Longtime Sports Exec Geoff Reiss Set To Become AOL GM Of Sports
Veteran sports exec GEOFF REISS has joined Verizon’s AOL unit as GM of Sports. Reiss helped start Starwave in the early '90s, which led to the creation and launch of ESPN.com. Those roots led to his latest gig -- AOL Chair & CEO TIM ARMSTRONG, who recruited Reiss, was a Starwave co-founder. The new job comes at an intriguing time, since AOL parent Verizon is hoping to close its $4.5B acquisition of Yahoo in Q2. "The capabilities that Verizon, AOL and Yahoo can bring to the table upon completion of this deal means we’ll have some heft," said Reiss. “Being able to optimize digital sports experiences across platforms for millennials, who have dramatically different ways of taking in and participating in sports is the key to the opportunity here. ... This is about identifying underserved elements in the market and bringing new approaches to serving them.’’ Reiss, who will be based in N.Y., takes over a new position and will report to Armstrong, at least on an interim basis, pending the integration of AOL and Yahoo. Among Verizon's sports assets is its deal with the NFL to stream every regular-season and playoff game to mobile phones. Verizon also will soon have Yahoo Sports' digital assets, which include its fantasy sports games. Reiss headed Twitter's sports efforts from '13-14. Before that, he was CEO of the PBA.