Former USA TODAY Sports Media Group GM to Lead Sports Illustrated Media Group

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Arena Group (NYSE American: AREN) (the “Company” or “The Arena Group”) announced today the appointment of Chris Pirrone as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sports. Pirrone brings over two decades of digital media experience to the newly-created role at the Company.

As General Manager of Sports, Pirrone will oversee the growth of The Arena Group’s portfolio of sports sites, known as Sports Illustrated Media Group, anchored by Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated Media Group has become the fifth-largest sports media property per April 2022 Comscore rankings, with traffic more than doubling over the prior year. The Arena Group sports vertical, spanning sports brands including FanNation, Morning Read, and Athlon Sports, delivered 253% more page views and 265% more social page views in Q1 2022 vs. 2021, according to Google Analytics.

At USA TODAY Sports Media Group, Pirrone launched over 75 sports vertical sites and led a significant expansion of the publisher’s digital advertising business across digital, social and mobile as General Manager. He also grew audiences from 10M to 60M monthly Comscore unique viewers and increased revenue to over $100M annually.

“Chris Pirrone is a welcome addition with a phenomenal track record at USA Today Sports Media including sixfold audience growth, constant revenue innovations, and the growth of dozens of successful sports properties such as For The Win and Golfweek,” said Rob Barrett, President of Media for The Arena Group. “We are thrilled to have Chris lead the next wave of innovation at Sports Illustrated and The Arena Group’s sports vertical.”

Pirrone will start in June and report to Barrett. He previously held positions as General Manager of ad network Traffic Marketplace and General Counsel at Traffic Marketplace and ValueClick Inc. Pirrone has a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Lawrence University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Akron School of Law.

About The Arena Group

The Arena Group creates robust digital destinations that delight consumers with powerful journalism and news about the things they love – their favorite sports teams, advice on investing, the inside scoop on personal finance, and the latest on lifestyle essentials. With powerful technology, editorial expertise, data management, and marketing savvy, the transformative company enables brands like Sports Illustrated, TheStreet and Parade to deliver highly relevant content and experiences that consumers love. To learn more, visit


Rachael Fink

Manager, Public Relations

The Arena Group

Andrew Rhodes