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DAZN hires Marc Watson as CCO after Eleven acquisition, plus more

All the week’s movers & shakers in one place.

24 February 2023 Rory Jones


DAZN has named Marc Watson as chief commercial officer as the UK-based media reorganises its executive team having closed the acquisition of Eleven and Team Whistle earlier this month. 

Having served as Eleven’s chief executive, Watson now joins DAZN’s global leadership team to replace the outgoing Jacopo Tonoli with the brief of leading its content and acquisition strategy, as well as driving commercial initiatives.

During his seven-year tenure as head of Eleven, Watson oversaw the company’s expansion into more than 230 markets globally. Previously Watson was chief executive of UK telecommunications firm BT’s TV division, where he led the launch of BT Sport and the network’s first Premier League rights acquisition.

“DAZN are investing and developing a sports entertainment offer that is setting new standards for the way fans enjoy sport and delivering engaging and interactive products that will showcase rights holders’ content,” said Watson.

“I am excited to be joining such an ambitious and committed team of likeminded professionals for the next chapter of DAZN’s journey.”

Elsewhere, Ratnakar Lavu has resigned from his role as global chief digital information officer at Nike. The Oregon-based sportswear giant did not provide a reason for his exit, which took immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Michael Horvarth is leaving his post as Strava chief executive for a second time. Having co-founded the fitness app in 2009, Horvarth initially stepped down as chief executive in 2013, before returning to the role in 2019. After seeing exponential growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, the platform eclipsed 100 million registered users last year.

In other news, Diamond Sports Group has made two new appointments, naming David DeVoe JR as chief operating and chief financial officer, and hiring Eric Ratchman in the newly created position of president of distribution and business development.


Bryan Calka
Chief commercial officer, Professional Fighters League (PFL)
Previously: Senior vice president of global partnerships, New York Islanders

Matthew Ryder
Non-executive director, Premier League
Note: A senior barrister and part-time judge, Ryder has previously held positions at the UK Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights

Jeff Bacon
Commissioner, ASUN Conference
Previously: Deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, Mid-American conference

Walt Scher
Director of corporate communications, Portland Trail Blazers
Previously: Corporate communications manager, Portland Trail Blazers

Julian Moore
Director of legal affairs, Infront
Previously: Head of sport, Mills & Reeve

Matt Taylor
UK account lead, Samba Digital
Previously: International development lead, Everton

Eric Schaffer
Executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Joe Gibbs Racing
Previously: Senior vice president of football operations and general counsel, Washington Commanders

Craig Greene
Chief strategy officer, Joe Gibbs Racing
Previously: Executive vice president of business operations, Joe Gibbs Racing

Oliver Emery
Chief content officer, London Lions
Previously: Senior vice president, London Lions


Michael Downey
President and chief executive, Tennis Canada

Lasse Pilgaard
Chief financial officer, Modern

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