Thursday December 7, 2023

Political Pundits Find Sports Crossover Success Following Election

Steve Kornacki
NBC Sports
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Week 12 of “Football Night in America” had two segments featuring MSNBC and NBC News political correspondent Steve Kornacki discussing the NFL’s playoff picture. Kornacki’s surge in popularity stems from his charismatic — albeit slightly frenetic — election week coverage.

Kornacki was an instant hit in both politics and sports. 

  • Clothing retailer Gap reported a “dramatic increase” in web traffic and sales as fans flocked to get Kornacki’s signature khaki pants in the days following the election. 
  • On Twitter alone, NBC’s four Kornacki “Sunday Night Football” posts have generated about four million impressions, more than 800,000 video views and 283,200 engagements in their first 24 hours — a “massive response,” according to a spokesperson.

There’s a “high probability” of Kornacki returning to FNIA broadcasts in the future, an NBC Sports spokesperson confirmed to Front Office Sports. But he’s not the only election coverage star venturing into sports.

The Washington Wizards turned to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and John King for an election-style schedule release on Dec. 4. The crossover was a slam dunk, becoming the NBA’s most-viewed schedule release video on Twitter with more than 3.9 million impressions.

These events continue the trend of political reporters working in sports media, and vice versa. Veteran host Keith Olbermann has made the switch between sports and politics several times in his career. Former ESPN correspondents Will Cain and Britt McHenry both moved to FOX News in recent years as well — the former also spent time with CNN

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