Sportradar and Smarkets secure executive hires for North American market

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Sports data provider Sportradar and sportsbook operator Smarkets have both strengthened their US-facing senior management teams.

Nasdaq-listed Sportradar has recruited Eric Conrad as its new MD of strategic partnerships and content for North America.

In this newly created role, Conrad will build upon the foundation established by Sportradar’s US Sports Content and Partnerships (SCP) team, which will now report to him.

Over the last few years, the SCP team has secured partnerships with the NHL, NBA and MLB.

Conrad will work closely with Sportradar’s media and betting partners to maximise commercial returns and pursue new, long-term partnerships. He will report into CCO Eduard Blonk.

Conrad arrives at Sportradar from Univision Communications, where he spent more than a decade in various New York-based exec roles, culminating in the position of EVP of sports programming and acquisitions.

Prior to that, he worked for organisations including ESPN, MLB and the NBA.

Meanwhile, London-based exchange specialist Smarkets has raided Nike for a new US general manager in Sheldon Hanai.

Smarkets CEO Jason Trost: “We have looked far and wide for the right candidate for what is an absolutely crucial role as we expand our footprint in the States. Sheldon was the outstanding choice.”

Hanai – who has served as an investor and adviser to Smarkets since 2009 – spent nearly six years with Nike, rising to senior director level as head of global innovation finance.

He started his career with the US defence department, before working at Google and BP, and then making the switch to the American sportswear giant.

Smarkets currently operates its SBK sportsbook app in Colorado, with launches in Indiana and Iowa scheduled for later this year.

Hanai said: “I’m delighted to be joining Smarkets, a company that I have followed since the very beginning of its journey and seen blossom into one of the world’s leading sports betting companies.

“I can’t wait to get stuck into realising SBK’s potential in the US, where our industry-leading odds can make a huge impact,” he added.

Hanai will become the first Smarkets employee to work from a new East Coast office location, which is still to be revealed.

He will start work on 13 June, reporting directly into Smarkets CEO Jason Trost, who last week became the new host of the Business of Betting podcast.

Trost said: “I’m super excited about Sheldon joining us to head up our push into the US. We have looked far and wide for the right candidate for what is an absolutely crucial role as we expand our footprint in the States.

“Sheldon was the outstanding choice and I couldn’t be more pleased that he’s joining us,” he added.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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