The Sports Credential Essentials—September 2023

September is here and it means three things: football, football and football. The Tennessee Titans and the rest of the NFL are back in full swing this month, along with college teams such as the Tennessee Volunteers, Vanderbilt Commodores, Middle Tennessee State (MTSU) Blue Raiders and the Tennessee State (TSU) Tigers.

Tennessee kicked off the season with a huge 49-13 win over the University of Virginia at a sold-out Nissan Stadium. The Titans will get things started on Sunday (Sept. 10) when they head to New Orleans to take on the Saints before their home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 17.

The Titans finishes the month of September with a trip to Cleveland to face the Browns on Sept. 24. Vandy on the other hand will host SEC rival Kentucky on Sept. 23 at FirstBank Stadium in what will be their first big test of the 2023 season. The Commodores will then host the University of Missouri on Sept. 30.

This month, Nashville SC will have a two week break for international soccer play, but will be back at it when they take on Kansas City Sept. 20 in Kansas City. Then the Boys in Gold will host the Seattle Sounders on Sept. 30 at GEODIS Park for the final game of the month.

Also in September, the Nashville Predators will gear back up ahead of the 2023-2024 NHL season as they face the Florida Panthers in a preseason slip-squad double header at FLA Live Arena on Sept. 26. The Preds then officially kick off the season with their first preseason match of the year against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sept. 27 at Bridgestone Arena.

For more events and games, head to The Sports Credential Calendar.

University of Tennessee Football vs. Virginia at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville SC vs. Charlotte FC at GEODIS Park
Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt Football vs. Alabama A&M at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

TSU Football vs. Notre Dame at Notre Dame Stadium
South Bend, Indiana

SEPT 10 
Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome
New Orleans, Louisiana

MTSU Football vs. Murray State (Home Opener) at Floyd Stadium
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

TSU Football vs. Gardner-Webb (Home Opener) at Nissan Stadium
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Metro Nashville Sports Authority Board Meeting at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt Football vs. University of Kentucky at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium
Cleveland, Ohio

Nashville Predators vs. Florida Panthers (Preseason Split-Squad Double Header) at FLA Live Arena
Sunrise, Florida

Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Preseason Match) at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville SC vs Seattle Sounders at GEODIS Park
Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt Football vs. University of Missouri at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Beloved Sports Personality ‘Big Joe’ Dubin Returns To 102.5 The Game

Longtime Nashville radio and television personality “Big Joe” Dubin is returning to 102.5 The Game, joining Chase McCabe in the mid-mornings.

The Chase & Big Joe Show will air on weekdays from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., starting Tuesday, Sept. 5.

“This is a surreal moment for me,” says McCabe, 102.5 The Game’s Director of Operations & Sports Programming. “After being able to watch Joe on TV, intern with him and then produce his shows on The Game, I am thrilled to be able to finally co-host with him. Joe is one of my mentors who always taught me to laugh and we will be doing a lot of that each weekday. I’m so glad to have him back on the team.”

Joe grew up in Nashville and graduated from McGavock High School and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). While being an original host on 102.5/106.3 The Game, he also worked at WKRN-TV (Ch. 2) and WSMV-TV (Ch. 4).

“I am just so grateful for the opportunity to come back and work with some fantastic and talented people at 102.5 The Game and Cromwell Media,” says Dubin. “The opportunity to do a show with Chase and many other things we have planned, I cannot wait to get started.”

Dubin was also previously announced as the Color Commentator for MTSU football games, which will air on the Game’s sister station, 93.3 Classic Hits and can be seen Friday nights on Fox 17’s Football Frenzy Live for high school football.

102.5/106.3 The Game’s lineup will continue to feature Robby & Rexrode with Robby Stanley and Joe Rexrode from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.; Caroline, Willy & DMase with Caroline Fenton, Willy Daunic and former Titans wide receiver Derrick Mason from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; and Stillman & Co. with Jared Stillman from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

TuneIn & Garth Brooks Launch Sports Station, Tailgate Radio

Garth Brooks. Photo: Blue Rose, Inc

TuneIn and Garth Brooks are joining forces to launch Tailgate Radio from Brooks’ SEVENS Radio Network to bring all genres of music to sports fans’ next tailgate party.

