Sports betting operator DraftKings has named its first chief media officer, leading to speculation the company is other additional media acquisitions and content deals to drive additional business to its expanding sports wagering sites.
Brian Angiolet, a former executive with Verizon Communications, has been brought on by Boston-based DraftKings to oversee and expand the company’s content creation and media strategy.
In a statement Tuesday, DraftKings said Angiolet “spearheaded a number of high-profile, multi-billion-dollar content and advertising initiatives including broadcasting, sports and digital entertainment deals” for Verizon.
Last month, DraftKings acquired Vegas Sports Information Network (VSiN) for an undisclosed price that gives the sports betting operator a national broadcast presence beyond its growing sports wagering business.
VSiN, analysts said, could be the catalyst for additional deals.
DraftKings Chairman and CEO Jason Robins said in a statement Angiolet’s “creative ideas” will help further the company’s media presence.
“Brian brings invaluable experience to this new chief media officer position and deeply understands how the virtuous circle among sports, gaming, and content has the potential to boost engagement,” Robins said.
According to Axios, DraftKings has talked about a potential deal with Action Network, the digital sports betting publisher, two sources familiar with the conversations told the news site.
Action Network, which sources told Axios is profitable, has been approached by several sportsbooks about a deal. One source says that the sale process for the venture-backed company has accelerated in recent weeks, given the momentum around the betting market.
DraftKings operates mobile and/or retail sports betting in 14 of the current 22 states with legal sports wagering.
During his tenure at Verizon, Angiolet built partnerships with the NFL and NBA and had oversight of Verizon Wireless’s advertising and media portfolio. Most recently, Angiolet led the company’s 5G mobile edge computing partnership program that included deals with Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM.
“The DraftKings arrow is pointing straight up, and I see massive opportunity to unleash this platform and integrate it with the world of content,” said Angiolet, who will begin his duties with the company on April 26. “To me, it’s all about enhancing the experience we provide, and I look forward to working alongside the team and our partners at this important juncture for the company.”
In its statement, DraftKings noted the growing presence of its owned channels, including real-time fantasy plus sports betting news and analysis from DK Live alongside editorial insights at DK Nation.
DraftKings has integration agreements with Turner Sports and ESPN that have broadened the company’s visibility for its content, data, and offers. DraftKings has invested in Meadowlark, a new media company from ESPN veterans John Skipper and Dan Le Batard, which has a roster of creators original programming focused on sports.
“Leading operators, in addition to DraftKings, such as FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, WynnBet, PointsBet, and more…they’re all looking at (media) assets,” David VanEgmond, founder & CEO Bettor Capital, an investment fund, told Axios.
Shares of DraftKings closed at $59.24 on the Nasdaq Tuesday, up $1.21 or 2.09%.
Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
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