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Nicklas Zajdel Joins Sport Buff as Partner and Investor

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Sport Buff has secured Nicklas Zajdel, the highly-experienced leader in gaming and online-betting, as both Partner and Investor.

The significant appointment for the award-winning gamification and on-screen engagement business, follows Buff’s successful delivery with global broadcasters at Qatar 2022 and announcement of $2.5million of seed funding in August 2022.

Nicklas Zajdel has over 15 years of experience in online betting and gaming, with extensive leadership experience across a wide range of territories including roles as Group Chief Operating Officer for Fortuna Entertainment Group, Managing Director (Digital) at Ladbrokes, Group Omni-Channel Director for Ladbrokes Coral group and VP Business Operations at Playtech Turnkey Services.

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Nicklas Zajdel said: “I’m thrilled to join Sport Buff as a partner and an investor. I share their vision of being the global leaders in engagement and activation, for digital broadcast and live streaming – and that belief is backed with my own investment.

“Buff has an innovative product, inspiring founders, a skilled and passionate team and exceptional potential whilst the benefits to broadcasters, sports and viewers are proven. Their real-time fan engagement experience is genuinely innovative, hugely enhancing engagement and monetisation opportunities for content partners.

“Starting straight away, I look forward to working closely with founders Benn and Jonty, the Board of Buff and the whole team, adding my experience from the betting and gaming sector and contributing to product evolution, revenue generation and operational excellence.”

Jonty Whitehead, Founder and President of Sport Buff, said: “We’ve known Nick for a number of years and it’s exciting that we’ll now be working with him inside Buff, as a Partner in our leadership team and as an investor, helping to drive the next stage of our growth.

“He’s taken a keen, long-term interest in the development of our products, followed our journey and clearly likes what he’s seen. We also love what he can bring to this rapidly growing business.

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“Buff’s expertise across broadcast and digital engagement is well-known and Nick will add further to our commercial and operational capabilities through his extensive experience in building partnerships, understanding of data, ability to create valuable transactions and knowledge of fuelling both B2B and B2C relationships.”

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DAZN Appoints Brice Daumin as CEO of French and Swiss Operations

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DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports streaming service, announced the appointment of Brice Daumin as CEO of its French and Swiss operations. Daumin will oversee DAZN’s growth strategy in France, using his experience and knowledge of the French market garnered over 25 plus years in the French media and telecoms industries.

The move further underlines DAZN’s commitment to France after its launch in August 2023. DAZN brings its French subscribers the best of combat sports including a weekly schedule of top-quality boxing, MMA with the Professional Fighters League and PFL Europe featuring world-class fighters such as Francis Ngannou and Cédric Doumbé, huge PPV boxing line-ups featuring Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, such as “Day of Reckoning”. DAZN also brings its customers top-tier football including Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

DAZN has also delivered a distribution strategy, striking deals with prominent telco and cable operators, to ensure as many French sports fans can access DAZN’s compelling catalogue of premium live sports content, magazine programming, archive and other sports entertainment products. Daumin will report directly to Alice Mascia, whose group responsibilities include her roles as Group Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of DACH.

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Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, said: “DAZN’s global sports offering expanded into France last year and we’re excited to announce that Brice Daumin is joining our team to help us grow in this evolving market. With his extensive in-market experience across our strategic imperatives – customer focus, commercial development, and distribution – Brice will play a key role in our long-term development in France. This is a clear statement of DAZN’s commitment to France and our ambition to continue growing in this exciting sports entertainment market.”

Brice Daumin, CEO of DAZN France, said: “This was an easy decision for me to make. DAZN has already demonstrated its offer right across Europe, with its operations in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Working with the biggest rights holder, in local markets and on a global level, DAZN delivers a fantastic service in a way that works for fans and rights holders. The opportunities for further growth in France are clear, especially when you look at the expanding range of sports entertainment products DAZN is creating – e-commerce, ticketing, social experiences and gaming. The French sports fan is ready for a new experience, one that DAZN will deliver.”

