John Meindl | Executive Producer, Sports
The 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. We’re 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.
TVWV: 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.
TVWV: 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.
TVWV: It’s 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 viability.
MEINDL: Having the commitment of major advertisers /
sponsors is always a great help.
TVWV: How has the development and programming
landscape changed over the past 5 years?
MEINDL: Reality TV has completely changed
TVWV: 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
TVWV: How much of Hollywood is “idea driven”, and
how much is pre-packaged formula?
MEINDL: It is a mixture of both finding the right
idea to fit into proven formulas – coupled with
innovative new programming formats.
TVWV: When 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
MEINDL: Modesty, Creativity, Realism, Intestinal
Fortitude and the ability to not take themselves too
TVWV: How many projects do you have your hands in at
any given time?
TVWV: Without 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.
TVWV: Looking at a season of programming and
development, is there any period you slow down in
shopping for new properties?
MEINDL: No -
TVWV: What 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 new ones.
TVWV: Is it easier for a writer to break into the
industry with a reality-based concept, or a scripted
MEINDL: If what you have is really good, it will
work regardless of format.
TVWV: What makes a great reality-based concept for
MEINDL: The ability to find and display pure
TVWV: What 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.
TVWV: Looking 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!
TVWV: What are you a fan of on television today?
MEINDL: The 11o’clock news, MASH reruns, Grey’s
Anatomy, Real Sports
TVWV: Thanks for your insight, John, and thanks for
supporting The Television Writers Vault.