Exclusively available on TuneIn, Tailgate Radio complements TuneIn’s extensive global sports coverage, including complete coverage of the 2023 college football season, to help fans get the party started before every game and keep it going even after the game is over.

Hosted by Maria Taylor, the station weaves her vast sports knowledge and insight with a music playlist that will keep listeners’ energy high whether they are tailgating or throwing a party at home.

“Working closely with Garth and his foundation as we created the PowHER program, which mentors middle school girls, has been nothing short of amazing,” says Taylor. “ And now, we are embarking on Garth’s extraordinary vision to connect sports and music fans with Tailgate. It’s such an honor to be chosen by greatness to be a partner in the radio space.”

From the start, Tailgate Radio will feature a roster of shows, including:

  • Tailgate Top 20 with Maria: Maria Taylor will DJ this weekly countdown highlighting the 20 biggest songs across genres from a specific year while running through some of the biggest sports stories from that year.
  • Block Party: Saturday Night 4-hour Mixshow featuring everything from Luke Combs to Beyonce to Eminem. This will be the music you need to fuel your party into the wee hours.
  • Tailgate Takeover: Starting with Garth Brooks, celebs & athletes will take turns as guest host of the program, giving listeners a window into the music and playlists that set the vibe for their favorite stars.

“This is one of those ideas someone says, ‘Why didn’t we do this a long time ago?’” says Brooks, “This combines everyone’s passion for sports and music. It also allows you to enjoy your tailgate, barbeque or poolside party without doing the work. There’s so much music on this channel, Tailgate Radio will be everyone’s favorite.”

Set to launch just in time for college football season kickoff, fans can pair Tailgate Radio with TuneIn’s extensive global coverage of nearly every sport through a new integration created exclusively for the station. TuneIn Switch allows listeners to easily jump between the music driving their pre- and post-game celebrations and the games themselves.

Tailgate Radio is the second channel from the SEVENS Radio Network exclusively available on TuneIn. The network’s first station, The BIG 615, launched on TuneIn in June with Host Storme Warren, and has quickly climbed the ranks as one of the highest-performing stations on the platform drawing in a global audience.

NCVC Announces Board Of Directors For 2024 Fiscal Year

Max R. Goldberg and Molly Shehan. Photos: Courtesy of Nashville SC

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp has named Max R. Goldberg, co-owner of Strategic Hospitality, as a board member, and attorney Molly Shehan joins in the role of legal counsel for Fiscal Year 2024.

Shehan is a partner at the Music Row law firm Milom Horsnell Crow Kelley Beckett Shehan PLC (MHCKBS). Goldberg’s Strategic Hospitality is the company responsible for dynamic destinations across Nashville, including Merchants, The Patterson House, The Catbird Seat, The Band Box and The Country Club located in First Horizon Park, Bastion, Henrietta Red, Locust, Tacos by Alebrije in GEODIS Park, and recently opened Kisser. Shehan previously served on the Board of Directors of Music City Inc., the foundation of the NCVC.

Respected music industry executive Ken Levitan, who is Founder and Co-President of Vector Management, will return as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He previously served two consecutive terms as board chair in fiscal years 2015 and 2016. The NCVC Board represents sectors from within and outside the hospitality industry to guide the organization during continued growth in both visitation and hotel supply.

“Max and Molly bring a deep understanding of the hospitality and entertainment sectors as they join a fantastic group of community and business leaders with expertise in hospitality, finance, health, sports and more. Their guidance will be instrumental as Nashville tourism continues its upward trajectory,” Levitan says. “The powerhouse hospitality industry is driving the economy of Nashville, and we are eager to work together with the city’s incoming administration to harness the momentum that generates growth for community members and local businesses and revenue for the city and state.”

