BNB 8.07%
$619.42
BTC 5.87%
$71,012.62
DOGE 8.31%
$0.16
ETH 20.12%
$3,719.23
PEPE 18.48%
$0.000011
XRP 5.53%
$0.54
SHIB 6.24%
$0.000025
SOL 2.71%
$182.56
TG Casino
powered by $TGC

Yang Adija, SVP at Warner Brothers Discovery Sports, on Bleacher Report Watch To Earn and Identifying Trends | Ep. 220

In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Yang Adija, SVP of Digital League Business Operations, Growth & Innovation for Warner Brothers Discovery Sports, talks about identifying early trends, Watch-To-Earn, and climbing the ranks at publicly traded companies.

About Yang Adija

Yang Adija is SVP, Digital League Business Operations, Growth & Innovation for Warner Brothers Discovery Sports. He is responsible for managing the overall business operations and daily execution of strategic and tactical initiatives for digital league partnerships with the NBA and NCAA. In addition, Yang leads WBD Sports’ innovation efforts, leading to the development and launch of Blocklete Games, an original IP franchise built on the blockchain, and the organization’s industry-leading NFT efforts.

In his previous role, Yang was VP, Business Operations and Strategy for Turner NBA Digital, in which he managed NBATV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass and worked closely with the League on communication and execution of new business development deals, strategic partnerships, and product initiatives.

Yang Adija gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com. 

Highlights Of The Interview

  • Identifying and hopping on trends before they become consensus, especially in media
  • B/R Watch to Earn (B/R W2E) is the first of its kind online experience and trivia game that rewards Fans for tuning into live television on TNT
  • Rolling out Watch to Earn – looks, feels and plays like native web2 tech, using web3 tech 
  • Climbing the ranks at publicly traded companies 
  • The WBD Sports umbrella consists of sports programming TNT and TBS and digital channels on Bleacher Report, NCAA.com, NBA Digital

 

 

 

Full Transcript Of The Interview

Matt Zahab 
Ladies and gentlemen, we are back. We’re buzzing as always. Welcome back to the Cryptonews Podcast. Super pumped to have today’s guest on the show, as this one will be about something that I am a little bit passionate about, just to say the least, and that is the good old sport of ball. I’m talking basketball. Big Toronto Raps fan as many of you know, we won the Chip about four or five years ago. Shout out, Kauai you’re the GOAT come back we miss you, and today we have a gentleman coming on the show who is moving and grooving and who has blown up digital strategies for tons of big orgs. Today we have Yang Adija on the show, the Senior Vice President of Digital League Business Operations, Growth and Innovation for Warner Brothers Discovery Sports. In his role, he is responsible for managing the overall business ops and daily execution of strategic and tactical initiatives for digital league partnerships with the NBA and NCAA, talk about a dream job. In addition, Yang leads WBD Sports innovation efforts leading to the development and launch of Blocklete Games, an original IP franchise built on the Blockchain, and the organization’s industry leading NFT efforts. This bio is huge that’s all we’re going to read for now. Yang, pumped to have you on. Welcome to the show, my friend. 

Yang Adija 
Well, Matt, thanks for having me. I don’t know if I could have given you any more mouthful of things to throw in there, but I think you landed the plane on that one really well, so I appreciate it.  

Matt Zahab 
Thank you. I think a good place to start, Yang, before we get into how you got into the current position that you’re at, just to sort of set the stage for our listeners and obviously shoutout Brian, who helps organize this as well, and yourself, of course. But on the consumer side, most of us aren’t too cognizant of how big Warner Brothers really is. And when we think of, obviously the Blockchain aspect of what you and your team brought to fruition, that is Blocklete Games in partnership with Bleacher Report.  And of course, the other thing that you and the team do all the time that most people are cognizant of is the TNT panel. So if you could just give a quick rundown of what exactly Warner Brothers Discovery Sports is and sort of all of the massive organizations under you guys, I think that’s a great way to set the stage for the pot.   

