SMA's success has been driven largely by the strength and depth of its executive team, many of whom have been working together for over a decade. We are able to draw upon our experience in leadership roles with top sports, media, and financial organizations including the NHL, USTA, IMG, ABC, Univision, CSM, Octagon, and Compass Advisors.
Doug Perlman is the founder and CEO of Sports Media Advisors. Since SMA's inception in 2009, Perlman has worked on all of its client engagements including matters on behalf of the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, USTA, UFC, Hockey Canada, Little League, EA, Twitter, NextVR, and several leading private equity firms. Among other things, SMA and Perlman help sports properties optimize multi-platform content distribution strategies (including negotiating their primary media rights deals), develop and execute growth strategies for sports related businesses, and perform diligence and deal support for investors considering media, technology, and/or sports related opportunities.
Before founding SMA at the age of 40, Perlman had already established himself as a well-regarded leader in the industry, serving in senior executive roles at the NHL and IMG. Among other accolades, he had been named to the prestigious Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 three times, earning a spot in their Hall of Fame.
Perlman began his career in 1995 as an attorney at Proskauer Rose, a global law firm with the nation's top sports practice. Shortly after joining the National Hockey League, a firm client, he recognized the promise of digital media and segued into a business role to establish the NHL's digital operations. He spent more than 10 years at the league, ultimately serving as Executive Vice President, Media and a member of Commissioner Gary Bettman’s senior management team. Following the NHL, Perlman was recruited by then-CEO Ted Forstmann to join IMG as the President of IMG Media, North America where he again oversaw all television and digital media businesses, reporting to Forstmann as a member of IMG's six-member global leadership team.
Perlman has been recognized by multiple industry publications and organizations as a leader in the sports, media, and technology industries, including being named one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports by the Sporting News. Perlman regularly appears on television and is often a featured speaker at industry and other events.
Perlman is a graduate of Duke University where he received a BA, cum laude, in political science and of the University of Virginia where he received his J.D. He lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with his wife, Lisa, and their three boys.
Since joining SMA in 2009, Dan Shevchik has worked with virtually all of the firm’s clients on a variety of strategic initiatives with an emphasis on rights valuation and multi-platform media strategies. An upcoming industry leader, he was recognized by the Sports Business Journal with their prestigious 40 Under 40 designation in 2018.
Prior to joining SMA, Mr. Shevchik completed a Masters in Business Administration degree at Stanford University. He began his career in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Compass Advisers in London, advising corporations and private equity firms on a wide range of transactions with a focus in media. Mr. Shevchik received an A.B. in Applied Mathematics Economics from Harvard College, cum laude, where he captained the Varsity Swim Team. He is a former member of the U.S. National Swim Team, winning a bronze medal in the 200 meter backstroke at the 1999 Pan American Games. In 2018, Mr. Shevchik was inducted into the Harvard Athletics Hall of Fame
A native of Wilton, CT, Mr. Shevchik resides in New Canaan, Connecticut, with his wife, Sarah and sons, Will and Ben.
Harlan Stone is a senior advisor for the firm who started working with SMA in 2019 and has over 35 years of sports and entertainment marketing experience. He was named a Sports Business Journal “Champion” in 2021, and is widely regarded as a leading thinker and practitioner in the brand and property marketing space. Mr. Stone advises clients on a variety of matters including sponsorship packaging and sales strategies, pricing optimization and sponsorship/media integration.
Over his lengthy career, Stone has worked with many teams and leagues over his lengthy career, including commercial strategy development for Madison Square Garden (Knicks and Rangers), the New York Mets, league and team projects for MLS, and others. He has also advised several brands, such as Honda and Chase on their, stadium naming rights. Recent clients also include Little League, USTA, PGA of America, Time/Sports Illustrated, Univision, and Cirque de Soleil.
Mr. Stone began his sports industry career by launching his own agency in the early 1980s, promoting a number of successful “Legends” tennis events in the Northeast. After heading Golf Digest/Tennis Sports for the NY Times Magazine Group, Mr. Stone joined Octagon in 1987, ultimately serving as the President of Marketing and board member through the year 2000. Mr. Stone subsequently held roles as the CEO of Momentum Worldwide, Partner at Velocity Sports & Entertainment (now MKTG), President of Major League Gaming Properties, and the Chief Business and Marketing Officer for the United States Tennis Association. In 2011, Mr. Stone helped found SJX Partners, a sponsorship consulting agency. The firm was acquired by Chime Communications in 2014, where Mr. Stone currently serves as the Non-Executive Chairman of CSM North America.
