With an eye seemingly fixed on developments in the US sports and sports betting sectors, social media colossus Facebook enters 2019 with a reshaped global sports division. Leading the effort will be former NBA executive Dan Reed who takes up the position of Vice President of Global Sports/Media Partnerships.
Facebook’s North American sports development will be led by former Instagram executive Brandon Gayle, serving as Director of Sports Partnerships and Solutions.
The company has previously revealed intentions to foster exclusive sports partnerships and content, as the social media platform has reached peak user saturation. Furthermore, Facebook leadership has previously outlined the need to diversify its content beyond posts and news feeds, as the tech giant seeks to reverse a decline in user engagement witnessed across its western markets.
Moving forward, Reed will be tasked with accelerating Facebook’s global sports proposition and strategy, overseeing the development of key sports accounts, whilst further securing new sports media partnerships for Facebook’s key markets.
Support for Reed will come from former Eurosport Chief Executive Peter Hutton who joined the US tech firm in March 2018 as a Director of Sports Programming and Live Partnerships for EMEA, Latin America and APAC regions.
During the course of 2018, Facebook tested a number of new features, seeking to develop community-led social enhancements for sports viewing.
In 2019, sports stakeholders will be monitoring Facebook movements closely. Yet to aggressively develop its sports profile, to date, Facebook has tested live content partnerships with the MLS and Univision LATAM, Spain’s La Liga for India, and streaming UEFA Champions League content for US audiences in partnership with Fox Sports.