Yang Adija 
So I guess I’ll out from a broad view of Warner Brothers Discovery as a whole. So I am at Warner Brothers Discovery Sports, WBD Sports. And that’s nestled in Warner Brothers Discovery as a whole, and for those who may not know, obviously Warner Brothers Discovery is part of both Warner Brothers Discovery.  We have a lot of the Warner Brothers films as well as the networks that we have CNN, TNT, TBS, TruTV, Cartoon Network and the like. And so that’s on our entertainment side. I am in the sports division. The Warner Brothers Discovery Sports and even within Warner Brothers Discovery Sports, we have quite a bit within there as well, both from a linear perspective. So if you look at it, your cable networks or your over the air broadcast of sports, we have TNT, TBS and TruTV of which we will be broadcasting. We broadcast the March Madness on the NCAA side. 

Matt Zahab 
Crazy. 

Yang Adija 
And it has been a crazy month to say the least around that is very exciting and the Final Four is coming up here as well. And then we have the inside the NBA, and so for those who are familiar with Shaq and Charles and Kenny and the crew there. NBA on TNT, of which we have Adam Lefkoe and Candace Parker and the others on that as well. And then in addition to that, I think we carry NHL, which we’ll get a chance to talk a little bit about. This is our second season going through with the NHL and we’re excited about how that’s been progressing for us. MLB playoffs, US Soccer and Bleacher Report from a digital perspective is also part of our properties that we engage with as well. So we cover everything. A wide range of sports, but also exactly cover everything. And I think we have a great digital properties that we engage with fans as well. 

Matt Zahab 
I love that. Let’s get into before we get into B/R’s Watch to Earn and how you guys utilize Blockchain tech. I’d love to learn about how you climb the ranks. Now, you worked at big accounting firms as well, big consulting. You were a director at KPMG, the advisory practice in Atlanta, finance lead there. When you got this opportunity to join Warner Brothers, I feel like you just can’t turn that down. You grow up a sports fan. I mean, everyone watches TV. Like, who has not consumed TV at some point in their lives? And then you get to join a world class organization, arguably the best in the world, that produces all this stuff. Walk me through the thought process. Were there any objections and I guess and to add on that what skills and hardships did you have to go through in order to get this position? 

Yang Adija 
Yeah, it was interesting for me. I did have a background. I also worked for Disney and ESPN prior to KPMG in my consulting days. And at that time a media landscape the industry was going through quite a bit of change. And I decided to go and do consulting. And I did management consulting, and that management consulting took me to a number of different industries. I worked with some tech companies in Northern California. I worked with some manufacturing companies globally. We did quite a bit for global tech companies as well. And I just started to see the progression of technology across multiple industries. And with my background in media, I started to see that this was something that was coming for or occurring in the media landscape as well. And this was early Netflix, even prior to Netflix, becoming sort of the size that it is about where the media industry was starting to evolve to. And as a consultant at KPMG, one of the clients here locally, or obviously a big company here locally, was Turner Broadcasting. And originally I was hesitant to reenter sort of a large media company because I didn’t want to be in a place where they were going to be stagnant and doing something and not progressing to where I thought where I was seeing technology evolve. And to their credit, they asked me to come in. I was responsible for managing a lot of the large partners, distribution partners that we had. But they wanted to know and they wanted someone that was going to come in and talk through about how do we start to plan conversations with the new players in the space, which included Netflix, Hulu and some of the others? And that was the exciting part for me. That’s where I was like, well, that was worth it for me to rejoin industry, if you would, and try to help us to evolve to where the space was going. I think we did a great job, but just like any other company that it’s going through seismic changes in the industry, it’s a tough thing to do. If your listeners are familiar with the innovators dilemma, the challenge is most of your revenue, most of your partners, your structure is based in I’ll call it the old way of doing business, while the smaller but new and potential growth opportunities are in the new space. And that was a very challenging thing for me to have to work through in a company that was still very profitable and bringing in a lot of revenue with the current infrastructure. And so how do we navigate that was something that was, as I mentioned, challenging and difficult to think through. But the great thing is that I think the divisions and departments within Turner and now Warner Brothers Discovery, we did have departments divisions that were building out digital assets and digital products, which brought me over to the sports side of the business and allowed me to continue to partner with great companies like the NBA and the NCAA to figure out how do we continue to progress along those lines? So I came in with sort of certainly historical knowledge of the business, but I was also a bit of a saber rattler. I kind of rattled the cages of trying to move us forward into where things are going to go. 

