One of the key architects in the transformation of sports betting operators into media companies is out at DraftKings.
Brian Angiolet is leaving DraftKings less than 18 months after he was hired as the sports betting giant’s first chief media officer. It was his decision to step down, a source with knowledge of the exit told Front Office Sports.
Angiolet was instrumental in the relationship with Dan Le Batard and Meadowlark Media, the content factory created by former ESPN president John Skipper.
“He’s one of the keys to the Dan-Skipper relationship. Without him, we will see what happens next,” said one source.
DraftKings declined to provide a comment when reached about Angiolet’s departure. A message left with Angiolet was not returned.
Two weeks after Angiolet was hired in April 2021, DraftKings announced what it described in a news release as “a first-of-its-kind content distribution, monetization and sponsorship agreement with Meadowlark Media.”
The Boston-based betting operator is paying Meadowlark $50 million over three years to distribute the flagship “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” and other programs across audio, digital and social channels, according to the Wall Street Journal.
DraftKings also purchased sports gambling streaming network VSIN less than a month before Angiolet’s arrival.
The DraftKings-Meadowlark relationship has grown to include a variety of shows, including: “Basketball Illuminati,” “Underdogs,” “Point Forward,” “Fútbol with Grant Wahl,” and “Montgomery and Co.”
The rivals DraftKings and FanDuel are competing for sports TV talent, many of them former personalities at legacy networks like ESPN.
DraftKings has launched new shows with former ESPNer Mike Golic Sr. and Mike Golic Jr. as well as former NFL front office executive Michael Lombardi, who hosts “The GM Shuffle.”
FanDuel, meanwhile, will launch “FanDuel TV” in September with former NFL Network personality Kay Adams hosting a live weekday morning show.
Pat McAfee’s PMI Network and Bill Simmons’ The Ringer will also be providing content for the new TV/digital network.
Ex-ESPNers Kenny Mayne and Trey Wingo, meanwhile, left Bristol in recent years to generate content for the Caesars Sportsbook.
Before joining DraftKings, Angiolet spent nearly 22 years at Verizon and departed the telecommunications company as its senior VP of corporate strategy and chief business officer.
“Brian brings invaluable experience to this new chief media officer position and deeply understands how the virtuous circle among sports, gaming, and content has the potential to boost engagement,” DraftKings CEO and co-founder Jason Robins said in a statement when Angiolet’s hire was announced.
DraftKings generated second quarter revenue of $466 million, up 57% from the year before. That beat Wall Street estimates of $438 million.