FanDuel CEO Amy Howe stands out from the crowd despite her small stature.
In a room full of executives from the sports or gambling industry, she is often one of very few women.
But Howe has the spotlight and a megaphone as CEO of the nation’s sports betting leader. FanDuel announced this week that it increased its market share to 50% of legal sports betting in the US in the fourth quarter
Howe joined Caesars CEO Tom Reeg and Jonathan Kraft, President of the New England Patriots, discussed the deepening of the relationship between the betting and sports industries, the need for better customer acquisition and retention technologies, and the competitive landscape at this week’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference.
Howe’s gender was never discussed.
But in many conversations – offstage and behind the scenes – it’s clear Howe serves as a role model for other women in sports and gambling. And here she keeps good company.
Renie Anderson is executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the National Football League, which has worked for years to get more women football fans. Anderson said having women in leadership positions has made a difference.
“We’re really working to make sure we have the best people in the best places — whether it’s on the field, in the locker room, in the boardroom — and running those positions,” Anderson told CNBC at the MIT Sloan conference. “We’re working to make sure we’re not just hiring [women], but we find them, we train them, we offer opportunities for women. We can’t be satisfied.”
Jessica Gelman, co-founder of the MIT Sloan Conference, is CEO of Kraft Analytics Group, a company that provides sports analytics for teams like the New England Patriots. She has made it her mission to get more women on stage.
“Thirty-eight percent of our speakers this year are women, and I think that’s because analytics gives them different insights and a different voice when they’re in the boardroom,” she said. The result, she said, is a more diverse audience and a better pipeline of talent.
Gelman, Anderson and Howe are among dozens of senior women in sports and gaming who value networking but also mentor and mentor younger professionals.
Sport is a microcosm of the world at large, Gelman said: “I hope that more women, and especially women in leadership positions, will use their positions for power.”