Additionally, NCVC President and CEO Deana Ivey has expanded the NCVC senior leadership team with the addition of Heather Middleton, Chief Marketing Officer; David Spencer, Senior Vice President, Events; and Bonna Johnson, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. The leadership team also includes Jeff Mefford, Chief Financial Officer; Adrienne Siemers, Chief Sales Officer; Andrea Arnold, Chief Public Affairs Officer; and Marie Sueing, Chief Diversity Officer.

Nashville’s hospitality industry generated record economic activity for the city in 2022 with $9.2 billion in direct visitor spending and unprecedented hotel performance: the most room nights ever sold in a single year at 9.5 million room nights. Also, October 2022 was a record month in hotel tax collections at $12.86 million, breaking the record set in June 2022 at $12.17 million. The industry represents more than 70,000 jobs in Davidson County.

Nashville is ranked the second-best convention destination in the country (Cvent) and has been named a top destination to visit worldwide for the last 12 years. Major events continue to help drive demand in Music City with strong summer performances from CMA Fest, Let Freedom Sing! July 4th in Music City, NHL Draft and Awards and SEC Kickoff Media Days, along with the upcoming Music City Grand Prix and Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash, which will be a five-hour special on CBS again.

The NCVC Executive Committee for Fiscal Year 2024 includes Levitan as Chairman; Maneet Chauhan, Executive Chef and Partner at Morph Hospitality, as Chair-Elect; Kevin Lavender, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Banking at Fifth Third Bank, as Immediate Past Chair; Marcus Whitney, Founder and Managing Partner, Jumpstart Nova, as Finance and Audit Committee Chair; Ellen Pryor, Frist Art Museum’s Director of Communications, as Sales and Marketing Committee Chair; and Deana Ivey, President and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

The NCVC Board of Directors also includes:

  • John Esposito, Chairman and CEO, Warner Music Group
  • Dr. Robert Fisher, Past President, Belmont University
  • Eddie George, Head Football Coach, Tennessee State University
  • Kevin Green, COO, Chartwell Hospitality
  • Dr. Alex Jahangir, Vice President of Business Development, Vanderbilt Medical Center
  • Doug Kreulen, President and CEO, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority
  • Pat Martin, Founder and Chairman, Martin Investment Group
  • Burke Nihill, President and CEO, Tennessee Titans
  • Howie Nuchow, Co-Head, CAA Sports
  • Marc Sternagel, Area General Manager, Grand Hyatt
  • Claire Tucker, Independent Director, Ford Credit Bank
  • Ben Weprin, CEO, AJ Capital

Ex officio members include Sherry Franklin, Director of Hotel Sales, Renaissance Nashville and Chair, Metro Tourism and Convention Commission; Sarah Trahern CEO, Country Music Association; and Shehan as legal counsel. The 22-member volunteer board includes community and business leaders who represent diverse voices in the Nashville area. The board is charged with directing the organization’s work on behalf of the city, the members of the NCVC and the city’s vibrant hospitality industry.

The NCVC also announced one new member to the Board of Directors for its foundation, Music City Inc. Alberto R. Gonzales, who served as Attorney General of the United States during the George W. Bush administration, was a member of the NCVC Board of Directors for the past year as legal counsel.

The Sports Credential Essentials—August 2023

One of Nashville’s biggest events, the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix (BMMCGP), kicks off the month of August before we head into the world of football with both Titans and Vanderbilt set to start their seasons.

The BMMCGP is entering its third year and will take over the streets of Nashville from Aug. 4-6 with the main NTT IndyCar Series race taking place this Sunday (Aug. 6) at 11:30 a.m. CT. All eyes will be in Hendersonville native Josef Newgarden as he looks to continue his hot streak after sweeping the Iowa Speedway weekend and won his first Indianapolis 500 earlier this season.

