Rebel Ventures announced the hiring of Julian Mellini, the recent Real Madrid C.F. Head of Insights & Analytics, to be their VP of Strategy, Insights and Growth. The sports and entertainment activation agency has tripled revenue and staff over the past 8 months as a global sport strategy company led by a team of digital pioneers. The New York based company focuses on assisting athletes, sports organizations and brands with pivoting towards maximizing the industry’s latest digital media strategies. They added Mellini’s expertise for expanding business performance as the pandemic continues to change everyone’s best intended corporate plans for both the present and future. The Sports Techie community blog sees the need for strong leadership on a daily basis during my sports technology curation rounds on Twitter and LinkedIn. Each new or existing brand requires various levels of help navigating the shifting digital landscape of sports tech and media. So to do clients of Rebel Ventures as they put their good faith this past year in strategic ROI delivered to a wide variety of world renowned sporting organizations the likes of Serie A powerhouse club AS Roma, the 2021 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks, and on the rise New York Knicks, as well as the defending NFL AFC Champions, Kansas City Chiefs, plus the Pac-12, as they look to possibly expand. Mellini leaves his sought-after role as Real Madrid’s head of strategy and insights after working more than five years in a similar position at NFL Europe in London.
Budding Metrics Superstar
Mellini comes across the pound to the Big Apple with a resume full of past successes. At Real Madrid Football Club, he founded the Strategic Insights and Analytics department helping to develop audience-empowered strategic initiatives to lead the all-important digital transformation for the La Liga stalwart.
“We’re in a transformational moment in the evolution of the relationship between fans and the athletes, teams and sports organizations they love,” said Mellini. “Rebel is a catalyst for this evolution and I can’t wait to help accelerate the impact of that work through effectively marrying insight-led strategy and best in class activation.”
Previous to this job, Julian led the international NFL team as they revamped brand and expansion strategies across all business verticals, resulting in record Euro fan growth and fan engagement globally. The planning and execution also resulted in increased revenues in key international markets.
Julian was not always employed in the sports space, previously he was an investment banker in International M&A and Fixed Income Capital Markets advising on $1 billion and larger deals.
“Adding an accomplished strategist with deep global sports expertise like Julian expands our ability to deliver industry leading work,” stated Rebel Ventures CEO & Founder Craig Howe, “We’re thrilled to bring such an amazing resource to our clients, and an amazing person into the Rebel family.”
Rebel Ventures SportsBiz
Activation campaigns is the name of the game for this progressive agency as they seek out additional like-minded, culture-driven sport, gaming and entertainment brand platforms like existing clients, Netflix, Rocket League and Fortnite, in addition to the LA Lakers, FC Barcelona and Wimbledon, and more. Rebel has proven to accelerate activations to the marketplace for the likes of Pelé, Neymar, Rafa Nadal, Harry Kane, Marcelo, Paulo Dybala, Kanoa Igarashi, and dozens of other high profile global athletes.
Mellini’s new role will see him as the point man for the fast-growing agency’s Strategy & Insights group with responsibilities to inform all areas of the business concentrating on consulting, creative strategy, content development, and distribution optimization.
The agency plans to support Julian as he establishes a solution aimed to supplement his group’s goals as well as the core objectives the company is focused on.
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Sports Techie, look at the hiring of Mellini as a first round draft pick for Rebel Ventures. Is he a lottery type pick? That is yet to be determined but on paper he is a wonderful addition to the team.
I imagine they will look to the NHL as they transition to ESPN and Turner, as a potential new client. The MLS and eSports also seem like a good fit domestically. The Drone Racing League seems like another good fit, as do EA Sports and the booming sports betting industry.
I’ll leave that up to Julian, Rebel, and their business development activities.
Seems like a no-brainer to check them out as a minimum for brands wanting to step forward with a deep dive into analytics, activations and resulting growth.
Congrats on the new job!
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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