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ESPN veteran Ryan Spoon named BetMGM operations chief


BetMGM, the sports betting joint venture between MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings, has appointed Ryan Spoon as its new chief operating officer. 

Spoon most recently served as senior vice president of social and digital content for ESPN, previously serving as SVP of digital product and design for the sports broadcaster. 

He was responsible for building, operating and growing a host of ESPN’s digital assets, including its website, mobile apps and fantasy sports products, as well as its social media assets. 

These comprise some of the world’s leading sports media assets, including the number one sports website and app globally, with the highest levels of social engagement across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Before joining ESPN, Spoon worked as a venture capitalist at Polaris Venture Partners, where BetMGM says he proved to have “innate” skills in identifying and leveraging digital trends. 

“The opportunity at BetMGM during these early phases was an immediate draw for me,” Spoon said of his new employer. “With the incredible assets of MGM Resorts, GVC’s industry-leading technology, and the many league, team and platform partners, BetMGM is uniquely positioned in the market and I am excited to help drive future growth.”

He will begin his new role next month, based in the operator’s New Jersey offices, and reporting directly to chief executive Adam Greenblatt. 

“BetMGM has seen early success in establishing itself as a significant player in the sports betting world through relationships with leagues, teams and partners,” Greenblatt said. 

“With Ryan’s expertise in developing scaled and engaging digital experiences, BetMGM will leverage those relationships in entirely new ways.”

The brand is in the process of carving out a presence across the US, and next week will be among the first brands live in Tennessee, which opens for business on 1 November. BetMGM secured a license in the state in September. 

It has signed up a host of partners across the US major leagues, most recently striking deals with the Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders and Detroit Lions. 

As a strategic partner of Yahoo Sports, it also powers a branded sportsbook, which earlier this month was updated to allow users to register using their existing Yahoo login details.