The Drone Racing League (DRL) has announced the hire of Rachel Jacobson as president, one of the only women presidents at a professional sports league.
The former NBA SVP of Global Partnerships joins DRL as the high-speed sport is beginning to experience skyrocketing fan engagement and soaring viewership.
From hosting live competitions and global esports tournaments to broadcasting and streaming thrilling races on premier international networks like NBC, Twitter and Weibo, DRL has seen an uptake of nearly 200% average viewership, 90% increased virtual drone racing participation, and 60% fanbase growth across social media over the past year.
Jacobson has been brought in to help continue to scale DRL and develop landmark opportunities to engage league partners with more than 250 million global fans.
The leagues founder and CEO, Nicholas Horbaczewski, said: “Leaders across the sports and tech industries love and respect Rachel — she’s tenacious, strategic and laser focused on delivering ROI for partners, and we’re excited for her to join the league.”
In her new role, Jacobson will spearhead global partnerships and media rights deals, and lead the marketing and business development teams, bringing to DRL her legacy of creating transformative partnerships with leading sports and technology brands. Jacobson spent 21 years at the NBA, where she closed nearly $1bn in partnership sales and earned numerous accolades including Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award.
Most recently, Jacobson was the chief business development officer at Landit, the market leader in personalized career pathing technology to increase the success and engagement of women and diverse groups in the workplace.
Commenting on her new role, Jacobson said: “I am incredibly excited to join the Drone Racing League as President, and look forward to integrating new global partners into the thrilling sport of professional drone racing.
“Blending the digital with the real, DRL is known as a real-life video game and takes everything I love about traditional sports and intersects it with cutting edge technology, innovative storytelling, and esports competition to engage the next generation of fans.”