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Yahoo Recruits ESPN Veteran Ryan Spoon as President of Yahoo Sports

Yahoo hired Ryan Spoon, a former ESPN and BetMGM executive, as the new president of Yahoo Sports.

Spoon replaces Jon Shaw, who had served as interim general manager of Yahoo Sports; Shaw will continue in a leadership role at Yahoo Sports reporting to Spoon, who reports directly to Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone. Spoon is responsible for leading growth at the internet media company’s sports vertical and “positioning it for a new generation of sports fans,” the company said in announcing his hire.

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Spoon has a wealth of experience across the sports and digital media industry. Most recently, he was COO at Sorare, a startup in NFT-based fantasy sports, where he played a critical role in its expansion into the U.S. market and launching Sorare: NBA and Sorare: MLB.

Prior to Sorare, Spoon served as the COO of BetMGM, a major sportsbook and online wagering operator. Before that he spent more than eight years at ESPN most recently as senior VP of digital and social, overseeing digital editorial, performance and strategy. Spoon also helped shape ESPN’s digital experiences, mobile applications and fantasy games.

In addition, Spoon is the founder of beRecruited, a recruiting platform that 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.

Lanzone said in announcing Spoon’s hire, “We’re thrilled to welcome Ryan, a true product leader across all aspects of the digital sports experience, and whose expertise in building social sports communities and scaling engagement is perfect for leading Yahoo Sports into the future. That future truly just got more exciting with Ryan’s arrival and I cannot 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 mainstay in the lives of millions of sports fans for over 20 years. With its first-class fantasy and product experiences, Yahoo Sports has shaped the way millions of fans engage with each other and their favorite teams.”

Verizon sold Yahoo for $5 billion in 2021 to private-equity firm Apollo Global. Yahoo’s brands include Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Search, AOL, Engadget, TechCrunch and Rivals.

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