Thursday September 28, 2023

Vince Vaughn, Greg Olsen Tackle Expansion for Podcast Network

  • Actor and Fox analyst team with former NFL player Ryan Kalil.
  • New Audiorama platform has launched its first two podcasts.
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When Greg Olsen told his friend Vince Vaughn he was shopping around an idea for a podcast, the Hollywood movie star had his own proposal. 

Rather than Olsen working for somebody else, how about they and his friend Ryan Kalil create their own podcast company?

The actor and two former NFL Pro Bowlers brought on a fourth partner: Powerhouse Capital, a Los Angeles-based venture capital fund previously invested in The Athletic and Wondery. 

The result was the new Audiorama podcast and production company. 

The startup is less than a year old. But Olsen & Co. are already eyeing a move into the venture capital market to raise financing for an expanding portfolio of podcasts.

“When we go to market, there’s been a lot of interest in joining what we’re building,” said Olsen, who was promoted to Fox Sports’ top NFL analyst this season.  

On the company’s website, Mikey Fowler, the ex-Barstool Sports executive turned vice president and general manager, says they want passionate storytellers. “We want hosts to think, f$%k yeah, I get to record today.” 

  • Olsen is hosting the platform’s first podcast called “Youth Inc.” The son of a coach, the three-time Pro Bowler, has coached his young kids. His podcast delves into the changing nature of youth sports in America.
  • Kalil, Olsen’s former teammate with the Carolina Panthers, hosts the “Block Forever” podcast. The former NFL center talks about playing with pain, the secrets of great leadership, and how to handle combative teammates. 
  • Vaughn is working with Peter Billingsley, star of “A Christmas Story,” on a new podcast celebrating the nostalgia of classic holiday films, according to Deadline.
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Vaughn, who’s appeared in films ranging from “Dodgeball” to “Rudy,” is a huge sports fan.

Olsen met the star of “Swingers” and “Wedding Crashers” early in his NFL career with the Chicago Bears. They’ve been good friends ever since. 

The 14-year NFL veteran had dipped his toe in the water by hosting a limited podcast called TE1 for Blue Wire. But that dinner in Los Angeles with Vaughn and Kalil a couple of years ago led to the trio going into business together.

“It’s been fun. It really just started as something as simple as saying, ‘Hey, why would we let someone else own our ideas, own our concepts?’” Olsen said. “Between all of us, we could hopefully build something we could own, have a stake in, and really be able to control the stories we find interesting.”

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