The rush to capitalize on legalized sports betting is creating opportunities for rising sports media talent. NBA Twitter personality Rob Perez, aka “World Wide Wob,” is joining The Action Network.
Founded last fall, The Action Network caters to sports bettors and fantasy sports players. Perez will be writing, podcasting and creating videos and other content for the subscription company, according to chief content officer Chad Millman, the former editorial director of ESPN.
what a wild year pic.twitter.com/g85g7EitjM
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) August 2, 2018
With 240,000 Twitter followers, Perez has quickly emerged as one of the funniest, most unique NBA voices. He’s set to guest-host ESPN’s weekday NBA talk show, “The Jump,” on Monday and Tuesday with Cassidy Hubbarth, his co-host on the “Buckets” podcast.
“The goal is to be a Swiss Army Knife in terms of content, whether it’s writing or digital videos,” Perez said. “We have plans to produce a live show as well. Anything that’s possible in 2018 media in terms of how to get the word out to people is something we’re looking to accomplish.”
Perez, a former writer with Fox Sports and The Big Lead, will work full-time with The Action Network, based out of New York City. His “Buckets” podcast with Hubbarth, ESPN and Cycle Media will likely be discontinued. But he’ll look to do a similar show at The Action Network.
“My hope, and my goal, is that Cassidy will be a part of it,” Perez said. “Obviously there’s a bigger business discussion that has to be had there for that to come close to being official. But that show for sure is something we’re looking to bring over to The Action Network full-time.”
Millman noted Perez’ original videos have captured more than 500,000 viewers. His Periscope videos average 57,000 views.
“We love Rob’s sensibility and his gift for quickly creating content that perfectly captures the moment,” Millman said. “He knows gambling, he knows sports and he knows how to meet fans where they are.”
Following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling paving the way for legalized sports betting outside of Nevada, The Action Network and ESPN+ were the first to roll out a new sport betting show with the new “I’ll Take That Bet.”
They won’t have the field to themselves for long, though.
Sporting News previously reported that rival Fox Sports’ FS1 cable network is developing its own new weekday sports betting show. The show will likely be hosted by Charissa Thompson, sources said, and could feature announcing legend Brent Musburger, Clay Travis and oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman in an “Around the Horn”-type format.
“This industry is in a ‘Eureka’ situation: We’ve found gold in the West,” Perez said. “People are taking the Oregon Trail out there to figure out how they can get a piece of it, whether you’re on the sports book-maker side of the fence, or you’re a gambler, or you’re simply just commentating and being an analyst of the content. The Action Network has a combination of all of the above.”
At a time when sports journalists have to write, appear on TV, radio and podcasts and build healthy social media followings, Perez’s multimedia skills appealed to The Action Network, according to chief executive officer Noah Szubski.
“He’s an expert at taking what sports fans are talking about,” Szubski said, “and translating that into something irresistible.”