Casey Wasserman Joins Vox Media Board of Directors (Exclusive)
The online publisher recently raised $46.5 million in funding
Vox Media has named sports management and marketing executive Casey Wasserman to its board of directors.
His appointment comes a little more than a week after Vox announced that it had raised nearly $47 million in funding from General Atlantic. While Wasserman will be an independent board member, CEO Jim Bankoff says it was the right time to bring on the chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group given Vox's focus on fueling its next stage of growth.
"Casey and I have known each other for a good 10 years now, and I've really grown to respect and admire him," Bankoff tells The Hollywood Reporter. "He's someone who built a business that revolves around talent and also working with marketers to find solutions. We're a talent and technology driven organization, so those are two things we're very focused on."
Wasserman founded his sports marketing and talent management group in 2002, building it into one of the largest sports agencies in the world. He also serves as president of the Wasserman Foundation, a private family foundation started by his grandparents, talent agent and studio executive Lew Wasserman and Edie Wasserman.
Wasserman says Vox, which operates a portfolio of seven media brands including The Verge and SB Nation, is a talent-driven organization in which he sees potential. "I think Jim has done a great job of positioning the company," he adds. "His focus on building a distribution infrastructure is second to none. Combined with the culture he's building, he's going to continue to attract the best talent in the world."
As the company grows, Bankoff says the company could use the business experience of someone like Wasserman, who is known for growing his company through high-profile acquisitions.
"Casey is someone I've turned to for guidance and advice on an informal basis over the years," adds Bankoff. "We've always talked about the right time to get him more involved, and we're entering a scale where we can benefit more from his guidance."
Wasserman's entertainment connections could also be key for Vox. The company has been building out Vox Creative, the unit that works with brands around content marketing, and has significantly grown its video efforts across its sites. Vox has also been in talks with cable networks and production companies about developing its IP into television programming, according to sources close to the company.
Vox, which started with sports-focused SB Nation, has grown considerably in the last year, launching news site Vox.com and acquiring the Curbed network, which includes food website Eater and fashion-focused Racked. The latter recently promoted founding editor Leslie Price to editor-in-chief and Izzy Grinspan to executive editor.