This week in the sports media and marketing ecosystem, Bob Costas steps down from NBC Sports, ESPN announces Brian Lockhart as executive producer of original content with ESPN+, and an NBA exec joins Relevent Sports.
For job openings and more on who’s moving where, check out the Hashtag Sports Weekly roundup.
Bob Costas Steps Down Completely From NBC Sports
After stepping away from NBC’s Olympics broadcast two years ago, NBC Sports announced last week that longtime sports broadcaster Bob Costas has parted ways with the network altogether. Costas covered football, basketball, baseball, horse racing and (most notably) the Olympics for NBC Sports since signing with the company in 1979. According to AP, the transition was a mutual agreement between both parties.
NFL’s Brian Lockhart to Head ESPN+ Original Content
ESPN has named Brian Lockhart its new executive producer of original content for its subscription-based streaming service ESPN+. In his new role, Lockhart will oversee strategy and development of all ESPN+ original programming initiatives. Lockhart previously worked with the NFL for over a decade—his most recent role was as Vice President of Original Content.
Seth Winter Joins Former Colleague at New Fox
In the emergence of New Fox, Seth Winter joins his former colleague Marianne Gambelli in the company’s ad-sales department. Gambelli was named President of the ad-sales operation at the company earlier last year. In his new role, Winter will now serve as New Fox’s Head of Sports Sales. The two previously worked together in NBC Sports’ ad-sales division.
Atlanta Dream Names Vice President of Corporate Partnerships
Veteran Atlanta sports executive Jim Pfeifer was recently named as the Atlanta Dream’s Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. In his new role, Pfeifer will head increasing revenue through corporate partnerships and assist in growing the Dream brand in and around the city of Atlanta. Pfeifer spent the last two years as President of the Atlanta Blaze Major League Lacrosse team.
Darnell Strom to Head UTA Culture and Leadership Division
United Talent Agency named Darnell Strom to head its newly-created Culture and Leadership division. In his new role, Strom is representing and working with new and existing UTA clients to expand their businesses and cultural influences. Strom previously worked nearly a decade with Creative Artists Agency as an agent.
ESPN Senior Writer Moves to LA Times
The Los Angeles Times has acquired former ESPN senior writer Arash Markazi as the newspaper’s newest sports columnist. In his new role, Markazi will assist in launching coverage of emerging trends in sports, ranging from esports to sports betting.
NASCAR Promotes Jay Fabian to Cup Series Managing Director
Former NASCAR Managing Director of Technical Integration, Jay Fabian, is taking on a new role within the company as Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director. Fabian says he is “eager to take on a challenge” with his new role.
Gen.G Taps MLB EVP Chris Park to Serve as CEO
Leading esports organization, Gen.G, announced Chris Park as the company’s new CEO. In his new role, Park will lead day-to-day execution of Gen.G’s strategy alongside the company’s co-founder, Kevin Chou. Park previously worked as EVP of Products and Marketing with MLB.
NBA Exec Signs On as Relevent Sports COO
Relevent Sports recently announced Aaron Ryan to serve as the company’s COO. In his new role, Ryan will oversee all internal operations and development of Relevent Sports as a whole. Ryan previously served as SVP of the NBA 2K League.
Infront Announces Exclusive Strategic Director
Sports marketing company Infront appointed Ingolfur Hannesson as the company’s exclusive strategic advisor. In his new role, Hannesson’s focus will involve leading efforts of future acquisitions and the exploration of winter sports media rights. Hannesson previously ran the winter and indoor sports media rights portfolio with the European Broadcasting Union for over sixteen years.
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