Angela Ruggiero, a sports-business entrepreneur and a four-time Olympic ice-hockey player, will join the board of directors of TheScore, the mobile-focused sports-media company that has placed emphasis on both sports content and sports betting.
Ruggiero is CEO and co-founder of Sports Innovation Lab, a market-research firm and a medal winner in four successive Winter Olympics as a member of theUnited States Women’s National Ice Hockey Team. In 2015 she became only the second American woman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and from 2010 to 2018 served as a member of the International Olympic Committee. Her Sports Innovation Lab identifies trends and evaluating technology products.
As more states in the U.S. move to legalize sports betting, TheScore sees “a huge opportunity,” says John Levy, the company’s chairman and CEO, in an interview – “but not the same way others are getting involved. We decided we are going to be the betting operator,” as opposed to having to secure a link to a separate company to help fans engage in betting. TheScore’s sports app generates between 4 million and 5 million monthly active users in North America, according to the company, and operates a YouTube channel that has more than 1.4 million subscribers.
Betting represents “a new revenue stream, a new opportunity for the industry,” says Ruggiero. “But how do you do it in such a way that makes it easy, frictionless, for the fan?”
Many big media outlets have struck alliances with companies that help facilitate wagering. CBS Sports has a partnership with William Hill, for example. But Levy says TheScore wants to supply both sports information and betting opportunities on its own. In September, the company expanded its mobile sportsbook, to both Colorado and Indiana. TheScore Bet also accepts wagers in New Jersey, and offers pre-game and in-play betting across all major sports leagues and events.