If you need to hire sports broadcasters and on-air talent, Josh Santry is a pretty good guy to know. Santry worked his way up at IF Management before heading to Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 2017, all the while compiling a roster of clients who worked for ESPN, Fox Sports, NBCSN, and other top sports media outlets. Now Santry is on reportedly on the move once more albeit into a new role where he might be the one doing the hiring.
According to Ryan Glasspiegel at The Big Lead, Santry is leaving CAA to become the VP of Talent at DAZN (“Da-zone”), the streaming service headed up by former ESPN boss John Skipper and owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik.
At CAA, Santry represented sports media talents such as Jessica Mendoza, Clay Travis, Ryan Ruocco, Joe Davis, Nick Wright, Kayce Smith, Rob Perez, and Dan Orlovsky. Glasspiegel reports that all are expected to remain with CAA, though part of the appeal in hiring Santry is that he might be able to make inroads with these and other on-air talents willing to take a chance on the new sports streaming player in town.
So far, DAZN’s U.S. efforts have focused on the world of fighting. Their fight sports package is comprised of Matchroom boxing and Bellator MMA and they were able to get some pretty solid announcing talent as well, bringing in MLB Network’s Brian Kenny for play-by-play and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard.
DAZN will get its first big sports league showcase to premiere that new ad model when they start streaming Major League Baseball content as part of a new three-year deal. The deal, which has apparently helped along by a consulting Jamie Horowitz, doesn’t include live games but will include live cut-ins coinciding with a studio show. That could be where Santry has his first chance to make a hiring impact.
DAZN also picked up NFL Sunday Ticket rights and UEFA Champions League rights in Canada two years ago and snagged the Canadian rights to English Premier League a few weeks back. Slowly but surely, they seem to be carving out some space for themselves in the competitive sports streaming world.
Ultimately, DAZN isn’t looking to compete with CBS, Fox, or ESPN. Rather, they seem themselves more akin to Facebook or Google, who have streamed events and attempted to focus advertising towards specific viewers based on their habits. How that will translate to the kind of talent they’re able to wrap up on an exclusive basis remains to be seen. But that’s apparently why you bring in someone like Santry, who has the connections to potentially make something big happen.