Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry.
Industry Vet David Hill Joins Norman-Led LIV Golf Investments
LIV Golf Investments announced that David Hill has joined the company as a consultant to the production team. Hill previously served as a senior executive vice president at 21st Century Fox and the president of Fox Sports, where he spearheaded the startup of NFL on Fox and introduced components to the broadcast that evolved the viewing experience for football fans. In 2015, Hill launched his own production company focusing on live TV events, serving as executive producer of American Idol for three seasons and producing the 88th Academy Awards.
Fanatics Appoints Shiri Ben-Yishai as General Counsel
Fanatics, the world’s largest seller of licensed sports merchandise, has announced the appointment of Shiri Ben-Yishai as general counsel. In this role, Ben-Yishai will oversee the full range of legal affairs across the entire company, with areas including commerce, collectibles, betting and gaming, and NFTs. As the first general counsel to incorporate all areas of the expanded Fanatics business, she will serve as the senior chief legal officer of the organization, acting as an advisor as the company continues to explore new ventures and verticals. Ben-Yishai joins Fanatics from MacAndrews & Forbes, where she most recently served as chief legal officer.
Sportradar Appoints Andrew Bimson North American Chief Operating Officer
Sports data company Sportradar announced Andrew Bimson as chief operating officer of North America. In this newly created role, Bimson will oversee and be responsible for the growth of Sportradar’s three core business areas—Betting & Gaming, Sports Entertainment (media solutions) and ad:s (marketing services)—reporting to North America CEO Arne Rees. Bimson joins Sportradar from Bloomberg LP, where he spent the last 10 years in senior management roles, most recently as the global head of business marketing operations and analytics.
Heath Pearce Elevated to President of For Soccer Ventures
For Soccer Ventures (FSV), the soccer-focused media and experiences company, announced that former U.S. national team player and three-time MLS All-Star Heath Pearce has been named president of the company. In his new expanded role, Pearce, who has served as chief creative officer since the company’s founding in 2019, will now oversee all aspects of the organization, including strategic direction, content, marketing, experiences, business and revenue development.
Brett Yormark Named COO of Roc Nation
Brett Yormark has been promoted to COO of Roc Nation, having held the position of co-CEO of Roc Nation Unified and president of business operations and strategy since 2019. In his new role, Yormark will develop and execute longterm organizational objectives to support the company’s growth across all verticals. He will continue to lead Roc Nation Unified, the full-service licensing agency, alongside Michael Yormark.
Judd Moldaver Promoted to EVP of Wasserman Hockey
Wasserman has promoted Judd Moldaver to executive vice president in its hockey division. Moldaver was previously senior vice president, joining Wasserman in 2018. He will lead Wasserman Hockey, alongside EVPs Jeff Jackson, Markus Lehto and Dave Gagner. Moldaver’s client list includes 2022 NHL All-Stars Auston Matthews and Zach Werenski, as well as Norris Trophy winner Roman Josi.
Little Dot Sport Taps Katie Matthews as Partnerships Director
Digital content agency and media network Little Dot Studios (an All3Media company) has appointed Katie Matthews as partnerships director of recently launched specialist label, Little Dot Sport. In this newly created role, Matthews will manage the label’s portfolio of clients, identify new development opportunities and help new and existing clients become leaders in digital sports entertainment. Reporting to Robbie Spargo, director of Little Dot Sport, Matthews brings more than 14 years’ experience within the sports industry, working with high-profile brands like the UFC, the International Tennis Federation, Red Bull Media House and the Tour de France. She has spent the majority of her career at independent PR agency The PHA Group, where she ran the agency’s sports division.
World Lacrosse Names Christy Cahill as Chief Brand & Communications Officer
World Lacrosse announced the hiring of Christy Cahill as its chief brand & communications officer. Bringing more than 18 years of experience in international sport, Cahill will play a leading role in the sport’s campaign for inclusion in the Olympics starting with the Los Angeles Games in 2028. She will report to CEO Jim Scherr and will begin in the role on Jan. 24. Cahill has spent the past year consulting for JTA Pacific and Miranda & Company Communications, offering senior counsel to clients including Athletes Unlimited, the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee, Thrill One Sports & Entertainment and USA Track & Field.
Women’s Sports Foundation Appoints New President, Board of Trustees Chair
The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) has welcomed former Olympic and World Champion ice hockey player Meghan Duggan as its new president and Robin Harris, the executive director of the Ivy League, as its Board of Trustees chair. Both women have been actively involved with the Foundation for several years, and take on their new roles this year, the 50th anniversary of Title IX’s passage. WSF will be marking this milestone with events and activities throughout the year. Currently manager of player development for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, Duggan will serve a one-year term, replacing outgoing president Phaidra Knight, a World Rugby Hall of Famer and current MMA competitor. Harris assumes the Board chair role from Kathleen Kayse, chief media strategy and partnerships officer of The Ad Council. Knight and Kayse will remain WSF Trustees.
Dale, Amy Earnhardt Team With Sugarlands Distillery to Make Premium Vodka
Sugarlands Distilling Co., along with racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and wife Amy Earnhardt, announced the launch of High Rock, a new brand of premium vodka produced at Sugarlands’ distillery in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Checking in at 88 proof, a nod to the number Earnhardt drove for a decade in the NASCAR Cup Series, High Rock will be available beginning in February in Florida and nationwide in April. Founded in 2014, Sugarlands Distilling Company produces a full line of craft moonshines and sippin’ creams and also has strategic partnerships with Grammy-nominated country superstar Cole Swindell, the 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves, baseball Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, the New Orleans Saints and multiple Speedway Motorsports properties.
Olympic Snowboard Champion Red Gerard Made Official Eight Sleep Athlete
Eight Sleep, a sleep fitness company, named top-ranked snowboarder Red Gerard, a 2018 Olympic gold medalist in Pyeongchang, as an official Eight Sleep athlete. Through this partnership, Eight Sleep and Gerard will continue to increase global awareness for Eight Sleep’s technology. He joins more than 100 pro athletes who use the Eight Sleep Pod technology to power their recovery, including Crossfit Games winner Justin Medeiros, current and former Olympians Matthew Dellavedova (2020 bronze medalist, basketball), Daryl Homer (2020, and 2016 silver medalist, fencing), Jane Campbell (2020 bronze medalist, soccer) and Apolo Ohno (two-time gold medalist, speed skating).
USL’s Hartford Athletic Selects SeatGeek as Official Ticketing Platform
SeatGeek announced a multiyear partnership with Hartford Athletic of the United Soccer League (USL). The partnership makes SeatGeek the team’s official ticketing platform, starting with the 2022 regular season. The club becomes SeatGeek’s fourth USL partner and its first Connecticut-based partner, joining a partnership roster that also includes seven Major League Soccer clubs and half of the English Premier League’s clubs, including Liverpool F.C. and Manchester City F.C.