Bios

Robert Pollichino

Co-President SLAF

Robert Pollichino served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Madison Square Garden Company (“MSG”) from 1998 until 2014; taking the company public in February, 2005. Mr. Pollichino retired from MSG in January 2015.

In a career spanning 37+  years, Mr. Pollichino has held key financial and operational management positions at MSG, Rainbow Programming Networks and at Cablevision, the former parent company of The Madison Square Garden Company. His responsibilities at MSG included accounting, external reporting, financial planning, treasury, internal audit, tax, risk management, investor relations and information technology.

Prior to joining MSG, Mr. Pollichino was Senior Vice President of Rainbow Sports. In this role he managed the SportsChannel Regional Network, Prime Network and NewSport national sports services and corporate staff at Rainbow Sports. His responsibilities there also involved overseeing strategic planning, finance and joint ventures/investments. Mr. Pollichino has also held the positions of Group Vice President and General Manager for SportsChannel Associates, where he handled all business aspects of affiliate sales, advertising sales, consumer marketing, programming and production.  Prior to his role there, he was involved with the creation and launch of Rainbow Programming Networks, the predecessor to AMC Networks Inc., for which he served as Vice President, Finance and Administration. Mr. Pollichino began his career at Cablevision as Director of Finance.

In addition to serving on several community Boards, Mr. Pollichino also serves as a Division Board member for the American Liver Foundation since 1994 when his wife Gina, got involved with the Greater NY Chapter after a diagnosis of Hepatitis C.

 

 

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rpollichino@slafootball.com

Michael Lardner

Co-President SLAF

Is a triple-threat in sports television; an executive producer, a programming executive and a hands-on football game and studio producer. He has over a dozen Emmys acknowledging his skill at creating high quality television. Lardner has worked for some of the industry giants in television such as Don Ohlmeyer (NBC), Ted Turner (TBS), and Chuck Dolan (Rainbow, MSG and Cablevision). As his experience in television grew, he created several features we enjoy in sports TV such as the launching of a backdrop programming service (SportsChannel America) thus enabling regional sports networks to have national programming surrounding their live sports telecasts. This unique programming innovation led to the rapid growth of the Regional Sports Networks (RSNs). Lardner created the first national 24-hours sports-news channel called NewSport and later the omnipresent scorebox.  Revolutionary at its time, it meant viewers did not have to wait for the ESPN 28/58 updates at 28 and 58 minutes after the hour. Additionally, he designed the budget savvy camera-one game production concept after he launching MGS Varsity, a 24/7  hour high school sports channel in the NY metropolitan area.

 

Lardner has witnessed firsthand the passion America has for professional and college football.  As a football game producer, documentarian and former college player, Lardner has always lamented the end of the football season.  In 2006 he envisioned a place for post-college football players to play professionally during the spring.   Today that dream has become a reality with the launch of the Spring League of American Football (SLAF).

 

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mlardner@slafootball.com

Joe Favorito

Consultant

Joe Favorito has over 30 years of strategic communications/marketing, business development and public relations expertise in sports, entertainment, brand building, media training, television, athletic administration and business.  The Brooklyn, New York native has managed the day-to-day activities in strategic communications for: Two of the world’s hallmark sports and entertainment brands (the New York Knickerbockers and Philadelphia 76ers), the world’s largest professional sport for women (the WTA Tour), the world’s largest sports National Governing Body (the United States Tennis Association) and the world’s largest annual sporting event (the US Open).  He also oversaw the strategic planning, investor relations, communications and digital business development of the International Fight League during its two year run as a Mixed Martial Arts venture and a publicly traded company.

 

Since 2008, Joe has been an independent consultant on crisis communications, social media, strategic planning, brand marketing, publicity and business development for clients that have included or now include: Bloomberg LP, NFL Films, Fantasy Sports Ventures/The Big Lead, Major League Baseball, Spike TV, Sony Entertainment, Nickelodeon, EPIX, Wizard Entertainment/Comic-con, TOPPS, the John McEnroe Academy, USA Rugby 7’s, AVP, USA Wrestling, USA Baseball, Beyond Sport, Leaders In Performance, Right To Play and others. He was part of the USA Wrestling Communications team that won four CLIO Sports Awards in 2014, and was named one of Forbes’ “100 Sports Business Must Follows On Twitter” for 2015 and “50 Must Follows” for 2016.

 

 Joe also maintains a well trafficked blog on the sports marketing and publicity field, “Sports Marketing and PR Roundup,” on the website joefavorito.com, as well authoring the first-ever text on the sports publicity industry (“Sports Publicity” published in August 2007 by Reed Elsevier and updated in 2012 by Taylor Publishing), which is used in over 40 sports management programs in the U.S

 

A graduate of Fordham University, Joe, his wife and two children reside in River Vale, New Jersey.

 

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Leandra Reilly

Consultant

Leandra Reilly is a veteran sportscaster and television producer. In front of the camera, she has been an anchor, host, reporter, play-by-play announcer, color commentator, and sideline reporter for ESPN, Turner, Cablevision, and numerous network affiliates across the country.  Reilly has traveled the world to call events from the Olympics to the Goodwill Games in Moscow.  Her most chronicled broadcast was when she became the first woman to do the play-by-play of an NBA game. Reilly is also recognized as an outstanding producer and has been behind the camera for several critically acclaimed documentaries, including New Jersey’s Last Patriot, the story of legendary football coach Chris Olsen and his son Kevin, who now plays for UNC Charlotte. Reilly has taught broadcasting at Hofstra and Stony Brook Universities in New York.

 

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Rex Lardner

Consultant

Rex Lardner has spent over 35 years in sports television as a producer, marketing director, public relations representative, programming director, writer, and on-air commentator. He has worked for NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Turner Broadcasting, the World Wrestling Federation and Intersport televison. Lardner was also the Managing Partner in a sports marketing firm, Two Win Sports Marketing and an Associate Commissioner for Conference USA.

 

Rex Lardner is currently in his twelfth year as Managing Editor for two football trade publications in North Palm Beach, FL – American Football Monthly and Gridiron Strategies. Lardner and his wife, Carolyn, reside in Boca Raton, FL. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

 

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