Mackenzie Brooks is a Sports Statistical Analyst at CBS as well as a Snapchat Host at the Pro Football Network. I first came across Mackenzie when browsing sports betting videos on TikTok and just had to connect!
This week we got the chance to chat about her career and aspirations as a young woman in the sports betting space.
You have a very impressive resume. Can you tell me how you landed the jobs at CBS Sports and Pro Football Network? And what sort of content will you be publishing there going forward?
Mackenzie. As with most jobs in this industry, it all started with the right networking. While I went to school at UGA, I got the opportunity to be a production runner with College Gameday (airport runs, coffee runs, etc..) I used that opportunity to network with talent and producers, and ended up traveling with them through Georgia’s first National Championship run.
That summer, I got an internship at ESPN in Bristol, CT with the Stats and Info team. From there, I made connections that moved over to both CBS and Pro Football Network. As senior year of college came around, I was offered the opportunity to join the new betting initiatives they were making over at CBS Sports with Sportsline. All stemming from those relationships I made as a runner for Gameday!
You also have your own following on social media. What type of content do you publish regularly there and what are the types of videos your audience has responded the best to?
Mackenzie. At Sportsline (CBS Sports), my main responsibility is being the voice of our Sportsline Simulation. I’ve joined a team that has coded a model to predict performance and create best bets. I host a YouTube show on Tuesdays with this team, explaining weekly lines and giving out best bets. I also make appearances on CBS HQ sharing our content from the simulation.
Mackenzie. With my own social media, as a young woman, I try to relate more to that audience and educate girls on the sports world. I feel that sometimes it can be intimidating to ask questions, or feels too late to learn for women. My tiktoks are mostly to educate women with “sports betting 101”, or anyone who wants to learn for that matter. I think there is a market out there for women who just want to understand the sports betting world a little better, or learn to get involved themselves.
What is your betting style? Do you have a strategy that you follow? And what betting tips do you have for those who are starting out?
Mackenzie. Now that I work for the Sportsline Simulation team, a lot of my process is related to our model. But in general, I like to find mismatches between defenses and particular skill positions. I like to target players who seem to have an advantage over a specific style defense and work from there. My advice for people beginning to bet is to start with over/unders. Rooting for points is always fun, and it is easy to understand the script of those totals based on the teams’ levels of defense.
What advice do you have for women who want to follow in your footsteps and start a career in sports and sports betting?
Mackenzie. My best advice for women looking to get into this industry is to radiant confidence. It can be intimidating to be the only woman in the room, which is more often than not the case. But it’s important to use that to your advantage, knowing what you can offer and the uniqueness you can bring. I learned how to bet only 2 years ago, but I’ve used confidence to assert myself at large companies and prove to them I am worth their time.
What are your plans and goals for this year and beyond?
Mackenzie. My goal this year is to establish my personal brand at CBS and beyond. I want to continue proving myself and earning segments on TV and shows across the network. I hope to be known for my analytical mind, complemented with an approachable manner to the casual betting fan. I want to be a role model in this field and show young women that it is a place they belong to.
Finally, what do women want in sports betting?
Mackenzie. As far as what women want in sports betting, I think they are looking for exposure and education. Women want to know how to get involved, but there are not many resources catered towards them. I think they want someone who looks like them to teach them and make it feel less intimidating. I hope I can help in that movement and be an approachable figure.