August also brings football, and the Tennessee Titans training camp is in full swing with players like DeAndre Hopkins and Will Levis looking to make some noise. A lot of questions surround this Titans team, as they’re coming off an extremely disappointing season. But the addition of Hopkins, the growth of wide receiver Treylon Burks and the rebuilding of the offensive line shine a hopeful light on the team. The Titans play their first preseason game against the Chicago Bears on Saturday, Aug. 12 in Chicago. They finish the preseason at Nissan Stadium when they host the New England Patriots on Friday, Aug. 25.

Vanderbilt football is also gearing up for a season with high hopes after a successful run. Vandy training camp is in full swing as they get ready to host Hawaii in Week 0 of the college football season on Saturday, Aug. 26.

This month, there is also a lot to watch for Nashville SC, as they continue their Leagues Cup run after making it through to the Round of 32. The Boys in Gold will face rival FC Cincinnati this Friday (Aug. 4) in an attempt to take down the best team in MLS at their home stadium to keep the Leagues Cup dream alive. Nashville SC will later host New England Revolution on Sunday, Aug. 20 when MLS play starts up again. At the end of the month, Nashville will visit Lionel Messi and Inter Miami on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Rodeo fans can get excited too as the Nashville Stampede, Music City’s PBR Team, takes on Bridgestone Arena Aug. 18-20. The Stampede won the inaugural PBR Team Series Championship in 2022, and are looking to carry momentum into their ‘Stampede Days’ here in Nashville.

For more events and games, head to The Sports Credential Calendar.

Nashville SC vs. FC Cincinnati in Leagues Cup Round of 32 at TQL Stadium
Cincinnati, Ohio

AUG 4-6 
Big Machine Music City Grand Prix
Nashville, Tennessee

AUG 12
Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears (Preseason match) at Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois

AUG 17
Nashville Metro Sports Authority Meeting At Bellevue Ford Ice Center
Nashville, Tennessee

AUG 19
Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings (Preseason match) at U.S. Bank Stadium
Minneapolis, Minnesota

AUG 18-20
Nashville Stampede PBR event at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

AUG 20
Nashville SC vs. New England Revolution at GEODIS Park
Nashville, Tennessee

AUG 25
Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots (Preseason match) at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

AUG 26
Vanderbilt football season opener vs Hawaii at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

AUG 30
Nashville SC at Inter Miami at DRV PNK Stadium
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

104.5 The Zone’s 3HL Continues To Dominate Nashville Sports Talk Radio

The spring ratings for Nashville radio is out and 104.5 The Zone dominates once again with its afternoon drive 3HL finishing at the top, according to Barrett Sports Media.

The station generated a 9.9 share in weekday prime (Monday-Friday 6 a.m.- 7 p.m.) to secure the top spot. All four of the station’s weekday shows received an eight share or better. In morning drive, Ramon, Kayla & Will featuring Ramon Foster, Will Boling and Kayla Anderson posted a 10.7 share, which put the show at No. 2 in its timeslot.

Middays on 104.5 The Zone with Buck Reising, which airs Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-1 p.m., finished third with an 8.0. Blaine & Mickey featuring Blaine Bishop and Mickey Ryan registered an 8.2 share from 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. to grab No. 4.

Afternoons is where The Zone posted its best numbers. 3HL with Brett Dougherty, Ron Slay and Dawn Davenport were ranked No. 1 for the quarter with an 11.0 share.

The Zone’s local competitor 102.5 The Game saw their best performance come in mornings. Robbie & Rexrode featuring Robby Stanley and Joe Rexrode delivered a 3.6 share for the book. That put the station in 10th place.

In middays, Chase & Michelle featuring Chase McCabe and Michelle Knezovic produced a 1.4 and placed 16th from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Caroline, Willy & DMase with Caroline Fenton, Willy Daunic and Derrick Mason earned 19th with a 1.2.

The Game performed well in afternoon drive as well. Stillman & Company led by Jared Stillman put the station in 11th place with a 3.1 share.

‘Tennessee Sports Hall Of Fame Class Of 2023 Special’ To Air July 8

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Special presented by the Tennessee Lottery will debut as a one-hour televised event tomorrow (July 8) in markets across Tennessee.

