Overtime scores first comms head

Ben Sosenko joins the online sports network, where 88% of the audience is under age 35.

BROOKLYN, NY: Digital sports network Overtime has recruited Ben Sosenko as its first head of communications and public affairs. 

He is reporting to CEO Dan Porter. Based in Brooklyn, Sosenko is building an in-house team of four, located in New York and Atlanta. They will be responsible for global communications for the business, which he described as “the defining sports brand for Gen Z consumers.” He said he intends to use social platforms and communications technology tools like Muck Rack for media outreach.

Prior to his arrival at the digital sports network, senior public relations manager Kayla Kaplan, supported by the agency Tripleshot Communications, handled communications.

Sosenko’s first hire will be an Atlanta-based PR director, who will work to elevate Overtime Elite, the company’s emerging pro basketball league, which is vying for other elite young basketball talent alongside other leagues that are an alternative to the traditional college basketball system. One of Sosenko’s immediate priorities will focus on launching Overtime Elite, which he promoted as offering “the world’s most talented young basketball players a better pathway to becoming professional athletes.” 

Overtime Elite is competing directly with the N.C.A.A. for top high-school athletes and competing high-school basketball players, starting at the age of 16, with minimum $100,000 annual salary, benefits, bonuses and shares in the business, according to The New York Times. Players would not be eligible to participate in high-school or college basketball.

Prior to joining Overtime, Sosenko served as a media consultant for private investment platform Patricof Co. and led communications and public affairs for almost three years for Relevent Sports. He also worked at LaLiga North America, focusing on the growth of international soccer in the U.S., and was a VP at Hiltzik Strategies.

His experience also includes working as press secretary for former Sacramento, California, Mayor Kevin Johnson, a one-time NBA player and as a media adviser to Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green in his support for the Fair Pay to Play Act. Early in his career, Sosenko was a TV news and sports reporter.

Founded in 2016, Overtime has grown to more than 120 employees. In April, it raised $80 million in a Series C funding round, with investors including Jeff Bezos, Drake and more than 25 NBA players. The company receives 1.5 billion views per month and has more than 50 million followers across seven social media channels, according to its website.

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