Writers Vault - Industry
- President - Sports Branded Media
Television Writers Vault continues its series
of interviews with key executives in the entertainment
industry, bringing our Writers an exclusive glimpse
of the inner workings of Hollywood.
pleased to welcome John Meindl, President, Sports
Branded Media, and member of The TV Writers Vault.
Thank you for sharing your time with us, John.
Can you please describe for our readers the function
and focus of Sports Branded Media?
MEINDL: We are the first
company to specialize in sports product placement
– working on the production side offering sports-specific
solutions for advertisers. The scope of
our company has grown to include sports coordination
and production financing through sponsorship dollars.
As prexy of your company, how involved are
you in the development process when taking on
a new project for packaging?
MEINDL: I am completely
involved – working as part of all productions
from the start, and helping to coordinate all
of the sports elements and sports related sponsorship
/ product placement.
What got you into the industry, and what
keeps you going?
MEINDL: Where I am today
is really a culmination of many of the things
I have done previously; owner of a sporting goods
company, retired athlete, former college head
coach, professor of sports marketing- sports and
entertainment entrepreneur. I am a cross
between a visionary and a task master- and I truly
would not know what to do unless I had 10 things
going on at once.
a fascinating approach to packaging projects for
sale that you have. How much does having advertisers
involved in a project before approaching a network
make a difference in a network considering its
MEINDL: Having the commitment
of major advertisers / sponsors is always a great
has the development and programming landscape
changed over the past 5 years?
MEINDL: Reality TV
has completely changed everything…..
How do you see the role of reality-based shows
in programming 5 years from now?
MEINDL: I think we are
close to capacity – and that we will see a more
scripted work in the years to come.
How much of Hollywood is “idea driven”,
and how much is pre-packaged formula?
is a mixture of both finding the right idea to
fit into proven formulas – coupled with innovative
new programming formats.
taking a meeting with a Writer or Producer to
discuss potential projects, what are some things
you’re hoping to find in that person or project?
MEINDL: Modesty, Creativity,
Realism, Intestinal Fortitude and the ability
to not take themselves too seriously.
many projects do you have your hands in at any
giving away any confidential information, can
you give us any insight into new projects you
have in the works?
MEINDL: Every original
production that contains sporting elements. We
have a ton of good projects coming down the pike.
Looking at a season of programming and development,
is there any period you slow down in shopping
for new properties?
MEINDL: No -
percentage of your day is spent managing your
current projects, versus generating new ones?
MEINDL: 60 percent managing
current projects, 40 percent scouting and developing
Is it easier for a writer to break
into the industry with a reality-based concept,
or a scripted show?
MEINDL: If what you
have is really good, it will work regardless of
What makes a great reality-based concept
for today’s market?
MEINDL: The ability
to find and display pure unfounded talent.
advice can you give to a writer who is relatively
new to the industry?
MEINDL: Do your homework,
ask questions, network, do more homework and be
tenacious as hell – all the while continuing to
improve your craft.
at how the TV
Writers Vault functions,
how important of a service do you feel it is for
MEINDL: I believe it
is extremely valuable!
What are you a fan of on television today?
MEINDL: The 11o’clock
news, MASH reruns, Grey’s Anatomy, Real Sports
Thanks for your insight, John, and thanks for
supporting The Television Writers Vault.