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Executives    Board of Directors


President/CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment

Leonard Asper

  • 30 years media industry experience

    • Founder/CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment 2011-

    • CEO Canwest Global Communications Corp., 2000-2010 - multinational media company  $3b revenue, $2b market cap, TSE listed) with holdings in Canada, U.S., Australia, New Zealand, U.K., Ireland, Europe and parts of Asia

    • COO 1997-1999

    • VP Corporate Development/M&A 1993-1997

    • Associate General Counsel 1991-1993

  • Chairman Rumble Gaming

  • Chairman Asper Foundation

  • Graduate of University of Toronto Law School, Member of Ontario Bar


Chief Corporate Officer, Anthem Sports & Entertainment

Ed Nordholm

  • Oversees the corporate activities of acquisitions, merger opportunities, partnerships, and investors. He plays a key role in the supporting the operational leaders on achieving their strategic plans.

  • President of IMPACT Wrestling since Anthem acquisition in 2017

  • Board member, general counsel and executive of Anthem since 2010

  • Member of original financing to launch Fight Network and served as President of Fight Network from 2008 to 2010

  • Former Co-lead of Tricap Restructuring Fund, Brookfield Asset Management’s first special situations fund and former Partner of Torys LLP


Chief Financial Officer

Niral V. Merchant

  • 18 years experience as CFO to companies in media, technology, investment and industrial sectors

  • Formerly with KPMG; Former director of TSX listed entity

  • Expertise with numerous corporate finance, cross-border and M&A transactions

  • MBA from INSEAD in France/Singapore, CFA charter holder, CPA(CA) from Ontario, Canada and B.Com from University of Toronto


HR Advisor

Michelle Hall

  • As an independent advisor, Ms. Hall provides advice to Anthem on human resources policies, programs, and operational matters

  • Spent 8 years as a senior executive and ultimately Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer with Postmedia Network Inc, a publicly listed Canadian news media company representing more than 125 brands across multiple print, online, and mobile platforms

  • Worked 6 years CanWest Global Communications Corporation, a diversified international publicly listed media organization within the  broadcast,  print and online sectors, with the final role of policies, Senior Vice President People

  • Performed various additional human resources roles in the financial, manufacturing and recruitment sectors


President, Entertainment

Anthony Cicione

  • More than 30 years of broadcast and digital media experience​

  • Oversees all operations and financial performance of the Entertainment Group, which includes AXS TV, HDNET MOVIES, Game TV, Game+, Fight Network and Anthem Media Services, he is also responsible for broadcast and IT support for all Anthem operations

  • 10 years as VP of Programming & Production at The Score Television Network

  • 10 years as sports producer at Global Television Network

  • Various roles within Olympic Broadcast Services since 2010

  • Instructor and Advisory Board Member at College of Sports Media


President, Anthem Sports Group

Richard Schaefer

  • Founded Golden Boy Promotions with Oscar De La Hoya built the company into the largest boxing promotion business in the world

  • Developed, negotiated, and executed major network distribution deals with HBO, HBO Latino, SHOWTIME, FOX, UNIVISION, CANAL + (France), DAVE (UK), BT Sport (UK)

  • Built the careers of boxing’s highest grossing fighters, such as, Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez, and Deontay Wilder, breaking any and all PPV records

  • Negotiated and executed the purchase of the MLS soccer franchise Houston Dynamo from AEG together with the Brener Group

  •  Left Golden Boy in 2014 together with AEG and Brener Group and formed a new boxing promotion business PBC (Premier Boxing Champions)

  • Merged Ringstar with Probellum and built one of the strongest stables of fighers (currently 73) including several Olympians and World Champions


President, Impact Wrestling

Scott D’Amore

  • 25+ years in business and the professional wrestling industry producing TV/PPV broadcast events in the U.S.

  • Oversees operations, production, talent relations and live events for IMPACT

  • Creative Director TNA Wrestling (now IMPACT) in addition to other production and management roles during TNA program run on Spike and Fox Sportsnet:

    • Oversaw launch of TNA on Spike

    • Created all female, “Knockouts Division”

    • Produced episodic and commercial content for Spike/MTV

  • In 1993, co-founded Border City Wrestling and Can-Am Wrestling School, which has launched or helped further the careers of many top national, international and local professional wrestlers


Chief Financial Officer, Gravitas Ventures

Brian Kenyon

  • Joined Gravitas Ventures in August 2020

  • He is a finance and operations executive with more than thirty years of experience transforming and leading growing organizations in diverse industries

  • Spent 18 years with The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where he served as its Executive Vice President and CFO and served as the Chief Financial and Operating Officer at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History 

  • Started his career in public accounting with Coopers & Lybrand and gained experience with publicly traded companies in the manufacturing, retail, coal mining, and staffing industries. His experience includes financial strategy, operational and administrative management, strategic planning, licensing and merchandising, and risk management

  • He is a CPA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from The University of Akron


Vice President, Sales

Anthony Burroughs

  • More than a dozen years of media sales experience

  • Oversees all Canadian ad sales

  • Nearly a decade selling for Canada’s leading sports networks -- Rogers Sportsnet and Bell Media - TSN

  • Helped launch TVA Sports for Quebecor Media

  • Managed sales for sporting events including NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, MLB World Series, NBA Finals, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, World Jr. Hockey Championships, UEFA Euro Soccer, FIFA World Cup Soccer, and the CFL Grey Cup.


President, Invicta Fighting Championships

Shannon Knapp

  • Oversees operations, production, talent relations and live events for Invicta FC

  • Founded Invicta Fighting Championships in 2012

  • 20+ years MMA industry experience with leading MMA organizations including the UFC, Strikeforce, Affliction, IFL, King of the Cage, WFA and SportFight


Senior Vice President of Operations, Anthem Sports & Entertainment

Carol McDaniel

  • Joined AXS in 2006, currently oversees Information Technology, Engineering, Post Production, Programming Operations, Traffic Operations and Master Control for AXS TV and HDNet Movies

  • Has over 25 years experience in media operations, production and promotion

  • Leads hardware and software integrations across departments and business units


Vice President Content, Anthem Sports & Entertainment

Chad Midgley

  • More than 22 years of media programming experience​

  • 15 years as VP Programming & Content at Fight Network

  • 7 years in programming at The Score Television Network

  • Conceptualized, launched Fantasy Sports Network (now Game+) and Fight Network

  • Key roles on events involving, among others NBA, MLB, NHL, CFL, PGA Tour, UFC and multiple combat sports promotions


Vice President Business Development

Ariel Shnerer

  • Leading media rights distribution and coordinating across content and sales to develop growth strategies that maximize revenue and reach across the Anthem portfolio

  • Former roles with Anthem include General Manager Fight Network, Senior Director of Programming, Global Distribution & Communications for Anthem, overseeing growth initiatives and content strategy for assets across the Anthem portfolio, including execution of licensing agreements with major studios, distributors and content producers, as well as international launches across North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East

  • Former head of distribution for IMPACT Wrestling, spearheading the launch of the IMPACT Plus digital subscription platform, digital expansion with Pluto TV and Twitch, as well as international broadcast partnerships

  • Former combat sports analyst for FOX Sports and The National Post

  • More than 15 years of broadcast and media experience, covering programming, production, digital, technical infrastructure, marketing and communications

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