This week in the sports media and marketing ecosystem, another Snap executive departs, Fox Sports names a new CEO, the IndyCar CMO C.J. O’Donnell steps down, and Yahoo Sports adds more talent to its roster.
For job openings and more on who’s moving where, check out the Hashtag Sports Weekly roundup.
Steve LaBella, Snapchat’s VP of marketing, has confirmed that he will leave the company at the end of next month. LaBella joined Snap in May of 2016, and led the company’s marketing strategy and brand identity, including their first national TV campaign earlier this year. LaBella joins a growing list of executive departures since Snap’s IPO in early 2017.
Fox has announced the promotion of Eric Shanks as the new CEO of Fox Sports at a time when there have been major executive shakeups due to the anticipated closing of Disney-21st Century Fox’s $71.3 billion deal. Shanks formerly served as president, COO and executive producer of Fox Sports since 2010. In addition to overseeing all entities within Fox Sports (including FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and all of their corresponding digital ventures), Shanks will lead long-term programming strategy. Live sports is expected to play a major role at the “New Fox.”
Hulman Motorsports, the parent company of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has announced that C.J. O’Donnell, who plays the role of IndyCar CMO, will leave the company at the end of 2018. O’Donnell held the position since 2013 and was lauded for increasing fan engagement by expanding social media exposure and growing TV viewership by 23%. Before he leaves, O’Donnell will help the company through this transition by working with NBC Sports to develop a strategy for the marketing and communication departments.
Oath, Verizon’s media content engine, has announced the hiring of sports personalities Amanda Borges and Michelle Gingras to host “The Spin,” its daily sports show providing reporting and in-depth analysis for fans. Prior to joining the media conglomerate, Borges and Gingras worked with the MSG Company. Borges as the New York Rangers’ team reporter/digital host, and Gingras as the New York Red Bull’s team reporter and host. Additionally, multi-platform talent Vincent Goodwill is leaving NBC Sports Chicago for Yahoo Sports. Goodwill covered the Bulls since 2015 and will focus on the NBA from a national perspective in his new role.
Last year Sports Illustrated launched SI TV, signaling the legacy publication’s confidence in the future of video content. They’ve just made another investment with the hiring of Jessica Smetana. Smetana made a name for herself at SB Nation as a producer of original video content. Upon joining Sports Illustrated, she’s expected to bolster the company’s burgeoning video platform as a producer/showrunner.
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