World-class athletes are not the only Princetonians playing an integral role in the London Olympics. NBC Universal executive Brett Goodman ’90 and a handful of other Tigers are part of the business and broadcasting collaboration that will provide an unprecedented 5,535 hours of coverage from the games, beginning with women’s soccer this afternoon.
Goodman is the senior vice president of strategic partnerships and business affairs for NBC Universal Sports – a title he succinctly translates as the “head lawyer” for NBC Universal’s Olympic division. His daily activities range from working on anti-piracy efforts to reviewing deals for sponsored elements of NBC’s broadcasts.
As an undergraduate, Goodman covered Princeton sports for the University Press Club and WPRB. He planned to go to law school after graduation but put that path on hold to become an NBC researcher for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
After returning from Spain, Goodman enrolled at Columbia Law School, earned his J.D., and practiced for five years at a firm in New York City. In 2000, he returned to NBC in a new role, handling legal affairs. Last year, he was part of the NBC Universal group that presented the company’s successful bid to broadcast the next four Olympics, for a record $4.38 billion fee.
In London, Goodman is part of an on-site team of 2,800 NBC Universal employees, working on everything from the NBC Nightly News to Access Hollywood. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a great environment,” he said.
Other Princetonians behind the scenes in London include Joe Gesue ’93, the executive editor for NBC Universal Sports and Olympics; Rebecca Chatman ’94, the co-producer of NBC’s daytime and weekend coverage of the games; and Jennie Thompson ’90, a producer for the Today show. Craig Masback ’77, the former CEO of USA Track and Field, will serve as an analyst on coverage of the middle- and long-distance running events.
While the Olympic work schedule is demanding, Goodman said the he’ll find time to visit a few events and catch some of the live action on video feeds in his office. “At some point, I think you have to allow yourself to be a fan,” he said.
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