Working with NFL's "conservative" nature a big part of Highhill's mission

Anderson said she landed on hiring from within when she considered what the league's priorities are likely to be in the coming years, now that deals and business plans are in place. The next five years will be less about striking deals than managing them, which could become tricky as operators and networks push the league to do more.

“He knows that we’re very conservative,” Anderson said of Highhill. “The internal sell is harder than the external sell. And so he’s going to have to really work to help influence and help us evolve on some maybe conservative policies that we have if we want to continue to evolve as the marketplace grows. That’s exciting and probably a little bit scary at the same time.”

Highhill’s early priorities are a reminder of the breadth of a still evolving sector. “Sports betting is really complicated,” he said. “So understanding what our clubs are thinking about and what our partners are thinking about. Understanding the challenges that operators are facing. The regulatory environment. Our integrity team. I think you need to approach the job with a firm understanding that you have to rely on partners across the sports ecosystem to be able to do it well.”

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