Matt Zahab 
It’s tough though. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? So just like you said, you’re coming into an organization that is a literal money printer, and you’re rattling everyone’s cage going, hey guys, we’re going to have to do this. And they’re like well, Yang, we’re already making money. This leads me to one of my favorite quotes. It’s from Peter Thiel, and he talks about when creating 100 X returns. Peter Thiel for those at home, one of the best investors of all time, I think first guy to ever write a check to Facebook, look him up. The guy’s one the GOATs. But he has this quote where he goes, if you want to make millions and billions and you want 100 X returns, you need to be one right, and two non consensus. And what he means by non consensus is you have to be early to the party. And I always think about that when I’m like, oh, AI, Web3, whatever, any kind of tech, biotech, you name it. Longevity, right? All those things where are you non consensus and correct at the moment? That leads me to my question for you, Yang. You have a track record of identifying trends and hopping on them before they come consensus. Like how does one develop that skill set? How do you get the sauce and the juice to actually do that? 

Yang Adija 
Yeah. Look, I don’t know if there’s a perfect science to it or an algorithmic math equation to it, but I think one of it one of the things is that you have to have a sense of you will be wrong at times, and you have to be okay with being wrong at times and really understanding when you have that feel of leaning into something. And my process of which that I’ve taken is seeing something that I think has some opportunity. I am a person that likes to dig into the details. So I will dive into the details. I will continue to take baby step steps along the way, continuous iterative baby steps along the way. And as I get more signals and sometimes it’s not even actually building anything, it’s just more signals that this continues to make sense. I then take that leap and say, hey, I’m willing to be wrong, but I have conviction that I feel this is the right direction to go. And a lot of times, again, in large companies, the gravitational pull towards what is the current legacy business is very strong and it’s very right. You know it’s very right at the moment. But understanding sort of where that next direction is going to go is a, you know, a challenge and you have to be willing to you know, be wrong but also stand on your convictions. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said. Speaking of the next direction, let’s jump into Bleacher Reports Watch to Earn. One, I love that name. I feel like the insert word to earn is very trendy. But Watch to Earn, I don’t know of any other company in Crypto who sort of coined that so kudos to you guys. But for those who missed it, Watch to Earn was the first of its kind online experience and trivia game and you received tokens, the fans got rewarded for tuning into television on live TV, you answer trivia questions and you earn digital tokens. And then you can go to the B/R Marketplace and get some really cool stuff like props from the set, merch, exclusive, collectibles, you name it. When you guys rolled this out and unfortunately I missed this, I was in Mexico and VPN issues, it’s a bit of a shit show. I did get to see the highlights and whatnot and you guys rolled it out magnificently. The thing that I love the most, and the thing I’d love for you to speak about on a high level is how you guys made this look and feel like a Web2 rollout using Web3 tech. Like I don’t even think there was really any Blockchain related stuff mentioned in the whole rollout, but it’s on Blockchain tech. I love that shit. All of us on Web3 need to take notes. That’s what needs to happen because we’re not going to onboard the people if they think they’re using Crypto and Blockchain because there’s this FUD around it. It’s very complex. You guys made to my knowledge, you made wallets for people. There was not there was nothing Web3 related on the front end. I absolutely love that. I’d love if you could take a deep dive into this. 

