SBC Leaders Podcast

The SBC Leaders podcast is a show designed to get under the hood with the most influential and interesting CEOs and leaders in the sports betting, casino, iGaming and crypto worlds. 

Hosted by Kelly Kehn, SBC’s Global Relationships Director and co-founder of the All-In Diversity Project, the SBC Leaders podcast aims to challenge perceptions, and reveal the human side to some of the industries leading figures. 

Unlike a lot of CEO podcasts, Kelly steers clear of the played out business chat, and really finds out what makes them tick, their leadership styles, leadership skills, and what leadership means to them. 

Episode 7

Episode 7 of the SBC Leaders podcast features Paris Smith, CEO of Pinnacle, the iconic sports betting operator, a position she’s been in since 2006! 

Paris and Kelly get into Paris’ early career, how she got into sports betting and whether she always had ambitions to become a CEO (Spoiler – always wanted to be in charge!). Paris gives her thoughts on company culture, building a team of hard-workers that want to produce rather than just show up, and tells Kelly all about what they call the ‘Pinnacle Passion’.

Paris speaks about the importance of caring about people, knowing your team and being able to take a step back and let the experts do what they know needs to be done, and learning that you don’t always need to make the final decision! Paris also gives some sage advice to anyone with aspirations of achieving a senior leadership role within the industry.

Kelly also picks Paris’ brains on Pinnacle’s innovative e-sports offering, what it was like being in the e-sports betting game in its burgeoning days, and why the two worlds haven’t necessarily totally meshed together yet. 

Diversity is also a topic of discussion, with Paris being one of a few female CEOs in gaming, and one of the most long-standing, as well as assembling a gender-balanced and ethnicity-balanced senior leadership team. Kelly asks Paris to outline some of the benefits of having such diversity at the table, and the insight it allows Pinnacle to tap into. 

Finally, Kelly asks Paris about her daughter who recently graduated, whether she’d like to see her join Pinnacle, and what Paris hopes she’s imparted onto her daughter in terms of leadership. 

Episode 6

Episode 6 of the SBC Leaders podcast sees Kelly Kehn sit down for a fascinating conversation with Lenin Castillo, Chief Operating Officer of Logrand Entertainment Group, one of the oldest and most established casino and betting brands in Mexico. 

With a portfolio of land-based and online casinos, as well as their recent venture into sports betting with Strendus (considered one of the most disruptive sports betting brands in Latin America), Lenin gives us an interesting look under the hood of one of the biggest players in the Mexican market. 

Lenin also gets into his history, the lessons he’s learned and the tricks he’s brought with him from the other industries he’s worked in, and describes the challenges he’s encountered operating in the industry, and launching a new revenue stream.

Kelly also gets Lenin’s thoughts on the impact of the pandemic on the industry, how Logrand pivoted towards other verticals, and gets his thoughts on innovation and company culture. 

Episode 5

Our latest episode sees Kelly sit down in conversation with John Levy, CEO of theScore, one of the most consistently disruptive and fast-growing companies in both sports media and sports betting. John talks about innovating in mobile tech, theScore’s first apps on Motorola RAZR and Blackberry, his family (including 3 sons that work with him at theScore), the leadership skills he hopes to impart on them, the moments that defined his career, and where he sees the industry going.

Episode 4

Episode 4 of SBC Leaders features Coingaming CEO Maarja Pärt chat with Kelly Kehn, and gives her thoughts on growing with and beyond cryptocurrencies, creating and maintaining company culture, and what she’s learned since becoming one of the industry’s only female CEOs. Maarja has some really interesting leadership quotes, including on accepting responsibility, cultivating a culture of innovation, and bouncing back from difficult situations. 

Episode 3

Episode 3 of SBC Leaders sees Kelly chat to Rory Anderson, Consultant and former CEO of 12Bet in the Isle of Man. Rory shares some of his more memorable experiences in sports sponsorship from his time at both 12Bet and 888.

During the chat, Anderson touches on the challenges of building up a company culture remotely, successful partnerships with Matchroom Sports, Arsenal and Crystal Palace, and what can be done to combat concern over gambling sponsorship without taking the nuclear option of a blanket ban.

Episode 2

Episode 2 of the SBC Leaders podcast featured Betsson CEO Jesper Svensson in conversation with Kelly.

Jesper tells Kelly about the company’s expansion into Latin America and how that’s impacted the company, gives his thoughts on leadership, and walks Kelly through his first week as CEO.

Episode 1

Episode 1 of the SBC Leaders podcast, and Kelly’s debut guest is Matt King! The now outgoing CEO of FanDuel.

Matt gives Kelly his thoughts on Leadership and the role of a CEO, before going in-depth about some of the challenges he’s faced in innovating, and trying to position FanDuel to stand out in two radically different worlds – sports betting and sports broadcasting.

Visit our YouTube channel to see more SBC Leaders Podcasts, as well as our other great shows such as Martin Lycka’s Safebet Show, Slotbeats’ Beyond The Reels, and the Double Espresso Podcast. Hit subscribe to ensure you never miss a moment from SBC.

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