Following the announcement of David Levy as Genius Sports chairman, Sportico has learned that Raine VP Rob Pietroforte is also joining the sports data company as director of mergers and acquisitions, as it prepares to go public. Levy has served as a senior advisor at Raine and is expected to remain in that position.
London-based Genius collects data from thousands of sporting events (with relationships spanning the EPL, FIFA, NBA, NCAA and NASCAR) and offers it to media companies, sports books and so on. It is currently powering the advanced “Beyond the Box Score” in-game stats for CBS during March Madness, for instance.
With a SPAC deal expected to close soon (shareholders will vote April 16), Genius has said that it will have $150 million in capital to accelerate its growth, with an eye toward acquisitions in particular. “We now have the firepower,” Genius CEO Mark Locke recently told SportsPro. “We now have all of the tools that we need in our armory to be able to go and execute a wide range of transactions of all sizes.”
Raine has a history in the betting space, dating back to 2014 when it led a $41 million round in DraftKings. The Raine Group helped guide the company through uncertain times, eventually helping it land an acquisition deal to go public last year. Genius competitor Sportradar, meanwhile, is going public at a $10 billion valuation via a SPAC deal of its own. The two are currently engaged in a legal back-and-forth.
At Raine since 2016, Pietroforte led real-money gaming efforts and sat on the board of Beachbody and Premier Lacrosse League (PLL partnered with Genius in 2020). He previously worked at JPMorgan Chase, where he dealt with Madison Square Garden, the U.S. Open and others.
“I’ve long admired what Mark and the team at Genius have built over the last 20 years and believe they’re at the forefront of the convergence of media and sports betting,” Pietroforte said in a statement. “As the platform layer that powers the real-money gaming ecosystem, there is a ton of opportunity ahead of us, and I’m excited to get started.”