Yang Adija 
Yeah, look, I think that’s exactly what our intention was. The audience that we were going to be speaking to on a weekly basis or twice a week may not have been familiar with or have wallets, and we didn’t want that to be a hurdle from them enjoying the experience. And we were trying to be very intentional about how we roll that out, how do we make sure that it feels very native to our fan base, but at the same time, the important thing isn’t to flash our Web3 credentials to our fans. It’s for us to provide the value that Web3 enables for the fan base. 

Matt Zahab 
Bingo.

Yang Adija 
And I think that’s going to be the best way of getting the next 100 million people or so into Web3, because it’s really about the value proposition that Web3 allows, whether it’s through ownership, whether it’s through connecting communities that we feel that we wanted to focus on rather than the tech. And the sort of, at the time, quite a bit of buzzwords that came around it. Now granted, we were also doing this at a time when I think the hype had burst a bit, and so we were also being very intentional about making sure that we were not getting swept up in what was at the time a hype around, you know, floors and moons and everything else. And look, I appreciate the market for what it was at that time, but we wanted to really have the conversation be about providing value to the fans. Lefkoe said it really well when he was talking about Adam Lefkoe on NBA, on TNT, that our fans stay up and they watch, and they are committed to our programs. And so what we want to do is return that value back to them and return that favor and bring them closer to the experience. And hopefully we’re going to be able to do that with the Bleacher Report, the B/R Watch to Earn. 

Matt Zahab 
What’s next for B/R Watch to Earn you guys going to roll some crazy shit during the playoffs? Let me break some news on the Cryptonews Pod here Yang. 

Yang Adija 
Yeah. Look, I’ll let you know that we are looking forward to the playoffs. We are excited about that. We are continuing to tweak some things with the product itself. So you’ll see some tweaks coming on across the next few days and weeks here. Part of it will be the look and feel of the site. The other part will be some of the things that you can earn or redeem the tokens for. So we’re looking to launch some new things within the B/R Marketplace. And the other is that we’re thinking about the gameplay right now it’s trivia questions. You’ll go in, you get trivia questions, you answer some trivia questions, you get tokens. We’re looking to expand that experience as well. So over the next few weeks here, we are hoping that we can put something in. Playoffs are coming around the corner here, so it’s getting really close. 

Matt Zahab 
That’s true. Yang, walk me through the end goal. Maybe not end goal, because that’s such a far fetched and forward looking question, but in a perfect world, how would you want to see this play out? And I’ll jump in before you and if my feet were in your shoes, I feel like creating some type of viral can’t miss game, right? Where every time you’re watching the TNT broadcast and you have the B/R Watch to Earn and comes on you’re just like my ass needs to be in chair or in couch so I don’t miss this opportunity. Again, on my end, perhaps I’m completely not in the same yacht as you and missing the boat, but on my end, I’m like, that’s what I would see and also to provide a shit ton of value, right? You just talked about how your fans are staying up till one in the morning on the East Coast, catching those 10:00 P.M. Lakers games or Suns games or whatever the case may be, and you want to give them some value back. But what is the end goal with B/R Watch to Earn? 

Yang Adija 
Yeah, look, you nailed it. I mean, that’s really what we want to do. We want to have sort of a dual value exchange. You’re coming in, you’re watching, we want you to want to come in and watch more because we are dropping Easter eggs around questions or gameplay that if you miss it, you miss the opportunity to get the ultimate tokens and pricing from that. So that’s the engagement that’s the excitement we want to create around that. The other is that we also want to open this up so that our fans can start to get access across. If you think about the other sports that we have, that we will start to expand this across sports. So you’re looking at WBD Sports and you’re able to engage with, you know, the NBA. You’re able to engage with other things like the NHL and some of the other properties that we have that will allow our fans to really become sort of a multi sport engagement with us, but also get value across properties and assets that we partner within and have. 

