This week in the sports media and marketing ecosystem, Sean Eggert moves to Under Armour, Sarah Swanson joins World Surf League, and Ryan Davenport lands a major role for the Miami Open.
For job openings and more on who’s moving where, check out the Hashtag Sports Weekly roundup.
Robin Brendle Retires from CBS Sports
PR exec and beloved CBS Sports employee Robin Brendle is retiring after 37 years on the job. Brendle has been referred to as the most popular CBS Sports employee. Her career included serving as the head publicist for Super Bowl 50. Brendle is a second-generation CBS Sports employee and leaves behind a tremendous legacy.
World Surf League Secures Top Marketers From Nike and NFL
With surfing set to make its debut at the 2020 Olympics, World Surf League has been aggressive in acquiring top marketers from both the NFL and Nike. Pri Shumate leaves Nike to take on the role as Chief Marketing Officer at WSL after 17 years during which she ran marketing for Nike’s global running business. Sarah Swanson leaves her post as NFL UK’s Head of Marketing to become WSL’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Insights and Consumer Growth.
Under Armour Finds Red Bull Exec to Fill New Marketing Role
After most recently working as Vice President of Sports Marketing for Red Bull, Sean Eggert has been selected to fill a new role at Under Armour: Head of Global Sports Marketing. In the position, Eggert will be tasked with overseeing all sports marketing for the brand. In his previous role, Eggert was in charge of 160 company-owned events, including Red Bull’s global Ironman partnership, the Red Bull Global Rally Cross, Oracle USA Team Sailing and three Red Bull-owned sports franchises. Now, reporting to UA’s CMO, Eggert will help grow the Baltimore-based brand.
Hard Rock Stadium Appoints VP of Ticket Sales and Service for Miami Open
Ryan Davenport has been named Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service at Hard Rock Stadium for the Miami Open. Davenport will be charged with managing all ticket sales and service for the Miami Open tennis tournament, generating new and retaining old season ticket sales, group sales, luxury and suite sales. His former role as the Senior Director of Sales with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx readies him for the challenge as he has experience in membership and premium seating sales. He is credited with playing a major role in the largest year-over-year increase in attendance across the NBA in his first year.
XFL Bolsters PR Across the League
The XFL has added numerous pro sports veterans in public relations. Brentan Debysingh joins as the league’s communications manager after multiple years with the Miami Heat and as game day staff at every Giants and Jets home game for the last several years. Brentan will work out of the league’s Stamford HQ and side-by-side with Stephanie Rudnick, SVP of Communications and Public Relations on all league-related communications activities. Michael Preston joins the league as the Head of Communications for XFL DC after leading public relations for 11 years with the Philadelphia 76ers, in addition to time with the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Heat and Ocean Casino Resort. Jim Christman joins the XFL after 16 years with the Chicago Bears as Head of Communications for XFL Seattle
XFL Names SVP of Content and Media
After most recently serving as Vice President and General Manager of Digital Media at SportsNet New York, Fred Harner has been tapped as Senior Vice President of Content and Media for the XFL. Harner is the most recent in a string of executive hires made by the rebooted football league. In his new role, Harner will play a major role in developing and executing the content strategy and digital and social media initiatives for all eight XFL teams. Harner wore many hats during his 12 years at SNY, working in sales, streaming, partner relations, analytics, digital products, and more.
Timberwolves and Lynx Go In-House for New COO
Six years of work as Chief Revenue Officer has earned Ryan Tanke the promotion to Chief Operating Officer for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. Tanke’s work as CRO was certainly impactful as he was essential to the renovation of the Target Center, vastly improving fan experiences. He was responsible for three consecutive years of increases in business performance and is credited with helping Minnesota to become the NBA’s first franchise to use 100% digital ticketing.
Orange Names CTO of New Sports Division
Nicolas Deal has jumped from UEFA TV to the startup Orange Sport & Media. Orange is venturing out into the sports world to offer support for live events. Deal will play a large role in technology initiatives improving the platform’s ability to use telecoms and mobile technology in live broadcast content strategies. His new role as Chief Technology Officer is not an unfamiliar one, as his experience as transmission manager for TV production at UEFA TV makes him well-versed in live event production.
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