This week in the sports media and marketing ecosystem, Stephanie Snowden leaves The Ringer for the esports world, WWE adds its first Executive VP of International, and former Sports Illustrated golf writer Daniel Rapaport lands new gig at Golf Digest.
For job openings and more on who’s moving where, check out the Hashtag Sports Weekly roundup.
Steve Braband announced on Twitter he is moving on after a lengthy stint at ESPN to join DAZN as the company’s new Head of Digital. Braband comes to DAZN after 12 years at ESPN, where he most recently served as the Director of Digital/Social Show Development. During his two years in the role he oversaw the creation and launch of a number of ESPN franchises, including–but not limited to–SportsCenter on Snapchat, Always Late with Katie Nolan, and Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
WWE announced the addition of former Discovery and Sony exec James Rosenstock as Executive VP, International, a new post. Over the past 20 years Rosenstock has held VP roles at Credit Suisse, Sony, Discovery, Viceland International, and most recently served as co-CFO and Chief Strategy Officer at ezCater. At WWE, Rosenstock will be tasked with managing the company’s foreign operations and will oversee eight regional general managers.
Daniel Rapaport is joining Golf Digest as a Staff Writer, the former Sports Illustrated writer/editor announced on Twitter. Rapaport was one of the many talented writers at SI who lost their jobs when Maven purchased the rights to the magazine and laid off roughly 40% of the newsroom. Rapaport described his new duties as “covering Tiger [Woods], professional golf, and all the other aspects of this game we love so much.”
SportsEngine, an NBC Sports Group company, announced the promotion of sales and marketing execs Brett MacKinnon and Jody Vogelaar. MacKinnon was promoted to SVP of Sales, after spending nearly three years as a VP of Sales. Vogelaar will ascend to SVP of Marketing and Content, where he was a VP for nearly three years as well.
MacKinnon will oversee inside and enterprise sales, advertising and sponsorship sales, and business development for SportsEngine’s competition and sports management platforms. Vogelaar will head up customer marketing and engagement, creative services, and the company’s youth sports content strategy.
Stephanie Snowden announced on Twitter that she is leaving her position as Director of Video Strategy at The Ringer and will be joining the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League. It is not clear what her exact position will be, but her tweet described the role as at the intersection of “video games + sports + making kickass live television.” Before her time at The Ringer, Snowden managed ESPN’s Original Content family of studio shows in LA, including The Jump and NBA Countdown.
The Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues are owned and produced by Activision Blizzard, and are part of a young and rapidly expanding market of competitive esports leagues. The Overwatch League’s inaugural season took place in 2018 when the league had 12 teams. In its sophomore year, the league expanded to 20 teams in 6 countries. The Call of Duty League will have its first season in 2020 and will also start with 12 teams, but is likely to add to that number in short order.
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