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Alex Pratt

Clarion Gaming Digital Expands North American Reach with Global Gaming Business Acquisition

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iGaming Business (iGB) parent company Clarion Gaming Digital has acquired Global Gaming Business (GGB) as it accelerates its growth strategy across North America.

The purchase includes GGB magazine’s annual publications Casino Style, Tribal Government Gaming and Progressive Products Preview (P3) as well as its online assets including GGB News.

It will extend the digital publishing business’ global reach as the North American market enters a crucial phase, providing clients with access to a significantly bigger audience through its range of marketing services products.

Founded in 2002, GGB is trusted title with a reach beyond sports betting and iGaming into commercial and tribal gaming. It bolsters Clarion Gaming Digital’s ability to provide a comprehensive range of news, analysis and data to every sector of the industry.

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The acquisition is a cornerstone of a wider multimillion pound investment to enhance Clarion Gaming Digital’s data and audience development.

“This is a major milestone for our digital business as we unlock the benefits of our investment,” the Managing Director for Clarion Gaming, Alex Pratt, said. “We are acquiring a business with deep industry heritage and with it the opportunity to build on its solid foundations in the United States.”

The B2B Global Content Director for Clarion Gaming Digital, Robin Harrison, said the acquisition came amid changes to state regulations as well as new land-based and online developments across the United States and Canada.

“We are delighted to seal this deal, which brings in new industry expertise to the team, expands our reach and consolidates our presence in a crucial region,” Harrison said. “We will build an offering that acts as the final word on key industry developments and GGB’s authority and relationships takes us a step closer to that goal.”

“We have had lengthy discussions with Clarion Gaming Digital in recent years and believe it shares our passion and vision for serving our readership in a way that will maintain the quality of the publications for decades to come,” the publisher and Chief Executive Officer for Casino Connection International LLC, the parent of GGB, Roger Gros, said. “As the gaming industry continues to grow in many different ways, our relationship with Clarion will make certain that our pivotal role in the industry remains unchanged and we can continue our important work going forward.”

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Clarion Gaming Digital plans to further accelerate its North American expansion by leveraging unique partnerships on offer through the wider Clarion Events portfolio such as the DigitalPlay Summit at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention over April 10 to 11.

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Aristocrat Leisure Limited

Aristocrat Invests in Kinectify, Appoints Jason Walbridge as Board Member

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Kinectify, a pioneering technology firm spearheading risk management innovation in gaming, has announced an incremental investment by Aristocrat Leisure Limited (Aristocrat).

Aristocrat’s investment in Kinectify is joined by current investors contributing additional capital underscoring confidence in Kinectify. Contributing investors include Acies Investments, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, and the former CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Mark Frissora. Concurrently, gaming executive Jason Walbridge has joined the Kinectify board of directors as Aristocrat’s representative to enhance strategic benefits between Aristocrat and Kinectify.

Walbridge brings extensive global operational experience in both land-based and online gaming markets. For over two decades, he has been a leader in the gaming industry. In 2022, Walbridge commenced an advisory role with Aristocrat, focused particularly on the development of their online real money gaming business, Anaxi.

Prior to his current association with Aristocrat, Walbridge held key executive positions in other established gaming entities. He served as the Chief Operating Officer of NYX Gaming and became Chief Operating Officer of SG Digital following NYX Gaming’s acquisition by Scientific Games (now Light & Wonder). Preceding these two roles, Walbridge spent 18 years with Aristocrat, holding various executive positions across global markets. His deep understanding of industry dynamics, coupled with a proven track record of driving growth and innovation, makes him an invaluable addition to Kinectify’s board.

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Walbridge said: “I am thrilled to work with Kinectify to pioneer innovation in risk management across the gaming ecosystem. I’ve been impressed by Kinectify’s track record so far with its AML and responsible gaming technology, and I’m excited to facilitate deeper collaboration between our companies.”

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