This week in the sports media and marketing ecosystem, the Knicks look to fill a front-office role, Activision Blizzard VP of League and Event Ops announces exit, and Duke hires new Assistant Director of Digital.
For job openings and more on who’s moving where, check out the Hashtag Sports Weekly roundup.
The New York Knicks VP of Public Relations, Dan Sabreen, quietly stepped down last week, leaving the Knicks with a prominent need to fill a front-office role. Sabreen served in this role since November of 2017. There is currently no word on who will take his place, but the Madison Square Garden Company formally posted the job opening on Friday. The move comes in the midst of recent criticism the Knicks have received in regards to the lack of availability of executives since the spring.
Adam Apicella, a founding member of Major League Gaming (MLG) and the current VP of League and Event Operations at Activision Blizzard, announced on LinkedIn, that he is leaving the company. Apicella had previously been with MLG for 16 years, and oversaw close to 60 games and hundreds of live events. Apicella will wait to release his future plans.
Courtney Mascarella announced on Twitter, that she has accepted a new role as the Assistant Director of Digital/Social Media and Internet Operations for Duke University Athletics. Mascarella brings experience to her new role as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she graduated in 2019, receiving her M.A. in Sports Administration.
Rob Smith has been named General Manager for the Professional Golfers’ Association Interactive, which includes an all-new PGA.com, along with the websites and apps that support the major Championships run by the PGA. As GM, Smith will oversee all operations of the Interactive business, which is being reimagined to serve as the destination to support a player’s golfing journey by connecting them to PGA Professionals. Smith previously served as a Senior Director of Business Strategy and Operations for NBA Digital at WarnerMedia News & Sports, and will lean on his past experience to create multiple marketplaces that will bring golfers even closer to PGA professionals.
FIFA has named Simon Thomas, a former Champions League executive, to run its commercial department. Thomas had previously worked as the CEO of TEAM Marketing, an agency that sells Champions League broadcasting and sponsorship deals. In his new role, Thomas will help shape a commercial strategy for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Formula 1 bosses Chase Carey and Ross Brawn have committed to staying in their roles to complete the process of overhauling the sport, but Sean Bratches, the managing director of commercial operations, will leave. The commercial structure of the sport will be revamped over the winter and senior sources say that Bratches contract will not be renewed. Bratches, a former VP of Sales and Marketing at ESPN, joined F1 with Carey and Brawn when the sport was taken over by US group Liberty Media at the start of 2017.
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