Mr. Stone is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he captained the varsity tennis team and was twice named to the All-ACC Academic team. He currently resides in Darien, Connecticut with his wife Susan.
Sam Werner joined SMA in 2020 and since that time has worked on projects for clients including U.S. Soccer, the Pac-12, NASCAR, Dyal, and others. He joined SMA after completing his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business as a Batten Media Fellow. During his time at Darden, served on the board for the school’s Media, Entertainment, and Sports Club and interned at Comcast in the Entertainment Strategy division.
Prior to pursuing his MBA, Mr. Werner was a sports journalist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he served as the primary beat reporter for the University of Pittsburgh football team, and later the five-time Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Mr. Werner received a B.A. in American Studies, with honors, from the University of Notre Dame. He is a native of Norwalk, Connecticut, and currently lives in Stamford, Connecticut, with his wife, Mary and daughter, Elizabeth.
Leah Taylor joined SMA in 2021 after graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA with Highest Distinction in Media Studies and American Studies (Popular/Visual Culture focus).
While at UVA, she worked for Radegen Sports, helping recruit collegiate golfers for the agency and supporting negotiations for client endorsement deals. She also previously worked with Galea Health, a healthcare start-up dedicated to providing accessible mental health resources to athletes of all levels.
Ms. Taylor currently resides in New York, NY.
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Steve Solomon, founder and CEO of SJS Sports, is one of the industry's most well-respected leaders with an extensive background at media companies and sports leagues. Mr. Solomon provides senior advisory counsel to SMA and has been working with Doug Perlman for over 20 years.
Mr. Solomon brings significant consulting and advisory experience to SMA. SJS has provided consulting services to Major League Soccer, Sports Illustrated, Octagon Worldwide, ESPN, NASCAR, The National Hockey League, The Southeast Conference, The New York Road Runners, Little League International, The New York Red Bulls, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Stats Inc., John Hancock, Sportvision, Tickets.com, Trakus, ExpertMedic and others.
Prior to the creation of his own advisory firm, Mr. Solomon held senior executive positions at Univision Communications Inc., as President of its sports division, at the NHL, as the Executive Vice President and COO, and at ABC Sports for over 20 years, ultimately overseeing the business operations of the network's sports division. He began his career as an appellate litigator for the National Labor Relations Board. He has also served on various boards throughout the industry.
A native of New York, Mr. Solomon is a graduate of Tufts University and St. John's University Law School. He lives in New York City with his wife Laura and has three children.
Amy Hodgins joined Sports Media Advisors in 2015 as Administrative Director. Having worked in the financial accounting field since 1990, she has intimate knowledge of accounting systems and the ability to tailor those systems to a variety of businesses, individuals, associations and non-profit organizations.
Additionally, Amy has held several accounting and management positions in industries including retail apparel, luxury brand accessories, health care and non-profit. A native of Connecticut, Amy lives in Norwalk, CT with her husband, Luis and her two children. She enjoys spending her time volunteering with local non-profit organizations specializing in childhood education and animal welfare.
SMA Alumni Council
SMA remains close and in regular contact with firm alumni who have achieved great success in their professional careers following their time at SMA. Our former team members have gone on to graduate school at Stanford Business School, Duke Law School and MIT School of Management and have continued their careers at prestigious firms and companies including the Proskauer Rose, Discovery, Penn Interactive, and Eventellect.
Greg Chatzinoff is a Director of Business Development & Partnerships at Discovery Golf, a division of Discovery Inc. that operates GOLFTV, Golf Digest, and Golf Channel Latin America. Mr. Chatzinoff and his team are charged with setting and executing the strategy for monetizing Discovery Golf’s global media rights portfolio, negotiating marketing and B2B2C deals to broaden the reach of Discovery Golf’s direct-to-consumer products, and identifying commercial partnership and M&A opportunities to grow Discovery Golf’s global footprint.
