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Genius Sports names former ESPN CEO Bornstein as North America president


Genius Sports has appointed Steve Bornstein, former chief executive of ESPN and founder of the NFL Network, to the newly created position as president of its North America business.

In his new role, Bornstein will oversee Genius’s operation in the US and Canada, heading up the business’s growth and expansion efforts in the region.

This will include working with new and existing sports partners including the National Football League, Nascar, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.

He will also work alongside the executive team to identify new acquisition targets in North America, as well as support the integration of recently acquired businesses including Second Spectrum, the data tracking and visualization solutions provider it agreed to acquire in May.

Bornstein brings extensive broadcast experience to Genius Sports, having spent over 20 years with ESPN and ABC. In 1998, he came the youngest president and chief executive of ESPN at the age 38, overseeing the launch of ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPN Radio, ESPN Classic, ESPN International, ESPN The Magazine, the ESPYs and the X-Games.

Bornstein also founded the NFL Network, the television network of the National Football League, serving as its president and chief executive, and also oversaw the league’s division and led negotiations on television deals and sponsorships as vice president of media.

His other roles included corporate vice president of Capital Cities/ABC, president of ABC Sports and president of ABC, where he was responsible for all media assets at ABC/Disney.

“As we continue to execute on our growth strategy North America, we look forward to benefitting from a visionary like Steve who played a major role in shaping the growth and success of iconic brands like ESPN and the NFL,” Genius Sports chief executive Mark Locke said.

“As a leader, he exemplifies the values set out at Genius and will help us progress our culture of collaboration and innovation.”

Bornstein added: “I am excited to join Genius Sports at this time in the company’s growth. And I’m delighted to partner with Mark and his outstanding team as Genius demonstrates and deepens its commitment to drive real value for its partners in the U.S. and Canada. I can’t wait to get started.”

The appointment comes after Genius Sports this week also entered a definitive agreement to acquire creative performance platform Spirable to help strengthen its data-driven video marketing capabilities.

Financial terms of the teal were not disclosed, but Genius said the combination of its official sports data, network and operational scale with Spirable’s video platform will offer deeper engagement, higher performance and lower cost of acquisition for partners.