At Rival, we provide your organization the ability to build its own gaming community with a custom-branded platform that drives consumer loyalty and creates new revenue streams.
Matt Virtue joined Rival in March 2020, overseeing Rival’s business strategy and was named CEO in early 2021, expanding his role to cover all aspects of the business and operations. Virtue started his career with the English Premier League’s Liverpool Football Club, and has held various leadership roles on the brand and agency side since then. Most notably, Virtue was the VP of Global Business Development for BE.AT-TV, the world’s leading live video streaming platform, leading all revenue-generating initiatives, including landing partnerships with major entertainment properties AEG and Live Nation, among others. Virtue also has a depth of experience in media and experiential and spent time at Horizon Media’s Scout Sports & Entertainment, with a focus on property consulting and analytics, customized event creation, digital and social amplification. Virtue received a master’s in sports business and management from Columbia University and a bachelor’s from Middlebury College.
Dustin Embrey is Rival’s Executive Vice President, Special Projects & Investments and brings a depth of experience in school athletics administration and partnerships within the Meritas and Nord Anglia educational systems. Embrey started his career at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in sports events and sports operations. He served a three-year board member position for the Positive Coaching Alliances and is recognized as a Certified Athletic Administrator through the National Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association (NIAA). Embrey has a master’s in sports administration from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s from Radford University.
O’Malley joined Rival as Vice President of Global Partnerships in August 2020. He oversees account services, tournament administration and aligns closely with Rival’s Development and Product teams. Prior to Rival, O’Malley worked at StubHub for 15 years and held roles in Customer Support, Business Operations, Partnerships and Business Development. O’Malley received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Masters degree in Sport Management from Columbia University in New York City.
Joining Rival as Vice President of Product in May 2023, Raul Salcedo brings over 15 years of gaming industry expertise. His extensive experience includes managing product teams and collaborating with international development teams at Gameloft, further refining his proficiency in gamification and AAA gaming. His innovative product and operations management at The Fluent Company and Vesey Studios drove his cutting-edge monetization platforms, demonstrates his forward-thinking capabilities. With his experience at HEED, where he transformed sports events into immersive digital experiences, and his multi-sector leadership at The Topps Company, Raul’s insights on brands, sports, gaming and skill set make him a valuable asset to Rival. Raul possesses a Bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University and holds numerous certifications in the fields of product and operations management.
Murnan co-founded Rival and launched the business in 2019. Murnan is a serial entrepreneur who has founded, operated, and successfully exited multiple wireless telecommunication, technology, and software companies over the past 28 years. He is an active investor evaluating opportunities primarily within the enterprise platform services space through his Family Office and as a principal in the private equity firm TBD Capital. Murnan’s ventures have developed and brought to market many SaaS and PaaS platforms for multiple Fortune 500 companies.
Launched in 2016 by Daie, FEVO enables social buying. Its partnership roster includes more than 600 clients across major and minor leagues, NCAA organizations and the world’s largest music festivals. Prior to FEVO, Daie co-founded LiveAnalytics at Live Nation Entertainment and led strategic partnerships for Ticketmaster’s music and arts division. A serial tech entrepreneur, Daie also worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Daie attended Harvard University and graduated from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.
For more than 13 years, Davis has been a leader at New Balance, overseeing brand management, global business unit management, sports marketing, global brand marketing and global product merchandising. With an entrepreneurial mindset, Davis is a progressive and creative leader, pioneering New Balance’s entry into basketball, baseball, global football and skateboarding. In his career, Davis has worked with properties and athletes including the NBA, the Boston Celtics, Liverpool Football Club, AS Roma, plus the Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, Liverpool’s Sadio Mané and tennis player Coco Gauff, among several others. Davis is a graduate of Middlebury College.
With more than 20 years of experience in media, sponsorship marketing and sales management, Lester joined Outsider as Chief Executive Officer in 2022. Prior to that, as CRO at Barstool Sports, Lester led the company’s strategy to scale revenue through its advertising, partnerships and licensing and in her tenure, expanded the operation from New York to Chicago and Los Angeles. Lester has also held executive roles at Whistle Sports, Major League Baseball and Yahoo! Sports. Lester is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
As CEO of OMD USA, Osborn is a recognized media executive, leading the company since 2017. With his leadership, OMD has reignited its growth with new business accounts including The Home Depot, Georgia Pacific, CANVA and the NFL, among others. Prior to OMD, Osborn was President & CEO of BBDO New York for 13 years. Osborn is active outside of the office, serving as Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross for Greater New York and Vice Chairman of Global Dignity. He also serves on the AAF and Ad Council Boards. Osborn received his bachelor’s from Dartmouth College and is an active member of its alumni community.
Sarafa is Chief Strategy Officer at leading engagement and loyalty platform Augeo, overseeing the company’s mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships and business development. Prior to Augeo, Sarafa spent five years with Bruin Sports Capital. While at the firm, Bruin Sports Capital raised nearly $1 billion of capital and acquired a total of 14 companies. Prior to Bruin Capital, Sarafa spent four years in Deloitte’s Investment Banking division. Sarafa holds a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and a master’s in accounting from Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Sarafa was a three-time varsity letterman in baseball, and a member of Michigan’s 2008 Big Ten Championship team.
As an entrepreneur, global business leader and strategic advisor, Hays has more than 20 years of experience across esports, gaming, advertising and media and entertainment. She has successfully launched and developed business models for companies including Vivoom, Inc., GenArts, Inc. and in-game advertising company Massive, Inc. Hays started her career as one of the initial team members leading and building Goldman Sachs’ global digital media practice across New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. As a strategic advisor, mentor, guest speaker and author of several technical patents, Hays is regularly recognized as one of the most influential women and visionary leaders in digital media and technology. Most recently, Hays was named a Mobile Marketer Woman to Watch in 2017. Hays received her bachelor’s from Princeton University and MBA from The Harvard Business School and is a member of the Alumni Advisory Board for the Princeton University Entrepreneurship Council.
John Buchanan is a consumer and business technology, sports, and entertainment executive who has grown and transformed some of the most recognizable consumer brands, including Electronic Arts, Adobe, NFL and LegalZoom. He is an experienced full-suite CMO with depth across revenue generation, profitability, and brand-and- marketing-focused creativity. John is known for his mission-driven leadership – believing that companies do well by doing good, he’s fueled authentic corporate citizenship, impacting the communities and enterprises he has served. In his spare time, he coaches youth sports and works with non-profit organizations to support youth education and sports and military veterans. John is married to Samantha, has two boys, Braden and Tate, a golden doodle named Daisy, and lives in Manhattan Beach, CA.
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