Yahoo has hired former ESPN and BetMGM executive Ryan Spoon as the new president of Yahoo Sports.
Spoon succeeds Jon Shaw, who served as interim general manager of Yahoo Sports; Shaw will continue to serve in a leadership role at Yahoo Sports, reporting to Spoon, who will report directly to Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone. Spoon is responsible for leading the growth of the internet media company’s sports vertical and “positioning it for a new generation of sports fans,” the company said in announcing his hire.
Spoon has extensive experience in the sports and digital media industries. Most recently, he served as COO at Sorare, an NFT-based fantasy sports startup, where he played a key role in the company’s expansion into the US market and the launch of Sorare: NBA and Sorare: MLB.
Prior to joining Sorare, Spoon was Chief Operating Officer of BetMGM, a major sportsbook and online gaming operator. Before that, he spent more than eight years at ESPN, most recently as senior vice president of digital and social, overseeing digital editorial, performance and strategy. Spoon also helped shape ESPN’s digital experience, mobile applications and fantasy games.
In addition, Spoon is the founder of the recruitment platform beRecruited, which was acquired by the Raine Group in 2012. He is a venture capitalist at Polaris Venture Partners, focusing on early-stage technology and consumer investments.
In announcing the hiring of Spoon, Lanzone said: “We are delighted to welcome Ryan, a true product leader in all aspects of the digital sports experience, and his expertise in building social sports communities and scaling engagement is well-suited to lead Yahoo Sports into the future. The future really gets even more exciting with Ryan here, and I can’t wait to see what we can do together.”
Spoon commented: “I look forward to joining Yahoo at such an exciting time of growth and expansion. Yahoo Sports has been a consistent and important pillar in the lives of millions of sports fans for over 20 years. With its best-in-class fantasy and product experience, Yahoo Sports shapes the way millions of fans engage with each other and their favorite teams.”
Verizon sold Yahoo to private equity firm Apollo Group in 2021 for $5 billion. Yahoo’s brands include Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Search, AOL, Engadget, TechCrunch and Rivals.
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