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Ep 43: Dave Knickerbocker (Banner Collective)

Painless Podcast episode 43: Dave Knickerbocker (Founder, Banner Collective) Dave shares how he made his sports job break happen in minor league baseball, his "harassment" of the Cubs' John McDonough with constant phone calls -- and handwritten thank you notes! -- that earned him a promotion to the major leagues, a huge step up at the Blackhawks and most recently, co-founding a now thriving production agency. Did I mention he plotted Banner while working at the Hawks? With the help of...


Ep 42: *LIVE* at ISBC w/ Anthony Krzyzak & Joe Ronovsky (Wolves & White Sox)

Painless Podcast episode 42: LIVE at ISBC with Joe Ronovsky & Anthony Krzyzak (Chicago White Sox & Chicago Wolves) Hear from two University of Illinois grads (Joe in 2008 and Anthony in 2010) on how they discovered they wanted to work in sports, how they each got their starts and how they work their way up tapping mentors and growing their networks. Currently, Joe Ronovksy is Manager of Corporate Sales for the Chicago White Sox and Anthony Krzyak is Sales Development Manager at the Chicago...


Ep 41: Jim Andrews (IEG Sponsorship Conference & ESP Properties)

Painless Podcast episode 41: Jim Andrews (SVP, ESP Properties & Chair, IEG Sponsorship Conference) Jim explains how a high school teacher scared him away from pursuing an acting career and he shifted to journalism. Northwestern University's famed Medill School of Journalism lured him to Chicago. One fateful day in grad school, he passed the Medill job board - real corkboard, not a website - and spotted an interesting job with a new marketing newsletter. That newsletter became The IEG...


THE FADEAWAY Ep 12 - Illini Event (Whitman, Harold, Archibald & Randle)

The FadeAway with Deon Thomas and Eric Schmidt - Episode 12 Illini Holiday Event with AD Josh Whitman, 2003 Miss America Erika Harold and former Illini basketball players Robert Archibald and Brian Randle Deon and Eric catch up with several Illini friends at the annual Suburban Illini Club's holiday party. University of Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman gives us some insight into his first two years on the job. You'll also hear what former Illini basketball players Robert Archibald...


Ep40: Jeannie Goldstein & Scott Kirkpatrick (Chicago Sports + Entertainment Partners)

Painless Podcast episode 40: Jeannie Goldstein & Scott Kirkpatrick (Partners, Chicago Sports + Entertainment Partners) Jeannie and Scott share their stories of breaking into sports marketing, how they came together to create their own agency and how they became experts on Olympic and Paralympic athletes, through five olympic games - all on Episode 40 of the Painless Podcast. To connect with Chicago Sports + Entertainment Partners... -Web: -Facebook:...


Ep 39: Steve Buzby (Revel Marketing)

Painless Podcast episode 39: Steve Buzby (CEO, Revel Marketing) Steve Buzby is passionate about sports and event partnerships. Not just selling sponsorships, but finding true partners. Not just getting meetings, but getting the right ones so they become great connections. Hear Steve’s story, including how he struck out on his own, and then about a year in pivoted to terrific results on Episode 39 of the Painless Podcast. To connect with Steve and Revel Marketing... • Steve’s email:...


Ep 38: "Skinny" Sheahan & Jen Kramer (Special Olympics Chicago & Polar Plunge)

Painless Podcast episode 38: Jim “Skinny” Sheahan & Jen Kramer (Special Olympics Chicago) Skinny Sheahan and Jen Kramer have both played key roles with numerous successful events around Chicago – the Marathon, Taste of Chicago, Navy Pier/McCormick Place, and many more. Hear some of their stories including how they both become so involved with Special Olympics Chicago on Episode 38 of the Painless Podcast. To connect with Special Olympics Chicago... • Special Olympics Chicago:...


FadeAway 11 - Ed Molitor ("Athletics of Business" & CEO, The Molitor Group)

The FadeAway with Deon Thomas and Eric Schmidt - Episode 11 Ed Molitor, CEO, The Molitor Group Throughout his professional career, the words “coaching” and “leadership” have been synonymous with the positions Ed Molitor has held. Growing up in Chicago’s north suburbs, Ed played basketball at Palatine High School for his father, coaching legend Ed Molitor, Sr. He took the lessons he learned from his father, applied them to a college basketball career, and then into college coaching and his...


Ep 37: Tony Schiller (Paragon)

Painless Podcast episode 37: Tony Schiller (Partner, Paragon) Those of us in sports or event engagement marketing are much better off that Tony Schiller took a job at the renovated Chicago Theater than get his doctorate and become a psychologist. Though he still often fills the role of “therapist,” he has instead helped build Paragon Marketing, an agency with a great culture and a history of doing some terrific work. Hear his story and how he got to where he is today on Episode 37 of the...


THE FADEAWAY Ep 10 - Paul Shirley (Author "Stories I Tell on Dates," Former NBA Player)

The FadeAway with Deon Thomas and Eric Schmidt - Episode 10 Paul Shirley, Author, Stories I Tell on Dates / Former NBA Player He blogged before anyone knew what a “blog” was, he famously asked a LOT of team owners if he could keep his jersey, he played on one of the best NBA teams of all time, and now he’s released his second book. Former NBA player Paul Shirley joins Deon and Eric to talk about Paul’s book, “Stories I Tell on Dates”, as well as sharing some of his stories about playing...


