bring advertising and marketing to those streams. Not only are those more addressable for the audiences that we do already providing that local rooting fan versus the watching fan but we can address it down to some of those fan’s profiles that they have out there about that fan to give the advertiser even more direct exposure to the audiences that are going to drive their business.
You mentioned high school. Tell us more about the opportunity in high school.
If you take an image of how college has evolved over many years into what it is now. If you aggregate all of college football, it is as dominant as the NFL, if not bigger, in terms of influence in this country. It’s an interesting evolution now with the kids with the ability for them to get paid for endorsements and maybe some even further progress for college athletics and athletes themselves over time.
That evolution has now said, “What’s next after this amazing professionalization of college sports? What’s high school?” High school is an amazing category with amazing people, students, stories, opportunities for storytelling, and opportunities for the community. It’s even deeper into the community in our world.
Youth sports is such a huge category, especially as kids start specializing at younger ages. The actual competition is getting better at younger ages. The stories are interesting. Some of the kids and the struggles they have to go through to get to the field to compete are interesting. To support those kids in this space by bringing more sponsors and dollars back to try to provide greater offerings is something that’s exciting and interesting. The biggest problem when you get down to a high school level on youth sports is it’s so fragmented that you can’t bring the big dollars in to support those communities.
We focused on the state high school associations where the state high school association does have that ability in each of their states locally to drive significant value back into their organizations and states. We have started working. We’ve got about a third of the country that we work on with their state associations. We bring in advertising to support their state championships, state playoffs, and a number of other categories, both boys and girls sports across the whole gamut, not only football and basketball.
We try to push the opportunity to bring new dollars into those spaces, so the facilities are better. The actual events are more professionalized, and the students even sometimes get to play at amazing venues like the biggest pro venues in the country for some of these events, which sometimes for these kids are once in a lifetime experience because they are not going to be able to play in college and go pro. It’s the majority of the kids.
We’re big believers that there’s plenty of room in the marketplace for a number of big players. It’s not us versus them.
If you take the State of California, almost 900,000 high school athletes play in the State of California under the CIF brand in that state. When you add engaged family members, you are talking about three million people that are involved in high school athletics every year in the State of California, which is wild. We are excited to be able to be a part of that community and stimulate the next wave of storytelling and opportunity.
Like college sports, as the high school sports get more professionalized, which at the end of the day is going to drive dollars back to not only the organizations like the high school state associations but also the athletes. Over time, these athletes are going to get a persona for themselves. They are going to be able to monetize it while they are an athlete, as well as after they retire from being an athlete. They are still going to be able to utilize this notoriety and drive value for themselves, which is exciting because that does create a whole new category for people to create value for themselves, which is incredible.
How has the reception been from advertisers for the high school opportunity?
Advertisers love the community. It goes to that same effect that I was talking about before when you defragment local sports for national advertisers, which I was getting at before. The same thing happens at high school. The interesting thing in high school is you are getting down to the community level. You want that brand to resonate with the moms and dads of the kids that are on the field.
You want that brand to resonate with the local organizations, whether religious organizations, environmental organizations, other schools, and educational organizations around. All of that matters. The brands that show up in high school need to be community-based and community-supportive brands. That’s a little different than you have in college and pro.
We believe that’s something that’s an area that we can help drive and connect both the community with the advertisers. The advertisers that are the right fit love that because that’s who they are going after. That’s how they build their campaigns. They want to be part of the fabric of the community. They don’t want to be shouting at people. They want to be sitting with people. That’s a big thing that in terms of what we do is try to make sure those matches work. You see a lot of organizations and sponsors that are the most contextual for that community environment. That’s what we strive for.
Mike, this is so fascinating. I could ask you questions for hours but I know you are on a tight schedule. The last part of this interview is called the lightning round. It’s four questions. It’s the first thing that comes to mind for each question.
You’ve got it.
What was your favorite youth sports memory?
Sitting on the bench as a lacrosse player and deciding that was not my thing.
When you were in middle school, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Third question, what is a brand whose marketing you admire most?
I would say Zappos. They are unapologetically focused on customer service as everything. They wore that in every way. It was amazing. I envy that.
RIP, Tony Hsieh. He was a true innovator. Finally, what is a go-to cause that you support?
That is very at the moment for me. My maternal heritage is Ukrainian. My grandfather came over when he was five years old. My great-grandmother had to walk him and his siblings from outside of Kyiv, Ukraine, to Poland to catch a boat, which is an amazing thing. You would never even fathom what would happen again but look what’s happening again in that region.
For me, that’s the biggest focus I have now is looking for ways personally to support Ukrainian people and figure out ways for all of my extensions, whether it’s the company here at Playfly Sports and who’s willing to support. We have a number of different projects going, supporting charitable efforts to get back to supporting people in Ukraine. It’s personal to me as well as a horrible situation that’s happening.
It is terrible what’s going on over there. I hope your family and friends are safe and doing well. We don’t end on a somber note. What’s something exciting that you are looking forward to at Playfly?
We have an exciting basketball tournament coming up. We have a number of teams. About six of the Playfly schools are in the tournament. We are excited to jump in and root for our partners and see how they perform. We’ve got some fun, exciting partners, USC, Michigan State, LSU, great list of schools that are in the tournament. We are excited over the next few weeks to watch them play, even a partner down the street in Philadelphia, Villanova, who’s shown some pretty exciting signs of success this 2022. That’s the excitement for us. I’m excited to watch the games.
Mike, this has been so interesting. I’m a huge fan of yours and what you are building at Playfly Sports. Thank you so much for coming to the show.
Thanks for having me. It was fun to chat, and I look forward to talking again soon.
Thank you for reading this episode with Mike Schreiber. As a recap, we discussed Mike pioneering the streaming world that we know now as one of the Founders of Hulu and Playfly Sports, their ability to connect brands with sports fans from high school to pro. Thank you for reading. See you next time, everyone. Play on.
- Playfly Sports
- AJ Bramlett – LinkedIn
- SEC Conference
- Big Ten Conference
About Mike Schreiber
A dynamic innovator in his field, Michael leads Playfly Sports with vision towards the future and a keen understanding of the needs of his clients. He has led many transformations in his career, from the industry’s first TV and Film digital distribution deals at NBC Universal, to the founding of hulu.com in 2007. He also spent a number of years in advertising sales supporting the NBC Sports and Olympics properties. After the NBC Universal acquisition by Comcast, Schreiber was asked to lead the digital transformation at Comcast Cable as the SVP in charge of new media and digital content/platform deals.
Additionally, Schreiber led the development of sports league digital rights, advertising tech deals, and was part of the team that founded Comcast’s Streampix subscription on-demand service (predecessor to Peacock). In 2016, he became the Chief Content Officer and founding executive of Altice USA managing a division with three TV businesses and over 600 people. During his tenure at Altice USA, it quickly became a Fortune 500 company and the 4th largest cable company in the US with an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017.
He was also instrumental in the investment and acquisition of the Cheddar digital news business into the Altice family in 2019. Schreiber graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Finance and holds an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.