Investing / Sports

Investor Paul Martino’s new side hustle is … movie producer?

The Bullpen Capital cofounder talks about his experience producing a film about a real-life NBA sports betting scheme that implicated his cousin Tommy.

From left: Andrew Brandt, Paul Martino, Tim Donaghy and Tommy Martino at Lehigh University. (Photo courtesy of Paul Martino)
Update: Info about local screenings has been added. (10/9/19, 2:58 p.m.)

Bullpen Capital cofounder Paul Martino has had his hands in adtech, social media and security companies, but his latest venture — movie producing — is a little removed from startup life.

Tuesday night at his alma mater, Lehigh University, Martino joined members of the cast and crew of the new movie “Inside Game,” which he produced, and is based on the real-life story of one of the NBA’s biggest betting scandals.

Martino’s cousin Tommy was implicated in the scheme, and when Tommy was released from prison in 2011, Martino secured the life rights to the story.

“I really never thought it would go anywhere,” Martino told “But after a few lucky breaks, the movie got made.

It took years of contract negotiations, legalities, producing a script and eventually the filming of the movie itself, but “Inside Game” premiered on Tuesday at Lehigh where the real-life players (and some of the actors portraying them) talked about the scandal for the first time to the public.

The team is also screening the movie tonight at Villanova University in conversation with Tim Donaghy, the NBA referee involved in the scandal, and on Nov. 1, it will premiere at about 150 theaters across the country in top NBA team cities, including 12 in Philly.

So how was producing a movie different than launching a startup?

Martino said that the contract negotiations, intellectual property and other legal concerns came naturally to him because of his experience in the business world. But there were plenty of times he found himself just figuring it out as he went.

“You know, I say kind of like all other startups I’ve been involved with, I knew nothing about the business going into it,” Martino said. “Which can be a really cool thing — you have no preconceived notions — and how we’re doing it is completely unorthodox. But we stand to really show how one can go about making an indie movie today.”

Find out more about the movie here.

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