His recent experience includes managing the post-acquisition integration of Golf Channel Latin America into Discovery Golf’s broader assets and strategic initiatives in the region, and executing a multi-year partnership with leading data-driven sports technology firm Rapsodo to relaunch an enhanced version of Golf Digest’s direct-to-consumer subscription product – Golf Digest Schools.
After receiving a B.S. from Duke University, Mr. Chatzinoff began his career as a Business Development Analyst at Monumental Sports & Entertainment in 2011. He spent three years at Monumental, launching the company’s OTT streaming platform and helping structure the teams’ long-term media rights deal extensions. He then attended NYU Stern, where he received his MBA in 2016. Upon graduation from Stern, Mr. Chatzinoff joined SMA as an Associate. While at SMA, Mr. Chatzinoff worked with several of the firm’s clients, including NASCAR, the USTA, Hockey Canada, NextVR, ActionStreamer, and Duke Men’s Basketball.
Ryan Chen joined SMA in 2018. Mr. Chen began his career as an Analyst at The Blackstone Group, most recently working as a member of the Hedge Fund Solutions Special Situations Investing Group (Blackstone Strategic Opportunity Fund). He was involved in sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities across a broad range of asset classes, sectors, and geographies. Previously, Mr. Chen completed internships at IMG College, SJX Partners (now part of CSM Sport & Entertainment), Nielsen, and The Blackstone Group.
Mr. Chen received a B.S. in Commerce with a concentration in Finance from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, where he graduated with distinction and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma.
Additionally, Mr. Chen serves as a member of the Junior Board for the East Harlem Tutorial Program and as an Alumni Trustee for the McIntire School of Commerce.
Mr. Chen is a native of New Canaan, CT and currently lives in New York, NY.
Benjamin Freeman is an Associate in the Corporate Department of Proskauer Rose, an international law firm, and a member of the firm’s Sports Law Group. Mr. Freeman represents sports leagues, teams, gaming companies, and other entities in a variety of corporate matters, including acquisitions, expansion, financings, governance, media rights negotiations, and other commercial transactions.
His recent experience includes representation of the NBA and the NHL in numerous ownership transfers, sports teams and their owners in acquisitions and sales, and The Stars Group in the formation of a first-of-its kind media and sports wagering partnership with Fox Sports.
After receiving a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Mr. Freeman began his career as a Business Analyst at SMA in 2011. At SMA, Mr. Freeman worked with several of the firm’s clients, including NASCAR, the USTA, Hockey Canada, and Little League. He then attended Duke University School of Law, where he received his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2017.
Ben Gottschalk is currently serving as a Strategy Analyst at Penn Interactive, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, which oversees the company’s digital assets. In his current role, Mr. Gottschalk works with the Strategy and Finance teams to assess and pursue strategic opportunities, analyzes state-by-state market results, and conducts competitor analysis.
Mr. Gottschalk joined SMA in 2019 after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and History from Duke University. Additionally, he received a certificate in Markets & Management. In his time at SMA, Mr. Gottschalk worked across several different engagements including with U.S. Soccer, Little League World Series, CVC Capital Partners, PBA Tour, Bassmaster, and Learfield.
While attending Duke, he worked in the NBA’s Global Media and Distribution department, helping examine the future of the NBA’s global television deals, and for WME-IMG’s Original Content team where he assisted in creating new shows and provided research and sales assistance.
Mr. Gottschalk currently resides in New York, NY.
Zee Siddiqi is Head of NBA & MLB, Business & Operations for Eventellect, the leading ticket strategy and revenue management partner for sports teams and entertainment entities. Mr. Siddiqi oversees the company's portfolio of 35+ NBA and MLB partnerships by developing and executing pricing strategies, delivering analytical insights to clients, and serving as a trusted resource for industry partners.
After receiving a B.A. and graduating with honors from New York University, Mr. Siddiqi began his career as Business Analyst at SMA in 2014. While with SMA, he worked with several clients including the UFC, Little League, NASCAR, NextVR, and Twitter on a variety of projects. In 2016, Mr. Siddiqi transitioned to a role at Eventellect as a Pricing Analyst and spent two years with the firm. He then attended the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he received his MBA in 2020. While at MIT Sloan, Mr. Siddiqi oversaw a team of 60 Sloan students while serving as a Co-Lead for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.