Matt Zahab 
I love that. Yang we’re going to take a quick break and give a huge shout out to our sponsor of the show. And when we get back, we’re going to talk about how you and the team have absolutely blown up the two TNT broadcasts, NBA and NHL. I’m a diehard hockey fan, so I can’t wait to get into this one as well. Huge shout out to PrimeXBT, our sponsor of the show. The Cryptonews team loves the team at PrimeXBT. We’ve been partners for a long time and they are the best in class as they offer a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a vet, you can easily design and customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. They are also giving an exclusive promotion for listeners of the Cryptonews Podcast. The promo code is CRYPTONEWS50. That is CRYPTONEWS50. To receive 50% of your deposit credited back to your trading account, you can use this bonus as you see fit. Again, the promo code is CRYPTONEWS50 that is CRYPTONEWS50. All one word to take advantage of this offer and receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. And now back to the Show with Yang. Yang. Let’s get right into perhaps the best panel in all of sports. And now you guys are very quickly taking over the best panel in hockey as well. My beloved Toronto based Sportsnet and TSM panels are slowly and quickly rather losing market share to the TNT panel. It’s just so much more fun on Wednesday nights. You guys ask the players hilarious questions, the questions that we all want to know, not the classic what do you got to do to win this game? Well, we got to get pucks in deep. We got to work the other team, we got to grind, we got to be gritty. We got to score more goals. You guys are asking hilarious shit. I love it. And then, of course, you have just the Clown Show with the TNT lads for basketball Chuck, Ernie, Shaq. I don’t even know how you guys give them such a long leash, you know? Chuck talking about ladies in San Antonio. It never ends. It’s hilarious. But by two part question here, Yang, one how do you guys blow them up so much on social media? It seems every time I go through a scroll on any social media platform, it’s there that’s numero uno and numero dos, how do you rein them in? How do you find that fine line with giving them such a leash and letting them let it ride? 

Yang Adija 
Yeah, look, I love the broadcast. I think, like you said, it’s the best in the business, the best that’s out there. And one of the things that I wasn’t sure that we were going to and again, credit to the team we have here that puts all this together because they are also top notch. But I wasn’t sure that we were going to be able to translate that magic that we had for the NBA to the NHL. I was like, oh, gosh, trying to recreate something. And I know we didn’t just copy paste. It’s endemic to NHL. You can talk x’s and o’s and details and still have a conversation around a fun conversation. And I think that worked out really well for the NHL as well as the NBA. And to be honest with you, I don’t know, it’s like there’s really great chemistry. The team lets the talent lean into the conversation. I’ve been behind the scenes a couple of times and seen the kind of questions they want. They’ll prompt and get asked there the Shaq, Kenny, EJ, all of them are so professional but really talented at what they do. 

Matt Zahab 
So true.

Yang Adija 
They really come in trying to have that kind of fun that they want to see, that they would want to put out there. And it just really translates so well, which then also just allows us, in this age, and our team was very again, in the forefront of bringing in technology, whether it was the tweets on the board or sending things out to social media, to be able to lean into that fan base. Always thinking about, if I’m the fan on the couch, in the seat, what do I want to hear? What kind of experience do I want to have? We’ve been great at being able to do that. And again, I’m not on the production side, but the sense that I get is I don’t think they rein them back. I think they allow them to breathe and you know. 

Matt Zahab 
Do their thing. 

Yang Adija 
Do their thing, exactly. I mean, there have been times when there’s been a thing that was said or two, and Chuck may come on there and might apologize or whatever, what have you. And there are times when I look and I’m like Charles and Shaq look like they really want to go at each other, but they let the show breathe and they are prompting it to move in the right direction. Which, again, that’s why I love it and that’s why I think fans in the audience loves it as well.

