ESPN senior vice president of social and digital content Ryan Spoon is leaving the company to become BetMGM’s chief operating officer, assuming the new role in November.
BetMGM is the joint online sports betting venture between MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings that launched in July 2018. The company has league-level partnerships with the NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour and NASCAR, as well as team partners that include the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders and Vegas Golden Knights.
At ESPN, Spoon helped to develop the sports media giant’s digital properties, including ESPN.com, the ESPN app, ESPN Fantasy and ESPN’s social channels. With roughly 2.2 billion total social actions in the first and second quarters of 2020, ESPN is the No. 1 sports publisher this year in terms of social media engagement.
Prior to ESPN, Spoon was a venture capitalist at Polaris Venture Partners, specializing in early-stage consumer internet, social media and e-commerce investments. While in college, he founded popular high school athlete recruiting website beRecruited.com, which was acquired by private equity firm The Raine Group in 2012.
“The opportunity at BetMGM during these early phases was an immediate draw for me,” Spoon said in an announcement. “With the incredible assets of MGM Resorts, GVC’s industry-leading technology, and the many league, team and platform partners, BetMGM is uniquely positioned in the market and I am excited to help drive future growth.”
BetMGM’s app is currently live in six states with the “goal of rapid expansion as state legalization allows.”