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Sportradar Snags Fiserv’s Top Lawyer Ahead of Potential IPO

June 17, 2021, 11:04 PM

Sportradar AG, a fast-growing company in the sports betting space, announced Thursday its hire of Lynn McCreary to be chief legal officer.

McCreary joins Sportradar after more than a decade in-house at Fiserv, a financial services and technology company based in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield, Wis.

McCreary “will be globally responsible for the legal affairs of the company,” Sandra Lee, a Sportradar spokeswoman, told Bloomberg Law. All legal department associates will report to McCreary, who will remain based in the U.S., Lee said.

McCreary joins only a few weeks after Sportradar ended deal discussions with special purpose acquisition company Horizon Acquisition Corp. II on a merger that would’ve taken it public at a $10 billion valuation. Bloomberg News, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that Sportradar would instead pursue a more traditional initial public offering.

Horizon’s chairman and CEO is Todd Boehly, a co-owner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers and a controlling member of Greenwich, Conn.-based holding company Eldridge Industries LLC.

Boehly is behind another SPAC that in April agreed to acquire Vivid Seats LLC, a digital ticket marketplace looking to go public and benefit from a return of live performances halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re delighted to welcome Lynn to the Sportradar team,” said a statement from Sportradar’s global CEO Carsten Koerl. “Her legal, business, and leadership acumen will prove invaluable to us as Sportradar enters its next phase of exciting growth.”

McCreary didn’t respond to a request for comment about Sportradar’s own potential going-public plans or her new role at the St. Gallen, Switzerland-based company, which in January added longtime former Fiserv chairman and CEO Jeffery Yabuki to serve as chairman of its board.

“I’m thrilled to join Sportradar, which sits at the exciting intersection of sports entertainment and technology,” McCreary said in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with Carsten and the team as we further accelerate Sportradar’s growth in this dynamic industry.”

McCreary marks the latest prominent in-house lawyer to make a move into the gaming sector, where various companies, from startups to more established enterprises, have been busy recruiting legal talent to help them capitalize on changing U.S. laws governing sports betting.

Sportradar, which earlier this year parted ways with vice president of legal and regulatory affairs Jake Williams, has also been hiring other lawyers. The company, whose current head of U.S. legal is Nicole Metzgar-Schall, recently added U.S. digital sport counsel Amir Khan in Las Vegas and U.S. betting and gaming counsel Nicholas Crudele in New York, according to LinkedIn profiles and state bar registries.

The privately held Sportradar, which has partnerships with professional sports leagues and companies, counts the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, venture capital firm Revolution LLC, and entrepreneur Mark Cuban—owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks—among its backers.

McCreary joins Sportradar after more than a decade in-house at Fiserv, a financial services and technology company based in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield, Wis.

Fiserv, which sponsors the home arena of the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks, hired McCreary as a deputy general counsel in 2010. McCreary, a former managing partner of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s San Francisco office, was personally recruited to Fiserv by Yabuki, the company’s former top executive.

Fiserv promoted McCreary to its top in-house role in 2013. Within the past two years, McCreary has been busy leading teams of in-house and outside lawyers advising Fiserv as it sought regulatory approval for its $22 billion acquisition of payments processor First Data Corp. The deal was completed and First Data’s CEO, Frank Bisignano, took control of Fiserv from Yabuki last year.

McCreary owns more than $7 million in stock, according to Bloomberg data. Fiserv’s most recent annual proxy statement doesn’t identify McCreary as one of its top six highest-paid executives in 2020.

The executive leadership page on Fiserv’s website shows that associate general counsel Jennifer Manchester and Eric Nelson are now serving as interim co-heads of legal for the company. Neither responded to requests for comment about McCreary’s departure, nor did a Fiserv spokeswoman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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