Matt Zahab 
As FEP of digital and strategy. I’m sure you had a ton of input and influence on blowing up on social media. That’s how most of us consume our news nowadays. I remember when I was young, I would literally go to sports sites and young, heck, I’m 28 right now. I mean, even ten years ago, right before the Score app really blew up, before Instagram had crazy bits of video content, but it was more predominantly pictures and photos. We’d be going to websites. I’d be going to the Bleacher Report website. I literally, besides checking out the Watch to Earn, and I can’t tell you the last time I went on Bleacher Report website, because I follow them on socials. If I want to see what’s good on TNT or Bleacher Report, whatever, it’s all on socials. My question Yang is how did you and the team blow up so much on socials? It seems like everywhere you go on any type of medium, there is a TNT B/R highlight. Doesn’t matter what it is, can be an old highlight, a new highlight. And also, you guys are always early to the party. TikTok, I remember last year when maybe it was early last year. No, I guess it was late 2021. My ex girlfriend at the time, she was like, you got to get TikTok it’s huge. A little younger than me. I was like, yeah, TikTok what the heck is this? It’s TikTok. You can’t not have TikTok now, one of the first things I’m scrolling down, it’s like, B/R, TNT. How do you guys find these trends and jump on them? In sports in particular, it can’t be easy to do tons of risk as well. How do you navigate that? 

Yang Adija 
It’s difficult to try to make sure that you’re on the right trend and on the right wave. This one, I do have to give all the credit to our B/R team, the B/R content team and B/R management team that’s over there. They are extremely plugged in to the zeitgeist of the younger audience and they are always keeping their finger on the pulse there. Doug Bernstein and Ben Specter, who oversee programming on that side for Bleacher, are really intentional about understanding the fan base and where they are and being part of it. They’re not outside looking in, they’re inside having the conversation with the fan base and really understanding what their fans want and need and then not being afraid to pivot or move Bleacher and our content to those spaces. 

Matt Zahab 
Yup.

Yang Adija 
And now the strategic part of it and the conversations that we are always struggling with and having is how much do we hold or how much do we lean into social and how much do we continue to have on our owned and operated platforms. Trying to make that balance, have that balance correctly is something that we will always discuss internally, but at the same time, it’s with the eye of the fan. And how do we make sure that we are satisfying that young fan base that they’ve done so well doing over the years? 

Matt Zahab 
So you brought up the whole fan thing many times. It seems like that’s sort of the core ethos of all. You’re just decision making. Like, if it’s not going to benefit the fan, why the heck are we doing it? 

Yang Adija 
Absolutely. I mean, look, if you think about even WBD Sports and the breadth of which how we reach the fan base, we reach them digitally, which I think gives us the opportunity to be a bit more flexible and a younger audience. But we also reach them from a cable perspective, which, as you can imagine, probably doesn’t lean as young. And so how do we have those conversations simultaneously, and how do we lean into both of those things at the same time to benefit platform or the other? 

Matt Zahab 
Such a good point. I was literally just taking notes there when you caught me. Yeah, that one is definitely not going to leave the head. Let’s get into some hot takes and fun stuff here. By the time this episode airs, the final four will have concluded. But who do you have winning the Final Four? Let’s see if you’re right. This episode will air probably ten days after today and definitely after the Final Four is done. But Yang, who do you got? 

Yang Adija 
So I’ll say this knowing that my bracket is already busted, but I’m going to go with Connecticut. I’m going to go with Yukon. I feel like I am a lover of the I’ll call it the Ex Big East, you know, and they were part of the original Big East teams. And so I’m going to go with Connecticut. 

Matt Zahab 
I mean, a hard one to beat. What about the lady side? I’d love if you could actually speak to the growth of the lady side as well. It’s blown up this year, right? Usually sports need a narrative to really blow up, and. We’ve had the narrative this year. Brianna Clark, I believe. It’s been crazy good to see. 

