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Social Media and College Sports: A Lucrative Combo in Brand Storytelling

Live on Zoom - Wednesday, October 27th at 12:00PM PST

The NCAA had long barred athletes from making money off their name, image and likeness. The rule was struck down on June 21 when the Supreme Court decided against the NCAA setting off a flurry of brand deals totaling many millions of dollars from video game platforms, clothing, beverages, fast-food brands and more.

In this panel we will discuss how brands, agencies, publishers, and athletes are navigating the space and the opportunity for brands to tell their story with a new class of talent.



Gabe Gordon


The Reach Agency

Gabe Gordon is a social content innovator. As a Co-Founder of Reach Agency, he established the company in 2012 as a new type of agency created for digital video storytelling. Its underlying mission is to engage brands with a social generation.

With 17 years of global experience, Gabe’s comprehensive marketing expertise spans influencer, social media, strategy, and entertainment. He’s a seasoned veteran across multiple categories including automotive, retail, CPG, tech, hospitality, and entertainment. He’s orchestrated impactful creative solutions for world-class brands including Disney, Nestlé, Clorox, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch In Bev, the National Football League (NFL), Google, GM, Wal-Mart, Marriott Hotels, and more.

Recognized as Small Agency of the Year by Advertising Age, Best Video Ad Agency or Partner by Digiday, and Best Entrepreneurial Company in America by Entrepreneur Magazine, Gabe’s award-winning client work has earned accolades from the One Show, Reggies, Digiday, Shorty Awards, Streamys, and the Influencer Marketing Awards.

Before launching Reach, Gabe served as a Content Strategist for PepsiCo and honed his skills for 10 years at William Morris Endeavor. Gabe first broke into entertainment in the music space and worked at Interscope, Geffen, A&M, and Sony Music. He’s currently an Advisor for Vidcon, Doing Things Media, and Buffer Festival.

Craig Brommers


American Eagle

Craig Brommers has led global marketing for the most iconic brands in retail - Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Calvin Klein. Last year he joined denim leader American Eagle as the new CMO. The youth culture brand has recently partnered with Gen Z favorites such as Addison Rae, Chase Stokes, and Madison Bailey on innovative, digitally led campaigns.

Ryan Williams


Athletes First

Ryan Williams is a partner at Athletes First and has been with the company for nearly two decades. Athletes First is a full-service athlete management firm that has been representing elite NFL players since its inception in 2001. Based in Southern California, with satellite offices in New York City, NY, Gainesville, FL, Austin, TX, Louisville, KY, Atlanta, GA and Madison, WI, Athletes First is a staple in the sports representation business. Over the years, they've created a culture that's built around the two key components of the industry: exuding extreme power while remaining intimately personal.

Kayleigh Barber

Media Editor


Kayleigh Barber is a media editor at Digiday, where she covers revenue diversification in the digital media industry. She is also the co-host of the Digiday Podcast where she discusses with leaders and executives from around the media and marketing industries about significant trends in the space that are impacting their businesses. Prior to joining Digiday, Kayleigh was an assistant editor at Folio: Magazine, where she covered the business of the magazine industry and programmed and moderated sessions for the brand’s annual conference, The Folio: Show. She graduated from The Pennsylvania State University.

Richard Calacci



Richard Calacci brings decades of repute as a tenured leader and executive in the worlds of sports, television and online media. Calacci is currently the Chief Revenue Officer at Overtime, leading brand for the next generation of sports fans, with almost 50 million social media followers and 1.7 billion monthly video views.

At Overtime, Calacci leads a nationwide sales force, dedicated to implementing hyper-growth through client direct sales, programmatic execution and experiential activations.

Previously, Calacci served as the first-ever Chief Revenue Officer at Pluto TV, where he built out a national sales team that was seamlessly integrated into ViacomCBS after being acquired. He also served as the Chief Revenue Officer for Bleacher Report, where following its acquisition of Turner Sports, took on the role of Senior Vice President of Turner Sports Sales. Additionally,

Calacci also served as Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales at esteemed sports institutions and CBS Interactive.

Calacci is a graduate of Wabash College where he currently serves as an emeritus on the Board of Trustees.


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