American Gaming Association Vice President of Public Affairs Sara Slane will be no longer be the face of the sports betting industry. The organization announced Friday that Slane, 39, is moving on to start her own strategic advisory firm with a focus on advising sports and media companies about gaming.
“It’s just time, I’ve been here for 5 1/2 years, and we’ve built an amazing organization, but this is just a great opportunity that has presented itself,” Slane told Sports Handle. “I have FOMO, I feel like I should be a part of this, I want to do something new and different.”
The new company, Slane Advisory, will work with professional sports teams, media organizations, and technology companies. Slane said she already has some clients, but declined to reveal who they are. The company will be a one-man shop, as it were, based in Washington, D.C.
Innovation is where it’s at
“Any team that is exploring gaming, I can explain to them how to leverage that in a way that draws consumers in,” Slane explained of her business plan. “What I think is fascinating, and super fun is the amount of innovation in the industry. It’s really neat to see, it’s bringing a fresh perspective into an industry. That’s a whole other piece of it.”
It should come as little surprise that Slane would strike out on her own. Being a vocal industry advocate, and considered by many to be a key influencer, she was included on the Sports Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list earlier this year. “I love a good challenge. I like being the underdog,” she told the publication. “I’ve definitely always been very headstrong, so I like people underestimating my ability.”
— European Gaming Media (@EU_Gaming_Media) February 12, 2019
Since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018, Slane has been the public face of stakeholders across the country, advocating for “open and competitive” sports betting marketplaces across the country. In her role at AGA, Slane spoke to media, testified at hearings, and advocated for the industry on policy issues.
AGA general counsel also leaving; 3 promoted
In a press release, the AGA announced several other moves Friday morning. Dan Bretl has been promoted to senior vice president, strategy and operations; Casey Clark to senior vice president, strategic communications; and Chris Cylke to senior vice president, government relations. In addition, General Counsel Stacy Papadopoulos will move to a similar position at the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
“The AGA accomplished a great deal during Sara and Stacy’s tenure, and much of our organizational success is to their credit,” AGA CEO and President Bill Miller said in a press release. “Their contributions helped reshape and advance the organization and enable some of the most significant policy victories in our organization’s history. Our team, our members and the entire gaming industry benefited greatly from their many contributions.”
Slane previously worked for MGM and has been in the gaming business for 12 years, after stints with trade associations. She also oversaw the Maryland gaming expansion ballot initiative that resulted in the building of the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor property. She earned a degree in political science from Ohio University.