Yang Adija 
Yeah, I mean, look, it’s been great and it’s been that side of the women’s bracket. They had some top teams and some great challenges going on there. So that’s been really exciting for the women’s game. This probably will sound like a cop out, but I am going with South Carolina and they are my bracket choice to win it all. So I am still alive on the women’s side of the bracket so I’m going to stick with that until shown otherwise. 

Matt Zahab 
Love that. And the creme de la creme of the basketball mecca, the NBA. You and I, before the show, we were talking a little bit of ball. You’re a Knicks guy. I mean, RJ Barrett good old Canadian boy. He’s the best. I love him. He’s obviously been great for the Knicks. You guys have a deep squad. You guys are going to be trouble in the years to come. Very young, dynamic team. I think he’s still got some payroll left. He still got some money to blow. Obviously these kids are so young. They’re just going to get better and better as they get stronger and more developed. A little more chiseled, a little more gritty. Who do you have in the east and west and who’s winning it all this year? 

Yang Adija 
So I would say I would love my Knicks to win it all, but they’ll make some noise. I think they will hopefully scare some or upset some teams early on in the playoffs. But I’m still going to stick with which was my early choice. Although I feel that there’s a little bit of a challenge there. I’m going to stick with Boston. I’m going to go with them on the east coast. They struggle a little bit, had some patches there of late, but I live with them. And then on the west coast, wow, this one’s difficult so wide open. 

Matt Zahab 
It’s like ten teams who could do it. 

Yang Adija 
Exactly. No one wants to really pull away from anyone else. But I will say that I think if healthy. Well, Kevin Durant just came back. I think it was last night. 

Matt Zahab 
Last night? Yeah. 

Yang Adija 
I think the Suns will do it if Kevin Durant is healthy. But the dark horse for me on that one is a healthy Lakers team. I think that they can make some noise, too, so it’ll be interesting on that side as well. Yeah. 

Matt Zahab 
The parody in the west is crazy. One thing that, as a hockey fan that I wish the league did is replicate the NBA’s strategy of putting a magnifying glass on the players and always creating that water cooler talk right. Like, the amount of big trades that happen in the NBA is crazy. Like Kevin Durant getting traded a couple of times in five years, Westbrook being traded almost every year. The storylines are insane. But more specifically, the way they magnify the players. I forget who said this, but people famous quote, but people care about people more than they care about teams. And an easy way to look at that is, like, on social media, right? You look at how many followers does Laker have? Ten. How many followers does LeBron have? 100 mil. Right. There’s just little things like that where it’s like people can connect more with a person than they can a team, and you really got to market the players. And this is something that I wish the NHL would do. Obviously, there are other reasons why they’ve been number four in the Big Four sports for so long. The barrier to entry. It’s such an expensive sport. So many people in the States don’t give a crap about it. The rules are a little whack. It’s not that easy to follow. I get it. But I just love how the NBA markets their players so well. You got the red carpet walking up to the fashion show every game. I absolutely love that. I’d love to know what your thoughts are on the NBA marketing their players. 

Yang Adija 
Yeah, look. So I didn’t grow up I mean, I grew up around the, you know, the Rangers and the Islanders in New York, and I was probably I loved all sports, so I would play anything that I can get my hands on. But I didn’t grow up as deep of an NHL fan as I did with, you know, obviously, football and basketball and even baseball. However, particularly last year, because I went to the playoffs, the finals, and the sport particularly in live, is just such an exciting sport to experience, you know. And I think to your point about leaning into and we’ve had a number of conversations internally here about leaning into the athletes and the players themselves so that they can be greater ambassadors for the sport, I think is a valid point. And we’ve had conversations around that to say, how do we do that? How do we make partner with the NHL to drive the interest and the audience for that? Again, I think the way that the NHL on TNT show is done helps move it in that direction. And I think, like you said, we as people, and one thing that WBD does well is we tell stories. We’re interested in human stories, we’re interested in leaning into people. And I think that sports lends itself so well to telling that human story and how do we think about struggle and competition and failure and everything else that goes along with that? And that’s people I think the better we can do that, I think the better the sport will benefit from that and drive interest in what we call some of the casual fans to come in and participate in the sport. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said. Yang, you’ve been on fire. This has been an absolute treat. I know we are getting a little tight for time here. We always have a segment on the show. It’s called the hot take factory. You and I jump in, put our big boy big girl boots on, and we let a couple of hot takes fly. It doesn’t have to be sort of Blockchain or sports related. It can be health, wealth, happiness. You can get real spicy, go into politics, space, AI, you name it. But give me a couple of Yang hot takes. Some things that only really you believe in, whereas most other people do not. Give me a couple before we go. 

