Apr 29, 2020 - Sports

Drone Racing League taps former top NBA executive as president

Kendall Baker, author of Sports

Courtesy: Drone Racing League

Rachel Jacobson, former NBA senior VP of global partnerships, has been named the Drone Racing League's new president — a statement hire for a league with visions of a more mainstream future.

How it works: DRL is like a video game brought to life. Pilots move quickly through elaborate courses inside stadiums or at outdoor locations, zooming through LED hoops and hurdles.

  • The backdrop: CEO and founder Nicholas Horbaczewski started DRL in 2015 after serving as the chief revenue officer at Tough Mudder.

🎙 I spoke with Rachel about her new role...

Kendall Baker: With most sports shut down, DRL is moving ahead with plans for the 2020 season. Anything you can share on that front?

Rachel Jacobson: The government has talked about one of the first things that will come back is playing in empty stadiums. We're already having discussions with arenas who are salivating over the opportunity to host a drone race — right now — even without fans.

KB: What's at the top of your to-do list right now?

RJ: Sports and entertainment does such an amazing job of banding together for the greater good of society, so getting involved in philanthropic programs like the ALL IN Challenge is a priority for us. We're also supporting children at home with STEM programs.

KB: On a personal note, what has the experience been like coming onboard as DRL president amid a global pandemic?

RJ: Now more than ever I'm leaning into getting to know our team personally, and focusing on the human side — health, wellbeing, family. That has made me feel connected to the team very quickly, as has the need to over-communicate and just the camaraderie of everyone wanting to help out.

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