Ep36: Justin Breen (BrEpic Communications)

Painless Podcast episode 36: Justin Breen (Founder, BrEpic Communications) Hear from journalist turned PR entrepreneur Justin Breen on helping start up DNAInfo, then leaving to start his own firm earlier this year. We also discuss the demise of DNAInfo, how he’s changing the approach to media relations and content generations and why he looks to help others. To connect with Justin... • BrEpic: • Facebook: @BrEpic - • Twitter:...


John Murray (Arena Partners + World Sport Chicago + Chicago Sports Commission)

Painless Podcast episode 35: John Murray (Arena Partners / World Sport Chicago / Chicago Sports Commission) To connect with John... • Arena Partners: • World Sport Chicago: • Special Olympics 50th: • Twitter: @iamjohnmurray • LinkedIn: Sign up for your complementary Painless membership that access to other members, job and event postings and our email...


THE FADEAWAY Ep 8 - Steve Raquel, Chief Illiniwek & War Chant

The FadeAway with Deon Thomas and Eric Schmidt - Episode 8 Steve Raquel, President of the Council of Chiefs and 29th Chief Illiniwek (1993) For Fighting Illini fans, the “War Chant” music has been synonymous with Illinois athletics for nearly 40 years. As of August 2017, the University of Illinois announced the chant is no more. With this backdrop, we recently saw protests and unrest at the university, as the 2017 Homecoming Parade was interrupted by Chief protesters. Steve Raquel, the...


Ep 34: Rob Cressy (Bacon Sports & Cress Media)

Painless Podcast episode 34: Rob Cressy (Founder, Bacon Sports & Cress Media) Get fired up with Rob Cressy with his story of leaving digital media sales to go all in on living and creating great sports content. To connect with Rob... • Web: or • Twitter or Facebook: @RobCressy @BaconSports @CressMedia and @InfieldChatter Please support our partners: +NCSA: A tech company with a sports mindset, NCSA has been recognized for its culture initiatives,...


THE FADEAWAY Ep 7 - Stephen Bardo(BTN / Point Guard Vision)

The FadeAway with Deon Thomas and Eric Schmidt - Episode 7 Stephen Bardo, Analyst, Big Ten Network / Founder, Point Guard Vision College basketball has uncertainty surrounding it, with the FBI indicting a handful of assistant coaches and a shoe executive. Plus, Louisville’s Rick Pitino has been placed on administrative leave, essentially ending his tenure as head coach. Current Big Ten Network analyst, and former Flyin’ Illini, Stephen Bardo joins Deon and Eric to discuss what’s next for...


Ep 33: Jason Coyle (Stadium & 120 Sports)

Painless Podcast episode 33: Jason Coyle (CEO, Stadium / Co-founder, 120 Sports) To connect with Stadium... • On the web: • On broadcast television digital antenna in 50+ markets • On Twitter: • On the Stadium app, available in the App Store, as well as on Apple TV The full Teddy Roosevelt quote we talk about: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them...


THE FADEAWAY Ep 6 - Prof. Adrian Burgos (La Vida Baseball)

The FadeAway with Deon Thomas and Eric Schmidt - Episode 6 Adrian Burgos, Editor-in-Chief, La Vida Baseball As the MLB playoffs are about to heat up, many players of Latino descent are poised to make an impact on which teams make it to the World Series. Being in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month, and with Puerto Rico on many of our minds due to Hurricane Maria, Deon and Eric get a chance to talk baseball with Professor Adrian Burgos, Jr. Professor Burgos is the Editor-in-Chief of La...


Ep 32: *LIVE* Painless/WISE "Big Data & Sports Innovation" Panel Discussion

Painless Podcast episode 32: LIVE Big Data & Sports Innovation Panel with... Gabe Ottolini (CRO, Block Six Analytics) Nathan Frank (Data Scientist, STATS) Lotika Pai (Co-founder, POWWFUL) Dezeree Christman (VP of Digital, PCGSportsDesk) To connect further via web / Twitter: / @Block6Analytics / @STATS_insights / @POWWFUL / @PCGSportsDesk And find our co-host WISE Chicago at /...


THE FADEAWAY Ep 5 - Kendall Gill

The FadeAway with Deon Thomas and Eric Schmidt - Episode 5 All-TIme Illini Great, NBA Star, pro boxer and TV analyst Kendall Gill Kendall Gill is one of the all-time great Fighting Illini basketball players, and a 15-year NBA veteran. One of the stars of the ’89 Flyin’ Illini joins Deon and Eric to talk about his college time, playing with Nick Anderson, how he thought the Illini would have been in 1990 had Deon not redshirted. As a current NBA analyst for CSN Chicago, Kendall also shares...


Ep 30: Carey Pinkowski & Tim Hadzima (Chicago Marathon & WMM)

Painless Podcast episode 30: Carey Pinkowski (Executive Race Director, Bank of America Chicago Marathon) Tim Hadzima (General Manager, Abbott World Marathon Majors) The 40th Bank of America Chicago Marathon ( and @chimarathon) is just a few weeks away. Hear from race director Carey Pinkowski (@careyrunschi) on how they turn 26.2 miles of urban roadway into a world-class endurance event for 45,000 runners. Tim Hadzima (@timmyhad) from Abbott World Marathon Majors...


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