Yang Adija 
Yeah. And I don’t know how on that scale of hot this is, but this isn’t being recorded, is it? 

Matt Zahab 
Something real spicy is coming out. 

Yang Adija 
No, look, my thing is I think I don’t believe that AI will take over humans. I know there’s a whole thing about, hey, AI will eventually overtake humans, or in a large degree, and we’ll be subservient to AI because of its capabilities. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it will take over quite a bit of jobs that we do. There’ll be plenty of things and that’s happened completely over time. But I think that humans and people are irrational in economics, it’s built on the rational man that we will do the rational thing, and in reality, we don’t do the rational thing. 

Matt Zahab 
Very true. 

Yang Adija 
We aren’t always doing things in our self interest. And if you think about things that we buy and purchase, we don’t always buy the most economic thing. We will buy something because it has someone’s name flapped on it, and we’ll pay extra for that, like and we also are because of that irrationality and that irrationality changes. So irrationally, if I’m going to use that again or erratically it is not something that AI will eventually do, because AI’s algorithms and things play off of the history. They play off of logic. And humans, we don’t always operate in that way, which creates a nemesis of sort of human life and where we go and what we want. And I think that that will always be a challenge that we I don’t think AI will be able to solve. 

Matt Zahab 
Very well said. You and I are in the same yacht in that regard. I hear these AI doomsday stories maybe 10 20 years down the road when there’s autonomous robots, but as of right now, how could AI take over the world? Unless it could somehow hack the code and get access to the nuke passwords, I don’t really see how it could, but hey that’s just me. But that’s also way out of my pay grade, right? It’s crazy either way Yang truly a treat really appreciate you coming on. Before you go, can you please let our listeners know where they can find you and B/R Watch to Earn online and on socials? 

Yang Adija 
So B/R Watch to Earn, so that’s brw2e.com you will find us there. We are coming into the as I said, the playoff stretch here, so jump in and participate. We also have @W2E a Watch to Earn Twitter handle. You can find us there. You can find me on Twitter @yangadija. That’s my Twitter handle. That’s probably the best place to connect with me socially as well. 

Matt Zahab 
Unreal. Yang thank you so much, man. Really appreciate it was too much fun chatting with you. And with the way you guys are moving and grooving, I’m sure there’ll be some crazy new Blockchain stuff coming out, and we would love to have you on for round two in the future. 

Yang Adija 
Yeah, stay tuned. We’ve got some other things cooking and excited about the space, and I think sports is just a great place to play in all with that. 

Matt Zahab 
Love that. Huge shout out to Yang for coming on. Folks go check out Warner Brothers Discovery Sports, B/R Watch to Earn. As always, I will include everything in the show notes. Yang and the team are moving and are truly helping onboard the masses into Web3. We have millions of people who are in the TNT and B/R family watching the NBA every single week and every single day and they are helping onboard. Huge shout out to them. To the team love you guys thank you so much for everything. Justas my amazing sound editor appreciate it. To the listeners, If you guys enjoyed this one, I hope you did. Please do subscribe and love you guys. Thank you so much for everything. Keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy, wealthy, and happy. Bye for now and we’ll talk soon.