Advance Announces Formation of Leaders Group, a Global B2B Sports, Esports and Gaming Intelligence Platform and Appoints Warren S. Thune as CEO

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Advance and its subsidiary, American City Business Journals, today announce the formation of Leaders Group, a new operating company which will bring Advance’s B2B sports, esports and gaming businesses under one umbrella, and the appointment of Warren S. Thune as Leaders Group CEO.

Leaders Group will build on the strong foundation that Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily have built over the last 20+ years as the authoritative voice in the business of sports. The group will also include Leaders, The Esports Observer and Newzoo. These trusted brands will continue to be led by their talented management teams, but will now work collaboratively to enhance and accelerate product development, provide superior access to their collective global data assets, and build and capitalize on an increasingly connected global professional network to better serve professionals in the sports and entertainment industries.

Mr. Thune joins from Gartner and CEB where he spent fourteen years in a series of executive roles culminating in serving as Group President, SaaS and Technology Enabled Services. Prior to Gartner, he was a Senior Partner at Oliver Wyman. Mr. Thune holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

The addition of Mr. Thune and his business building experience will elevate the value proposition offered to Leaders Group’s customers through the enhancement of the group’s product and service offering, which includes:

  • Market Intelligence and Analytics – Critical and timely global data and intelligence needed to support daily business decisions.
  • Networks – Access and connectivity to globally relevant networks, such as league operators, team owners, facility operators, vendors, brands and merchants to facilitate knowledge sharing, best practices, commerce and opportunities across the global sports, technology, media and entertainment ecosystem.
  • Events – High value events with local to global perspectives through data-driven content and access to relevant industry thought leaders, practitioners and investors.
  • Media – Delivery of real-time news, insights and analysis from industry and functional experts.        

Whitney Shaw, CEO of American City Business Journals and Co-Founder of Sports Business Journal, will become Chairman of the newly established Leaders Group board of directors to which Mr. Thune will report.  Mr. Shaw said: “Warren is a talented executive with a strong track record of building high performing teams and businesses. The business models Warren has executed throughout his impressive career, his ability to manage a global organization and his experience implementing acquisition strategies make him the ideal individual for the role. By combining our media, events and analytics holdings under a single corporate entity, we will be able to more effectively serve a customer base that is increasingly trying to understand how to best operate in a more technologically connected sports and entertainment ecosystem.”

Janine Shelffo, Chief Strategy and Development Officer at Advance, stated, “The business of sports, esports and gaming is a multi-billion-dollar global business with significant unmet demand for more timely data and information and better intelligence to help participants optimize their businesses. We are enthusiastic about working with Warren and the Leaders Group team to seek additional investment and acquisition opportunities to create the most compelling and highest quality insights for clients in the industry.”

Warren S. Thune commented: “I am thrilled to be joining Leaders Group. This is an exciting opportunity to further enhance these industry leading companies and elevate our platform into the premier intelligence provider for global sports, esports and gaming professionals. I look forward to working with each of the Leaders Group businesses and their leadership teams to execute this vision.”




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