Convergence Sports & Media works with a variety of companies, from large, well-established properties to start-up ventures . . . and everything in-between, mostly in the world of sports, media and entertainment. (See list of clients here.) The common thread among Convergence clients is a desire to build and/or expand a thriving, competitive business in the increasingly complex multi-platform digital realm:  to develop new products and services profitably, to leverage existing assets in order to maximize value and to compete more effectively in a converged media world. Typically working on a retainer basis, Convergence helps its clients with strategy and tactics.  Some of the work includes:
  • Strategic planning, including business plan development and assessment
  • Business and partnership development: identifying, engaging, vetting, and closing deals
  • Sales, marketing, and commerce strategies
  • Market research, including competitive analysis, best practices review, audience analysis, digital analytics and metrics reporting
  • Programming and editorial strategies, including web/mobile site evaluations and relaunches
  • Mobile strategies, including mobile web site and native application development
  • Social media strategies and tactics
  • Capital raising
  • Staffing plans and recruitment

Tom Richardson Biography

Before establishing Convergence Sports & Media, Richardson was vice president and general manager of Sports and News for America Online, where he  managed all business-related activities, including strategy, planning, development and partnerships, for these two important verticals. Partnerships in the sports category included the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, NHL, College Sports TV, USTA and CBS SportsLine. News partnerships included ABC News, CNN, and the New York Times, among others. Initially at AOL, which he joined in 2001, he was VP and GM of AOL Sports, where he oversaw the sports business for AOL.  He was responsible for the management of the AOL Sports channel, one of the most popular content areas on the AOL service, and the development of new programming and partnerships. He developed and managed the implementation of the sports category plan for the AOL for Broadband product launch in 2003. Richardson also managed relationships with the other sports properties within the AOL Time Warner family, including Sports Illustrated, HBO and Turner. 

Prior to joining AOL, Richardson worked at Spencer Stuart--one of the world’s largest executive search firms--where he served as executive vice president of Spencer Stuart Talent Network, an online executive recruiting business. Focusing primarily on client development, account management and search execution, he was one of the original members of the management team that launched the business in 2000. Before Spencer Stuart, Richardson served as the president of NHL Interactive CyberEnterprises (NHL ICE), the National Hockey League's Internet and digital business, which was initially a joint venture with IBM. Richardson was responsible for the overall management of NHL ICE, including strategy, programming, marketing, business development, advertising and sponsorship sales, e-commerce, licensing and PR for NHL.com, the League's official web site. He was also responsible for the development of the League's NHL.com network and the production of several NHL club sites.

Richardson joined the NHL from the National Football League, where he ran the NFL's publishing business. He was responsible for all NFL print and electronic publishing products, including magazines (Super Bowl Program, GameDay), books, software and custom publishing projects with NFL sponsors. Additionally, he was a member of the NFL's Interactive Task Force and assisted in the development of the League's online business in the mid-1990s.

Prior to his tenure at the NFL, Richardson was a district sales manager for Ziff-Davis Publishing, where he was involved in advertising sales for a number of Z-D publications, including PC Magazine. He began his career in media at Grey Advertising.

Richardson is a graduate of Hamilton College, where he earned a BA in English and French, as well as a CPLF degree from the Sorbonne in Paris at the end of his Hamilton College Junior Year in France program.  He also did some graduate studies in media at New York University. 

Richardson is currently a professor in the Sports Managagement Masters program at Columbia University, where he teaches digital sports media and marketing, as well as several supervised research projects. At Columbia, he is also the co-host of the program's sports business podcast, The CUSP Show. Richardson has also been an adjunct professor at New York University and Iona College, and he's been a guest lecturer in the sports programs/clubs at Fordham and Manhattanville. Richardson is also on the board of and an active organizer of New York Venture Community (NYVC) Sports, one of the top sports business meed-up groups on the east coast. Over the years, Richardson has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events, including the Sports Media & Technology Conference, the NBA Technology Summit, the Ivy Sports Symposium and the Sports Marketing 2.0 Conference.  

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