This week in the sports media and marketing ecosystem, DraftKings’ sportsbook hire, Disney’s new ad sales strategy takes shape under Rita Ferro, and The Ringer hires writer Dan Devine.
For job openings and more on who’s moving where, check out the Hashtag Sports Weekly roundup.
Laura Gentile, a 15-year ESPN veteran, is moving back to her advertising and marketing roots as the company’s new SVP of marketing. Gentile previously served as senior vice president of business operations and content strategy and was one of the key people behind the launch of espnW. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for developing and managing ESPN’s brand across media to reach a wider audience.
After spending nearly a decade with Yahoo Sports, most notably with Ball Don’t Lie, Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) is joining The Ringer as a staff writer covering the NBA. While the specific details are unknown, it is expected that he will contribute basketball content on a daily basis, with potential contributions to existing shows on The Ringer Podcast Network.
Under Disney’s new ad sales strategy, sales teams from across the company will be combined, which will be divided into three parts: sales, client & brand solutions and revenue & operations. In 2017, Disney promoted Rita Ferro to lead ABC’s ad sales efforts. In her new role, Ferro will now also oversee the entire ESPN multi-platform portfolio in addition to continuing her responsibilities for ABC and the Disney cable networks. The move comes in the wake of Ed Erhardt’s impending retirement in early 2019.
A week after Instagram’s co-founders resigned, Facebook’s found an internal replacement. Adam Mosseri, a 10-year veteran of the social network, will be the new head of Instagram. Most recently, Mosseri served as Instagram’s VP of Product. Prior to that, he was VP of Product Management for Facebook, controlling arguably their single most important product, the News Feed. This move is significant as it confirms the notion that Zuckerberg’s tightening control on all of Facebook’s standalone apps.
In one of the week’s biggest hires, Draftkings announced the hiring of Wynn sportsbook head Johnny Avello, one of the top figures in the Las Vegas gaming scene. In his new role, Avello will serve as the director of operations, responsible for oversight of retail sportsbook trading and risk management. Avello’s been involved in Las Vegas sports betting operations since the 1970’s. Prior to his stint with Wynn Las Vegas, Avello spent 15 years as director of Bally’s sportsbook.
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