In this episode my good friend Ryan Spoon makes his first appearance. We’ve known each other forever on the internet and met in person seven years ago when Greg Bettinelli introduced us at the Upfront conference. Ryan is a great connector – a super connector. Ryan is an operator extraordinaire. He was a senior vice president of digital and social at ESPN for eight years. He’s seen growth, he knows sports, he knows mobile, he knows entertainment. And now he’s the COO of Sorare – the intersection of fantasy sports, blockchain, and community. You’ve heard me say it often: the world needs operators. Everybody can start a company, everybody has an idea, and until a few months ago, everybody could raise money; building companies beyond the 0 to 1 is incredibly hard and people like Ryan are the ones that make it happen.
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I hope you enjoy this episode. More details on the podcast are below…
What’s Ryan Panicked About?: Howard being let back into the country.
- Introduction and a guest appearance by former President Donald Trump (00:40)
- Welcome Ryan Spoon to Panic with Friends (06:16)
- Ryan explains what it means to be a great “operator” (07:01)
- Why Ryan was attracted to Sorare – the NFT based fantasy sports gaming company (08:42)
- How Ryan met the Sorare founders through Benchmark (12:03)
- What Ryan has had to learn about crypto and why there’s still much to learn (14:11)
- The role of NFTs within fantasy sports (15:44)
- How to get started and the onboarding experience (18:11)
- Leveraging soccers global reach (19:41)
- Why adding baseball is a no-brainer (25:14)
- How professional athletes increase fandom and engagement (28:55)
- Teaching your kids about investing (32:17)
- Gambling – everything is regulated but kids can YOLO their last $200 of food money over the weekend (34:26)
- What worries Ryan in 2022 coming out of COVID (38:03)
- What is it about the holy grail of data that keeps Ryan excited (40:48)
- Why Ryan is bonkers over Sleep 8 and getting a good night’s sleep (42:13)
- How Benchmark and Sorare found each other (47:00)
- Wrapping up and closing thoughts (47:57)
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