iSpot hires Disney, ESPN alum David Coletti to lead sports insights unit

iSpot has called a new leader up to bat, tapping David Coletti to lead the measurement vendor’s sports insights unit in a newly created role.

Coletti is a veteran in sports measurement and insights, most recently at Disney and during his more than two decades at ESPN. As VP of Sports Research and Insights for iSpot, Coletti is tasked with helping networks, brands and sports franchises utilize audience and TV ad measurement of live sporting events across linear, streaming and out-of-home environments. iSpot in 2022 acquired Tunity, which brought OOH measurement into the vendor’s cross-platform offering.

According to iSpot, Coletti will offer guidance on sports programming, advertising and sponsorship strategies, as well as lead special projects meant to help the broader ecosystem “unlock greater value from TV’s most important advertising genere.

David Coletti iSpot
David Coletti (iSpot)

“Dave has incredible knowledge about the dynamic intersection of TV and sports and the respect of so many in the industry,” said Sean Muller, CEO and founder of iSpot, in a statement. “He will be an invaluable resource for helping brands, networks and franchises understand the audience viewership across various platforms and demonstrate the brand and business impact of sports advertising investments.”

Before joining iSpot, Coletti was VP of Research & Insights at Disney, where he launched the media company’s Media Distribution Insights group, supporting distribution functions across TV networks, streaming apps, films, music and TV and film licensing. In his role overseeing the group, iSpot said Coletti and his team at Disney were a key driver of content, channel and service monetization, including support for multibillion distribution deals with MVPDs, such as Comcast, YouTube TV and DirecTV, app distribution like Disney+ and Roku, and content-licensing deals, such as film rights sold to Max and Fox’s Tubi.

Coletti also comes with significant sports measurement experience, having spent over 22 years at ESPN, including as VP of Media & Digital Insights. At the sports network he led the team tasked with delivering strategic insights regarding ESPN’s TV and digital performance across platform, spanning network ratings, streaming viewership and web ad app usage. With iSpot focused on serving as an alternate currency, Coletti also brings experience from spearheading ESPN’s inclusion of streaming audiences into its TV currency. The media veteran also built ESPN+’s consumer research function.

“Understanding sports viewing behavior comprehensively — and being able to capitalize on that highly sought-after audience — is crucial for marketers looking to not only meet these consumers where they are, but also to drive optimal business outcomes,” said Coletti in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to be at iSpot, which is at the forefront of media measurement and is revolutionizing an entire industry.”

Coletti is the latest research hire for iSpot. In June iSpot hired Leslie Wood, who previously served as chief data officer for NCSolutions (formerly Nielsen Catalinea), as its chief research officer. Wood is charged with leading new currency initiatives across linear and streaming as well as oversight of the data research department.

On the measurement front iSpot has seen forward momentum this year. In September it secured conditional certification under the U.S. Joint Industry Committee program to serve as a cross-platform currency for TV ad buying and selling. It also achieved accreditation from the Media Rating Council for verification of national TV ad airings, marking its first from the MRC and one iSpot said sets the foundation for cross-platform ad-based measurement. Earlier that month iSpot expanded market share and capabilities with its acquisition of TV analytics firm 605.  

And it marked success in October, when Paramount Global announced a deal to use iSpot’s currency metrics to measure and transact on national TV ad campaigns across the company’s media and streaming platforms in the U.S. Earlier this year sports-centric virtual MVPD Fubo picked iSpot to measure connected TV ads and quantify incremental reach for advertisers. In 2023 the vendor also wrapped up a key integration with Google’s YouTube and YouTube TV to help measure the platforms’ reach against the broader TV landscape.