TSHF Executive Director Brad Willis and Mike Keith, 2021 inductee and voice of the Tennessee Titans, will host the event celebrating sports in the Volunteer State.

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame 2023 class adds a star-studded list of sports icons with the inductions of Eric Berry, Keith Bulluck, Mike Fisher, Tim Harris, John Henderson, Tianna Madison, the late Carl R. Moore, Teresa Lawrence Phillips, Zach Randolph, Loren Roberts, Les Robinson and Stephen B. Smith.

The Class of 2023 honorees include Josh Heupel, Danny White and Donde Plowman topping the list as 2023 Tennesseans of the Year.  Other top honors include a celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Oak Ridge 1958 National Champion High School Football Team, the Memphis Grizzlies, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC), Hendon Hooker (Tennessee Football), Mya Jones (Memphis Soccer), University of Tennessee Baseball and Middle Tennessee State University Women’s Basketball. The honors will be formally presented as part of the Hall’s 2023 Banquet, presented by the Tennessee Titans on July 22 at the Omni Nashville Downtown.

The special airs statewide as follows:

  • Nashville – 7 p.m. CT on NewsChannel 5 Plus
  • Chattanooga – 12 p.m. ET on WDEF News 12
  • Memphis – 5 p.m. CT on CW30 Memphis
  • Knoxville – 7 p.m. ET on MyVLT
  • Johnson City – 7 p.m. ET on WJHL-11
  • Jackson – 7 p.m. CT on E-Plus TV 6

The event will also stream online tomorrow at 7 p.m. CT on @TheTSHF on Twitter and @TNSportsHallofFame on Facebook.

The Sports Credential Essentials—July 2023

July is set to be a relatively quiet month of sports. However, it will include lots of Nashville SC and the start of NFL training camp. Nashville SC will play three home games this month including a Wednesday matchup against Philadelphia Union. Later in the month, the Boys in Gold will host both Colorado and Liga MX club Toluca in the new Leagues Cup Tournament.

On July 9, the USMNT will take on Canada in the Concacaf Gold Cup Quarterfinals in Cincinnati, Ohio. The U.S. is coming off a Nation’s Cup Championship where they beat Canada, and hope to keep this momentum going to clinch another title. If the USMNT are to make it to the finals, they will play on July 16 at SoFi Stadium.

Also this month, Hany Mukhtar and Walker Zimmerman will represent Nashville SC at the 2023 MLS All-Star Game, where the stars of MLS take on English Premier League giant Arsenal in our nation’s capital. Additionally, Mukhtar will be participating in the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge on July 18.

The end of July also means football is back. Between July 17 and 20, the SEC will host its Football Media Days at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Nashville. SEC and Nashville media along with fans, will have a chance to see and hear from their favorite SEC players and coaches including Alabama’s Nick Saban, Tennessee’s Josh Heupel and Vanderbilt’s Clark Lea.

The NFL is also gearing up with training camp starting July 22 for rookies and July 25 for veterans. Titans players will be reporting for duty at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park. This will mark the official start of the 2023-2024 season and will be a big performance opportunity for players like Will Levis and Peter Skoronski.

For more events and games, head to The Sports Credential Calendar.

USMNT vs. Canada in the Concacaf Gold Cup Quarterfinals at TQL Stadium
Cincinnati, Ohio

Nashville SC vs. Philadelphia Union at GEODIS Park
Nashville, Tennessee

Concacaf Gold Cup Finals at SoFi Stadium
Los Angeles, California

MLS All-Star Game vs. Arsenal
Washington D.C.

JULY 17-20
SEC Football Media Days
Nashville, Tennessee

Metro Sports Authority Board Meeting at Nissan Stadium

Rookies report to Titans NFL training camp at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park
Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville SC vs. Colorado Rapids in Leagues Cup at GEODIS Park
Nashville, Tennessee

Veterans report to Titans NFL training camp at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park
Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville SC vs. Toluca in Leagues Cup at GEODIS Park
Nashville, Tennessee