Underdog Sports Inc., a fantasy sports gaming startup that’s accelerating with the current football season, has hired Nicholas Green as its first in-house attorney.
Green since January was a public policy manager at Skillz Inc., the mobile esports and gaming platform. He is also a former partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Underdog is a “perfect fit” and was “a quick and transparent decision to join,” Green said in an email. “Given my background in fantasy sports and sports gaming at Orrick, I had a lot of common knowledge” with the management team, he said.
Underdog, which does business as Underdog Fantasy, develops sports games for an app that allows users to draft football lineups. The company, which started in 2020 and acquired sports betting platform Goat Gaming last year, plans to launch licensed sports betting next year in Colorado and Ohio.
Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and Thirty Five Ventures, the venture capital firm of NBA star Kevin Durant, participated in a $10 million fundraising round by Underdog the year last. The round also included fellow professional athletes and rappers Nas, Future and Gunna, according to Underdog.
Green, who will oversee all legal operations at Underdog, is the first attorney hired by the Brooklyn, NY-based firm for a purely legal role.
During his decade-long career at Big Law, he was part of a public policy team at Orrick that successfully established sports betting markets in several US states. He was previously an attorney with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Underdog has a roster of outside attorneys, including Duane Morris, who handles regulatory matters for the company, Green said. Public records show Washington-based Sughrue Mion handled branding work for Underdog.
Goodwin Procter advised Underdog on its $35 million Series B funding round led by asset management giant BlackRock Inc. and venture capital firm Acies Investments. The company would have been valued at $485 million this summer after the round.
Duane Morris and Goodwin Procter “will continue to play critical roles” as Underdog grows, Green said. He plans to work with a “number of additional law firms” in his new role as chief legal officer as “specific needs arise” within the company, he said.
Underdog in May hired Stacie Stern, a former director of government affairs at FanDuel Inc., to be its vice president of government affairs and partnerships.
Aviv Lazar, a former partner at White & Case, is chief of staff to the firm’s founder, president and president, Jeremy Levine.