Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry.
Elevate Sports Names Industry Leader as Chief Business Officer, International
Sports and entertainment consulting firm Elevate Sports Ventures has named veteran international sports industry executive Prashanth “Shawn” Doss to the role of chief business officer, international. Doss will be responsible for leading business development and serving as the lead liaison for the agency’s international clients; he will report to Elevate resident Chip Bowers. Doss will be Elevate’s foremost senior executive located in the UK, representing the agency’s proficiencies and comprehensive solutions in partnership sales and consulting; hospitality sales and strategy; experiential design; feasibility and revenue consultation for new and renovated venues; consumer insights, research, strategy and analytics.
Daniel Cohen Rises to EVP, William Mao to SVP at Octagon
Octagon has promoted Daniel Cohen to executive vice president, global media rights consulting, and William Mao to senior vice president. Cohen will continue to oversee Octagon’s industry-leading media rights consulting division, which in 2022 surpassed more than $14 billion in media rights under advisory. Cohen, who previously served as senior vice president, will report to Lou Kovacs, president of Octagon Marketing North America. Mao will report to Cohen. Since joining Octagon in 2017, Cohen has led the agency’s media rights consulting practice. Mao, who previously served as vice president, Octagon Media Rights Consulting, will continue to play a role in providing strategic consultation and insights to Octagon clients.
General Sports Worldwide Tabs Wasim Haq to Lead International Efforts
General Sports Worldwide has hired Wasim Haq as managing director of its executive search team across Europe, Middle East and Asia. Wasim will play a leading role in GSW’s continuing expansion and international footprint. As managing partner at First Team Partners, Wasim led executive searches across sports, media and entertainment sectors, working with some of the most respected and recognizable brands in the world and included placements for various roles, such as CEO, COO, CMO and CTO. In his role, Haq will be responsible for leading and growing executive search efforts for GS Europe, General Sports Worldwide’s business division serving the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Additionally, he’ll focus on supporting the company’s global roster of clients by recruiting boardroom talent internationally and providing consulting services to sports organizations, teams and leagues that focus on bolstering their business operations.
Snipes Strengthens Executive Team With New CMO
Sneaker and streetwear company Snipes has hired Rich Foster as chief marketing officer. Foster will join the company’s growing executive team and report to Jim Bojko, president of U.S. operations. Foster will lead the company’s integrated marketing team responsible for establishing its position in the sneaker and streetwear marketplace, while creating authentic connections with the diverse consumers and communities who interact with the Snipes brand. As such, he will oversee marketing, community impact, creative innovation and the brand’s social media initiatives. He will be responsible for developing and executing creative marketing strategies that appeal to young culturally relevant consumers. Foster will work closely with the digital, retail and operations teams.
Josh and Marjorie Harris Establish Family Fund at Harvard
Harvard Business School has received a $5 million gift from Josh Harris (MBA 1990), co-founder of Apollo Global Management, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and Harris Philanthropies, and his wife, Marjorie, to establish the Harris Family Fund for Sports Management and Alternative Investments. This gift augments the Josh Harris Endowment for Sports Management, created in 2015. The mission of the Harris Family Fund for Sports Management and Alternative Investments is to promote the diversity, equity and inclusion of underrepresented individuals in these fields, while simultaneously advancing research. The fund will achieve this goal through the creation of programming and financial support for students who are passionate about pursuing related positions. The Harris Family Fund for Sports Management and Alternative Investments will support academic initiatives including faculty research, case writing and curriculum development. The fund will also help convene the greater Harvard community through events featuring some of the university’s foremost experts on the topics.
Smarkets Partners With Affinity Interactive to Bring SBK Betting App to Iowa
Betting exchange platform Smarkets and Affinity Interactive, an omni-channel gaming industry company, have come to an agreement for sports betting market access in the state of Iowa. Smarkets will launch in Iowa with its SBK sportsbook app, which will be unique in the market as it draws prices from the Smarkets betting exchange. Smarkets expects to launch SBK in Iowa later this year. The state of Iowa legalized sports betting in May 2019, and wagers totaled more than $2 billion in 2021