- Streaming network DAZN has hired Ian Turnbull for the newly created position of executive vice president for betting and gaming.
- Turnbull previously worked at Entain and Microgaming before making the move to DAZN.
- DAZN rival fuboTV is planning to launch their own sports betting platform before the end of 2021.
When sports focused streaming company fuboTV announced plans to launch their own betting platform it was inevitable that primary rival DAZN would do something in response. The only surprise is that it took them so long to make their first move. fuboTV announced plans for Fubo Sportsbook (how about making the capitalization of your brand names uniform, guys) in January 2021. Nearly ten months later, DAZN has made what is their first measurable response in the sports betting space.
DAZN has created a new role with the title ‘executive vice president for betting and gaming’, charged with formulation and execution of the company’s strategy in these segments. They’ve also announced the hire of Ian Turnbull, who has previously worked with a couple of gaming tech companies in Entain and Microgaming. It’s not really clear if DAZN has any longterm plans for sports betting and/or gaming and, if so, what they are. Then again, given the seismic changes in the sports world over the past few years it would be silly for them to not have *some* plans and it appears that Turnbull is being tasked with figuring that out.
Turnbull has held some impressive jobs in the gaming technology realm. He was previously the Services Director at casino gaming software pioneer Microgaming and held the role of Head of B2B at GVC Holdings, which later rebranded to Entain. While there, he was heavily involved in the collaboration with MGM Resorts to create the US focused BetMGM sports betting brand. In January, Entain’s then-CEO Shay Segev left the company to take over as Entain’s ‘joint-chief executive’. Turnbull’s most recent position was with Amazon Web Services as a gaming focused ‘go-to-market specialist’.
In announcing his hire, DAZN was pretty vague in detailing the scope of his responsibilities and their ambitions in the sports betting and gaming space:
“[Turnbull’s] expertise will help DAZN amplify our offerings around the world, giving sports fans the best end-to-end experience on one platform,”
Depending on how you read that statement (and there’s several different ways to do so) it sounds like DAZN might be considering their own sports betting platform. The business media has parsed it several different ways with the general consensus being that Turnbull’s immediate focus will be on ‘developing DAZN’s strategy for betting and gaming and creating partnerships in the space’. No matter the specifics, what is obvious is that DAZN realizes the potential of sports betting and/or gaming and wants to get more deeply involved.
Meanwhile, DAZN’s corporate website has posted a job opening for a ‘VP of Product–Betting & Gaming’ to be based in London:
DAZN has been changing how the world consumes sports for the past 5 years and we are now embarking on an exciting new stage of our journey. As our VP of Product, you’ll head up our new global Betting & Gaming function. Together with the recently hired EVP of Betting Revenue & Gaming and a team of strategists and developers, you’ll have the opportunity to deliver a fantastic product experience. Your goal will be to capitalise on the unique opportunity that DAZN has right now: to establish a truly world class betting proposition alongside premier sports rights in some of the most exciting markets in the world. You will own the product road map for all features relating to betting including direct and indirect channels (sign up, sign in), account management, conversion, and presentation.
DAZN originally built its brand on boxing but has started to expand their offerings with a focus on soccer and other European focused events including snooker and darts.