Digital Technology Veteran Executive & Serial Entrepreneur David Nugent co-founded its fifth sports services company, Next League, calling its core offering “thought leadership as a service”.
New York-based Next League takes a “for us, by us” approach to its membership where customers will not just consume, but also participate in the newsletters, podcasts, events and white papers the company produces. Initial customers include NASCAR and several more to be announced in the coming weeks. With over 20 employees to start with, the idea is to create thought leadership that can benefit the broader sports, media, entertainment and wellness industries.
“What we’ve discovered over the years is that as we host client summits and other events where they can be together, they gain the most from getting along,” said Nugent, who is the CEO of Next League.
The opportunity, Nugent said, is to guide teams and leagues through the digital transformation presented by Web3. Blockchain, NFTs, cryptocurrencies and the metaverse are proliferating in the industry, and Next League is hoping to be a consulting firm that can provide the right context and strategy for the implementation of these as well as ‘other growing sectors such as sports betting.
“I’ve been through Web 1 and Web 2, and now we’re entering Web 3, which is infinitely more confusing, if not nothing else, at least at this point,” he said. Nugent: “We’re not selling a product or a platform, it’s more about, ‘How do we help them think through these processes and then put together the best technologies for them to achieve their goals? “”
Most importantly, Nugent helped run Omnigon Communications in 2008, with a focus on shaping digital content, building an audience and building loyalty. Infront acquired this business in ’16 and renamed the digital sports marketing company to iX.co, where Nugent worked as commercial manager until April. During a hiatus last summer, Nugent began to think about building successful service organizations and turned these notes into a book, emphasizing leadership and culture. His partner at Omnigon and iX.co, Mike Grushin, had created his own youth development project called Fearless +.
Nugent: “As we talked about where these two things overlap, we realized, ‘Wow, if we created a culture based on mentorship, thought leadership, ethics and trust and that we could also deliver the kinds of results that we have decades of experience, we could not only attract a group of customers interested in these things, but a really good team of people because a service company is really just that. ‘a human endeavor, isn’t it? Your ability to attract and retain talent and build the right kind of culture is everything in a business like this. “
Their bet with Next League is that the void is not just the know-how of applying technology to sports and media, but also guiding the industry with experience and a thoughtful perspective – and to create a positive social impact where they can.