Sportico Transactions: Moves and Mergers Roundup for May 3

Welcome to Sportico’s transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and products across the sports business industry.


Sportradar Names Former Google Executive to Key Role

More from

Sportradar has named Behshad Behzadi as its new chief technology officer and chief artificial intelligence offer, the latter being a newly created role. Behzadi joins Sportradar from Google, where he spent two decades. There, he played a key role in Google’s AI-first strategy as a co-founder of products including Google Assistant, Google Lens, Google Smart Display and the Next Gen Assistant. Behzadi will drive Sportradar’s own usage of AI and other advanced technologies to enhance its product offerings and provide greater storytelling for sports fans across odds making, trading and marketing services. Sportradar offers coverage of sports data, fan insights and betting liquidity.

Genifer Gray Named COO of Diamond Baseball Holdings

Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH), an organization that owns and operates select Minor League clubs affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB), has appointed Genifer Gray as chief operating officer to oversee team operations and fan experience at all clubs in the company’s roster. Gray has more than 25 years’ experience implementing strategies on behalf of companies such as Topgolf, where she most recently served as global chief operating and people officer. Her responsibilities at DBH include oversight of all DBH venues, focusing on operational optimization that will ensure the best possible fan and player experiences.

The Athletic Announces Two Moves

Laura Williamson has been named the new editor-in-chief for U.K. and Europe. In this role, Williamson will oversee The Athletic coverage of the Premier League, La Liga, MLS, NWSL and global soccer. With this move, she will become the first woman editor-in-chief of a daily sports publication in the U.K. Additionally, David Jordan takes on a new role as head of global soccer, charged with leading coverage and setting strategy for the outlet’s soccer ambitions. He will work closely with Williamson on league coverage, as well as the Euros and Copa America, with an eye toward the 2026 Men’s World Cup.

World Cup 2026 Miami Host Committee Reveals Leadership Roster

The FIFA World Cup 2026 Miami Host Committee has named key members of its leadership team. Global business executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo will serve as CEO & president, becoming one of the first former CEOs from outside the sports world to lead a FIFA World Cup 2026 Host Committee. Lutoff-Perlo and her team will drive collaboration between South Florida’s public and private sector leaders in preparation of welcoming up to 600,000 fans to the region in summer 2026. Helping rally support of businesses, fans, and civic organizations, Lutoff-Perlo’s leadership team will include Janelle Prieto as chief marketing and community officer and Ray Martinez as chief operating officer.


Utah, JMI Sports Agree to Decade-Long Multimedia Rights Deal

University of Utah Athletics and JMI Sports, a media rights and development company, have agreed to a 10-year multimedia rights partnership set to begin July 1. The partnership will leverage JMI Sports’ experience in building corporate collaborations, with a special focus on celebrating the traditions and future of Utah and its athletics program. JMI Sports plans to implement premium programming, special events and activations that reach fans and stakeholders. Additionally, JMI Sports will be focused on celebrating Utah’s launch into the Big 12 Conference. Utah joins a JMI Sports portfolio that includes the University of Kentucky, Notre Dame, University of Pittsburgh, University of Georgia and San Diego State University.

Burnley FC Teams Up With Fan-Backed Scouting Platform Nordensa

Burnley FC has reached a deal to use Nordensa, a fan-powered platform for football talent, which allows fans to discover and financially support trials of young players via the app. The Clarets are the first Premier League club to employ Nordensa as an Official Scouting Partner. Nordensa combines technology and data analysis to spot and enlist young football talent that has already been vetted by the platform’s team of Premier League and Bundesliga scouts. Nordensa is a Romanian startup, with operations across Europe and partnerships with clubs including Standard de Liege, Real Zaragoza, Kawasaki Frontale, Flyeralarm Admire, Dinamo Bucyresti, FK Metta and HKN Sibenik, as well as a number of football academies.

U.S. SailGP Team Selects Sportfive as Global Sponsorship Partner Agency

The United States SailGP Team has engaged the global sports marketing agency Sportfive to lead its global partnerships relationship development. Sportfive will provide the U.S. SailGP Team with comprehensive sales and marketing services to help grow its roster of corporate and brand partners and secure new revenue opportunities for the American entry of the five-year-old global racing league. SailGP was launched in 2019 by Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts, and over four seasons the league has grown from six teams and five events to 2023-2024’s Season 4 with 10 teams and 13 events around the world.


NBCUniversal, Roku Debut New Destination for NBCU Coverage of 2024 Olympics

NBCUniversal and Roku revealed the upcoming launch of the NBC Olympic Zone on Roku, a new destination on the Roku Home Screen Menu to help users easily access and explore Peacock’s coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 this summer. As a result of this strategic partnership, fans using Roku can quickly get to Olympics events on Peacock with subscription and watch more than 5,000 hours of live events and all NBC programming, browse through curated content rows of live and upcoming programming, discover events by sport type, and click through event recaps. The NBC Olympic Zone on Roku will also feature a dedicated replay row, clips and highlight reels that will take users directly to Peacock’s viewing experience.

Best of