From NASCAR and stadium sports to eSports, Doug Perlman shares insights on the state of sports during Covid.
Anyone who works in, has worked in, or aspires to work in this $800 billion sports industry knows the name Doug Perlman. Perlman is the founder and CEO of Sports Media Advisors where he has worked on all of the firm’s client engagements since its inception in 2009.
I had a chance to visit with Doug a couple of times recently to discuss the sports world and get his perspective on the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Doug’s oldest son was the captain of the baseball team at King High School in Stamford, Connecticut. If your heart breaks for anyone, it has to hurt for young people like Taylor who lost their senior year.
The younger Perlman is a committed student, athlete, and leader. King’s Coach, Ryan Quinn says, “Taylor was voted captain by his teammates and coaches after a very successful junior campaign. He was our designated hitter throughout the season and was right in the middle of a very potent offense.” In his junior year, Taylor achieved a 4.82 GPA (weighted due to his 6 AP courses) and had a cumulative 4.5 GPA (also weighted).
Taylor is headed to Duke University to follow in the footsteps of his dad. Clearly, sports run in the Perlman family.
Back to Doug. Perhaps thinking about his son, he muses, “Things will change, for sure, regarding the sports landscape after COVID-19.” There will be an impact on college sports, budgets and media contracts. At the end of the day sports may well be re-defined by this pandemic.”
Throughout his career, Perlman has been recognized by multiple industry publications and organizations as a leader in the businesses of sports, media, and technology. These accolades include being named by the Sporting News as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports and being named to the prestigious Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 three times, earning a spot in their Hall of Fame. He regularly appears on television and is often a featured speaker at industry and other events.
Perlman began his career as an attorney at Proskauer Rose, a global law firm with the nation’s top sports practice. Shortly after joining the NHL’s legal department in the mid-90s, he recognized the promise of digital media and segued into a business role in order to establish the NHL’s digital operations. He spent more than 10 years at the League, ultimately serving as Executive Vice President, Media and a member of the Commissioner’s senior management team. Following the NHL, Perlman joined IMG as President of IMG Media, North America, where he again oversaw the television and digital media businesses and was a member of IMG’s six-member global leadership team.
Perlman’s clients have included the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, USTA, UFC, Hockey Canada, Little League, EA, Twitter, NextVR, and several leading private equity firms. Among other things, SMA and Perlman help sports properties optimize multi-platform content distribution strategies (including negotiating their primary media rights deals), develop and execute growth strategies for sports related businesses, and perform diligence and deal support for investors considering media, technology, and/or sports related opportunities.
A major force in sports, indeed!
As noted, Perlman is a graduate of Duke University where he received a BA, cum laude, in political science and of the University of Virginia where he received his J.D. He lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with his wife, Lisa, and their three boys.