Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn sports lover Favorito found his calling at Fordham

December 30, 2020 Andy Furman, Special to the Brooklyn Eagle
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Admit it. You can’t make a free throw. You’re slow afoot. And embarrassed to even try an extra point in public. 

But – you love sports – and you want to make it a lifelong career.

The answer – with the perfect example lies within – just keep reading. 

“Yeah, you can say I was that guy,” said Joe Favorito, a 1981 grad of Brooklyn’s Xaverian High School. “I played every sport possible, but didn’t excel in one.”

So, he did the best thing any sports lover – with a lack of sporting skill – could do.

Enroll at Fordham University.

Fordham is the alma mater for the voice of the NBA Finals/Knicks (Mike Breen, Class of 1983), the Yankees’ lead TV play-by-player/ESPN New York afternoon radio host (Michael Kay, ’82), the voice of the Giants (Bob Papa, ’86), the radio voice of the Nets (Chris Carrino, ’92) Madison Square Garden’s John Giannone (’86), YES’ Jack Curry (’86), WFAN’s Paul Dottino (’86) and YES/ESPN’s Ryan Ruocco (’08).

And let’s not forget the Hall of Famer, and former voice of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, Vin Scully (’49).

“I did stats, called game results to the daily newspapers and was involved with the basketball team,” Favorito told the Eagle.

By the way, that ’81 Xaverian team featured former St. John’s and NBA star Chris Mullin – and won the New York State championship.

At Fordham, Favorito majored in communications – what else – served as manager for the Rams’ basketball team and worked on the student radio station, WFUV.

He took his skill set to Iona College in New Rochelle, and at the tender age of 22 he became the youngest sports publicist at a Division I school in the nation.

Soon, he was to become one of the best.

Next stop –at 28 – public relations director for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA; and then it was tennis.

“The 1998 French Open was my first assignment,” he said. “I was promoting Billie Jean King and a young Venus and Serena Williams.”

He hit it big in 1999 promoting the U.S. Open. “We placed 11 women on 13 magazine covers,” he said proudly.

But it was back to basketball – in particular the NBA. In his hometown.

Favorito was the publicist for the New York Knicks right after 9-11, he remembers.

“My first game coincided with Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA,” he told the Eagle. “It was wild.”

Today, Joe Favorito has taken his talents and is sharing them with America’s youth.

For the past dozen years, he’s been an independent consultant on crisis, social media, strategic planning, brand marketing, publicity and business development.

He was named one of Forbes’ “100 Sports Business Must Follows” for 2015.

And he teaches a graduate sports management course at Columbia University. “I learn from them,” he said, “and they from me.

“My goal,” said the 57-year-old Favorito, “is to help others who may be worse off than me.”

Highlights are simple for Joe Favorito: “Other than my family and kids,” he said, “being around Madison Square Garden, learning a lot and, of course, the culture of New York.”

Entering the field of sports isn’t too hard, according to Joe Favorito.

“When you have a passion, and have the tools, you can craft where you want to go,” he said.

Joe Favorito is the perfect example.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host, previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle.


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