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This Week's Movers in Sports Media & Marketing: Nike Hires Ratnakar Lavu as First Global Chief Digital Information Officer

This Week’s Movers in Sports Media & Marketing

For the Week of June 5 - June 12, 2019
This Week’s Movers in Sports Media & Marketing
Left to Right: Nicholas Frasco, Tracey Keenan, and Ratnakar Lavu

This week in the sports media and marketing ecosystem, Nike hires its first Global Chief Digital Information Officer, Tracey Keenan joins W Series, and the Memphis Grizzlies tap Nicholas Frasco as Senior VP of Revenue.

For job openings and more on who’s moving where, check out the Hashtag Sports Weekly roundup.

WarnerMedia Entertainment Names New CMO

WarnerMedia Entertainment has hired Chris Spadaccini as their new Chief Marketing Officer. Spadaccini steps into this role after years of creating promotions as Executive Vice President of Marketing at HBO. His resume includes promotional campaigns for “The Sopranos” and the HBO Now streaming service. In his new role as CMO, he will be charged with pitching strategies for HBO, HBO Now, TNT, and TBS.

Uber Loses COO and CMO

One month after filing for IPO, Uber’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer have reigned. Uber will be charged with replacing Barney Harford as COO and Rebecca Messina as CMO. Until these positions are filled, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will take on more responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the company. This includes focussing on managing the teams in control of Rides and Eats, Uber’s biggest businesses.

W Series Finds Next CCO

W Series has chosen Tracey Keenan to step into the new board director role of Chief Commercial Officer. Keenan joins the W series team after most recently serving as Vice President and General Manager of World Wrestling Entertainment’s UK and Ireland divisions. At WWE, Keenan oversaw the monetization of broadcast, marketing, digital and OTT platforms, live events, sponsorship, and licensing. Now, she will make decisions as an executive board member regarding global sponsorship, broadcast rights and licensing.

Memphis Grizzlies Hire New SVP of Revenue

After 16 years of working in revenue generation for multiple Cleveland sports franchises, Nicholas Frasco will join the Memphis Grizzlies as Senior Vice President of Revenue. Frasco has held senior roles within the Browns’, Cavaliers’, and Monsters’ (AHL Hockey) organizations. In Memphis, he will use his experience in securing corporate partnerships and suite sales to help the Grizzlies grow to compete in value with the likes of other small market franchises such as the Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs.

Riot Games Taps New Head of League of Legends

John Needham has been selected to head the League of Legends (LoL) esports league operating under the umbrella of Riot Games. In addition to growing regional LoL leagues, Needham will manage all major LoL events such as The World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational, and the All-Star Event. Needham is shifting from his previous role with Riot Games as managing director of Europe and North America where he rebranded LoL European Championship as a 10-team league and secured sponsorships with Kia, Logitech, Red Bull, and Foot Locker.

SpotX Brings In Chief Scientist

SpotX has hired Neal Richter, one of the threading minds in programmatic, to oversee all algorithmic and machine learning technology products as Chief Scientist. This includes analyzing large data sets like auction dynamics in new video environments and campaign strategies. Richter most recently served as Chief Technology Officer at Rakuten Marketing. His experience developing all three openRTB specs released by the IAB will be beneficial as he reports to SpotX CTO J. Allen Dove. The two have worked together on various IAB and IAB Tech Lab projects.

Nike Hires Chief Digital Information Officer

Nike has hired the company’s first Global Chief Digital Information Officer. Ratnakar Lavu joins the iconic swoosh after serving as Chief Technology and Information Officer at Kohl’s. In his previous role, he led the IT department as well as managing digital and consumer technology. At Nike, Lavu will be tasked with aligning the company’s digital operations with consumer needs as more and more of Nike‘s products become dependent on technology.

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