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Facebook appoints NBA D-League chief to head sports operation

Social networking website Facebook has appointed Dan Reed, president of the National Basketball Association’s Development League, as its head of global sports partnerships.

Reed, who began his NBA tenure as senior manager of team marketing and business operations in 2004, was elevated to his current post in 2007. His last day as head of the D-League, the NBA’s minor league operation, will be July 31.

The NBA D-League has achieved significant business growth under Reed’s leadership, setting record attendance marks and revenues from ticket sales and marketing partnerships, broadening media distribution via new broadcast and digital outlets, reducing key operational costs, and increasing franchise values 12-fold. Reed has overseen league expansion to an all-time-high 18 teams.

At Facebook, Reed will head up global sports strategy and partnerships with leagues, teams and athletes, reporting to Nick Grudin, the company’s director of partnerships. “Facebook is a powerful platform for connecting people with the sports, athletes and events they care about,” Grudin said. “Dan is a welcome addition to the team building more meaningful connections, conversations and experiences in this area.”

Facebook last week claimed a user landmark from the 2014 Fifa World Cup. Facebook said the football showpiece was the biggest social media event on record involving 350 million users worldwide generating a record ‘conversation’ with three billion posts, comments and likes.

Facebook has been steadily increasing its presence in the sports market and in December acquired SportStream, a start-up company that specialises in analysing social media mentions of sport. The acquisition of the 18-month-old San Francisco-based company is expected to make it easier for Facebook's media partners to find posts about sport and use them in their content.