Sportz Interactive (SI), a sports-focused content and technology company, has announced Siddharth Raman as its new Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) while Sanket Sawkar will lead the development team as Group Chief Technology Officer. Sawkar, who will also continue in his role as Chief Operations Officer, has been with Sportz Interactive since its inception in 2002 while Raman joined the company in 2017 as Chief Business Officer.
The two will continue to lead Sportz Interactive’s charge to revolutionize the sports fan experience as enshrined in the company’s vision statement. Sawkar began his career at Sportz Interactive as a fledgling developer and, in a short span of time, grew to helm all development efforts at the company. He has led cross-functional teams over the years to build a solid foundation for all things tech that are critical to client success. Some of the notable projects he has spearheaded include the Cricket Simulator and Automated Match Highlights along with building Yahoo Cricket and Hotstar Play-Along.
Raman, on the other hand, worked at DDB Mudra Group prior to joining SI where he worked on sports brands such as PUMA, Premier Futsal, FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 and Bengal Warriors. His sports marketing career kicked off first at UB Group with the Sahara Force India Formula One team and Royal Challengers Bangalore. At SI, he led the Content Management vertical, which includes digital marketing strategy, content solutions, social media marketing and even driving new business initiatives.
Commenting on his new designation and his journey with SI so far, Sawkar said: “The new role brings more focus on technology vision, growth and strategy. This also reaffirms my belief that we are poised for a big leap in our journey. I have thoroughly enjoyed being in this space where fans, sport and technology intersect. The continuous learning has been critical in shaping my personal and professional life.”
Both Sawkar and Raman were instrumental in not only steadying SI’s business during the COVID-19 pandemic but also in breaking new ground in operational effectiveness and roping in new business.
“The resilience we displayed as an organization during the pandemic had a key role to play in the subsequent bounce back. I’m immensely proud of each and every SI player for smoothly transitioning to a work-from-home and then hybrid environment while continuing to deliver best-in-class fan engagement solutions for our clients. I’m excited about the elevation and, at the same time, grateful to Arvind Iyengar and the Board for putting their faith in me,” said Raman.
The Deputy CEO also added: “With the role that digital plays in the business of sport, the pandemic has accelerated this process; and we are in the unique position of not only helping organizations connect with fans but also have a direct, tangible impact on their revenues.”
With sights firmly set on an exciting future, Sawkar believes, “Technological innovations around Blockchain, Metaverse and Machine Learning will disrupt traditional models and enrich the entire sports ecosystem from athletes to fans; and SI needs to be directly involved in making that difference.”
Speaking on the appointments, Arvind Iyengar, CEO – Sportz Interactive International said, “Siddharth and Sanket have done a tremendous job leading SI’s growth over the past few years – driving the Company to a position of market leadership in India while also scaling international operations. I cannot think of better people who will help us take things to the next level as we continue to evolve our portfolio of fan engagement solutions and drive success for our partners across sports teams, leagues, brands, broadcasters, publishers and technology companies.”