Welcome to Sportico‘s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry.
IGT Appoints Joe Asher as President of Sports Betting
International Game Technology announced that it has appointed Joe Asher as president of Sports Betting, effective immediately. Reporting to Enrico Drago, IGT CEO Digital & Betting, Asher will lead the ongoing expansion of the IGT PlaySports sports betting business in North American markets.
Asher joins IGT having recently served as CEO of William Hill US. He held this position from 2012, when the business was created, until it was sold to Caesars Entertainment Inc. in April 2021.
Playmaker Names RedBird’s Nicole Musicco to Board of Directors
Playmaker Capital Inc., a digital sports media company at the intersection of sports, betting and technology, has announced the appointment of Nicole Musicco to its board of directors, effective immediately.
Musicco is a partner at RedBird Capital Partners, a private investment firm with $5 billion in assets under management focused on building high-growth companies in the sports, TMT, financial services and consumer sectors. Among a broad portfolio of sports-related assets, RedBird holds active investments in Fenway Sports Group and the XFL. Prior to joining RedBird, Musicco spent over 16 years in a broad range of senior leadership roles at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
Sophie Goldschmidt Appointed as U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO
U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced the appointment of Sophie Goldschmidt as the organization’s next president and CEO. Goldschmidt will officially begin on Oct. 18, taking over from current president and CEO Tiger Shaw. Goldschmidt will be relocating from Los Angeles to Park City, Utah.
Goldschmidt was most recently CEO of the World Surf League. Prior to that, she held executive positions at the National Basketball Association, the Women’s Tennis Association, the Rugby Football Union, Chime Sports Marketing, the PGA European Tour and Adidas.
Jill Miller Joins Excel Sports Management
Jill Miller has joined Excel Sports Management as senior vice president, Human Resources. Prior to Excel, Miller was the head of People + Culture, US at H+K Strategies for 10 years. She will report to Excel’s managing partners and be based in the New York Office.
Tempus Ex Machina Names Sidhant Rao Head of Revenue and Partnerships
Tempus Ex Machina, a technology and data company for the sports and entertainment industry, is adding to its leadership team as veteran strategic executive Sidhant Rao joins the tech startup.
Rao most recently led sports league partnerships at Facebook, where he oversaw a team responsible for helping sports organizations leverage Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Oculus to connect and engage with the next generation of global sports fans. Rao began his career at the NFL, where he was responsible for stadium finance, consulting on team revenue optimization, and strategic projects.
Tempus Ex Machina most recently closed a Series B investment round which was led by Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, and Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company. Existing investors Will Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst also participated.
Former WNBA Star Marissa Coleman Joins Gaming Society as VP, Business Development
Marissa Coleman has joined Gaming Society as VP of Business Development. In her role, Coleman will lead business development efforts for the company, help foster strategic partnerships with sportsbooks and spearhead the “Bet on Women” program in partnership with the WNBPA. Gaming Society is a gamification and content platform co-founded by Kevin Garnett and Jaymee Messler that aims to make sports betting more inclusive and accessible.
TurnkeyZRG Hires Nzinga Shaw as President
ZRG announced the hire of Nzinga “Zing” Shaw into dual roles. Shaw becomes the first president of TurnkeyZRG, a sports and entertainment talent recruiting firm acquired by ZRG last year. Additionally, Shaw will take over as parent company ZRG’s managing director, chief inclusion & diversity officer (internal) and global practice head of ZRG’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (“DEI”) client-facing practice (external).
U.S. Integrity Appoints Sports Data Scientist Chayka to Board of Advisors
Meghan Chayka has joined the Board of Advisors of U.S. Integrity. Chayka is co-founder/co-CEO of Stathletes, based in Toronto, which provides hockey data, analytics and insights to 22 leagues worldwide. Chayka is also the data scientist in residence at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Endeavor Welcomes First Class of Impact Fellows
William Morris Endeavor’s Impact Fellowship was created to give talented, impact-minded young people from underrepresented backgrounds a pathway for employment opportunities in the sports, entertainment and fashion industries. Seventeen Fellows have been hired for a two-year full-time program across WME, 160/90 and IMG, and were provided a relocation stipend as they begin work in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York.
Qatar Joins F1 Season Ahead of 10-Year Deal Set to Begin in 2023
Qatar will join the Formula One calendar with a night race at Losail in November ahead of a 10-year deal starting in 2023. This year’s inaugural race fills a vacancy on the original calendar that was created when the Australian Grand Prix was canceled. The race is a precursor to a newly signed 10-year deal between Qatar and Formula One that starts in 2023. There will be no Qatar GP in 2022 because the country is hosting the soccer World Cup.
USL and Players Union Announce CBA for USL Championship from 2021 through 2025
The United Soccer League and United Soccer League Players Association have reached an agreement in principle on a Collective Bargaining Agreement for the USL Championship, pending ratification by the players association and the league’s board of governors. The USLPA and the USL Championship Board of Directors will vote separately on ratification of the agreement in the coming weeks.
Utah Jazz and Zoom Sign Deal to Live Stream Practices
The Utah Jazz announced today a large-scale, groundbreaking arrangement with Zoom to live stream the team’s practice on Saturday, Oct. 2, to as many as 50,000 fans worldwide. In addition to the play on the basketball court, the broadcast will showcase the new design elements inside the practice facility along with live interviews, pre-recorded features and guest commentary.