University alumni create their own lane in the business of sports

Front Office Sports co-founders Russell Wilde Jr., left, and Adam White. Photo: Courtesy of Front Office Sports
By Ashley A. Williams

Front Office Sports co-founders Russell Wilde Jr., left, and Adam White. Photo: Courtesy of Front Office Sports

University alumni create their own lane in the business of sports

By Ashley A. Williams
Co-founders Adam White and Russell Wilde, both graduates of the sport administration program, created Front Office Sports, a leading news media company recently valued at $25 million.

When Adam White was a server at the Rathskeller more than seven years ago, he had no clue he someday would be the owner of a multimillion-dollar company.

“Front Office Sports started after I did a class project my freshman year,” said White, the chief executive officer of the media company that covers the business of sports. “The summer after that year, I wrote a post in the University of Miami sport administration Facebook group asking if anyone wanted to be involved in this idea that I had.”

Only one person responded­—Russell Wilde, now the company’s chief operating officer.

“I reached out because it seemed like a really great idea and I wanted to work on the website,” said Wilde, who graduated in 2015. “I helped Adam get connected to executives and also built my network and connections while working full time.”

Today, the Front Office Sports staff has grown from two to 40 employees, including writers and social media content creators. White and Wilde’s company publishes content online daily via best-in-class newsletters and social channels, as well as news-driving exclusive reporting. The content includes interviews with the movers and shakers of the sports industry, reported White, a 2017 graduate of the sport administration program in the School of Education and Human Development.

From breaking news to statistical trends to betting insights, Front Office Sports’ newsletters are a way for its readers to stay in the know about the industry. Twice daily, a free newsletter offers more than 800,000 subscribers articles covering topics from Manchester United’s second quarter revenue reports to Derek Jeter being scouted for television after stepping down as the CEO of the Miami Marlins. Additionally, the company began offering their consumers a paid subscription for $300 a year which unlocks access to exclusive content, research, and events.

“Realistically, we started this business in 2015, and we didn’t make our first dollar until 2018,” said White, 27, who encourages up-and-coming entrepreneurs to be adaptable. “Once we were able to get investments, things started to take off. It’s the adage of slow, slow, slow, and then fast—it really felt like things were going extremely slow and then suddenly extremely fast.”

Originally, White’s idea for the company was to create a platform where students could gain career advice. The pair self-funded the business until one day, White met and became Twitter friends with his initial investor, Jason Stein of SC Holdings, a New York-based investment and strategic advisory firm. He credits their thriving business relationship to staying genuine and forming real connections with people in the industry.

“He is also a University of Miami alum, and I think it definitely helped that we were UM-related,” said White. “From that investment there, we grew the business within that first year—and now here we are.”

Front Office Sports recently announced an investment from Crain Communications, one of the largest privately owned business media companies in the world. According to Bloomberg, this new deal puts the company’s value at $25 million.

“We are bringing the business of sports to people who don’t necessarily work in the industry as well as keeping folks within the industry informed,” said Wilde, who is proud of the unique niche their company covers.

White and Wilde run their business from New York. They are proud to have made it this far and agree that being true to their ideals while still having fun is part of the winning formula. 

“At the end of the day, we are two people who had no money, no experience, and no audience. And we’ve built a business that’s really meaningful and very impactful in the space which it resides,” said White. “And I think the biggest thing for us is that its mentally stimulating—I would probably like to have a little more free time, but for the most part it has been fun.”