Why this matters
Brian Berger is the creator of Sports Business Radio, a podcast that brings audiences behind-the-scenes insight into the world of sports.
As the host and founder of Sports Business Radio, Brian Berger gives his audience a look into the sports industry on and off the court. By conducting interviews with athletes, coaches, and executives, he raises awareness of the intersections between sports, business, and innovation.
Berger adapted his broadcast to a podcast several years ago and is now reaping the benefits in full effect. He has noted a significant boom in podcast listeners and subscribers as people search for new entertainment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Berger finds the medium to be incredibly educational, genuine, and almost therapeutic, saying, “[It] is like you’re eavesdropping on two people sitting on a couch having a conversation.”
Recently, the conversations on Sports Business Radio have been tackling what Berger describes as the most important stories of the year: COVID-19 and the racial justice movement. “I can’t think of a year since we’ve been doing this show where there’s been more major stories and impactful stories globally than in 2020,” he states. He goes on to emphasize that it’s critical to talk about these stories in order to prepare for a “new normal.”
In the midst of these major events, feelings of isolation due to the pandemic have been compounded by other stressors like racial injustice, political tension, and more. This has significantly exacerbated the mental health crisis. Berger and his team are working hard to elevate the stories of athletes like Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan, who have been vocal about their own mental health. He believes that this is necessary to remind people that they are not alone, their experiences are valid, and that there are resources to help them. “I think there’s a lot of strength and courage in that,” he says. “It’s ok to struggle sometimes.”
Sports Business Radio is also providing a space to discuss inevitable change in sports, especially in the way it is delivered and the way that fans participate. Berger states that as sports make their return, innovation and imagination is more important than ever. “‘No’ is the number one answer for why we can’t change things,” he says. “Now is the time for innovation and pivoting. I hope that people see that, that we do need to adapt and adapt to the new normal going forward.”