Go-To-Market Executive Leaders Team Announcement

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Today, Arena welcomes three executive leaders who will drive our Go To Market strategy forward. I’m pleased to welcome: Wes Matsumoto (VP of Operations), Bradon Rice (VP of Sales), and Erik “Archer” Smith (VP of Marketing). 

400% Growth Sets The Stage For Expansion

Arena has experienced 400% growth in its accounts since 2021. With over 20,000 accounts today, it’s time to shift focus. When we started the company, we focused on building a great product and finding product-market fit, and we found widespread adoption with our product-led growth motion. With our Go To Market team in place, it is time to build on this foundation and move full steam ahead to start scaling Arena.

Bradon, Wes, and Archer have excellent experience driving both sales-led and product-led growth motions, and all have backgrounds related to first-party data and navigating the cookieless world. They make a perfect team to help global companies that need support to grow engagement and build direct relationships with their customers and audience. Arena offers an unrivaled combination of engagement and rich customer data.

I’d like to share a few accomplishments and personal insights about the new leaders joining the Arena executive team. Over the next few quarters, we’ll share further updates as our teams continue to grow. 

Introducing Bradon Rice, VP of Sales

Bradon Rice, VP of Sales

Bradon’s history of wins in technology sales makes him a fantastic candidate to grow sales at Arena.

Before joining Arena, Bradon achieved impressive success in his sales career. He has led sales organizations at Quantcast and Pendo.io. His experience working with publishers, agencies, and brands is exciting.

While at Quantcast, Bradon played a central role in driving the business to unicorn status. Also, Bradon’s success includes collaboration with peers in the services area. He was one of the first salespeople at NextRoll (formerly known as AdRoll), an AdTech startup that reached unicorn status. Bradon knows the engagement and data analytics space well. With that expertise, we’ll be positioned to serve larger companies hungry to improve engagement.

Helping brands grow in an online world dominated by a handful of social media organizations excites Bradon. As we got to know each other during the hiring process, it became clear that Bradon shares my view that Arena will help brands and media properties grow their audience in an online world dominated by walled gardens. 

With Arena on their side, content creators and publishers will have greater control over their destiny. The world will be better by empowering artists, publishers, and brands with audiences eager for their content.

Bradon lives in Marin, California, with his wife and four children. Bradon has completed several endurance races, including Olympic and half Iron Man triathlons. Outside of races and work, Bradon is often busy seeing his children play baseball, lacrosse, and soccer.

Welcoming Wes Matsumoto, VP of Operations

Wes Matsumoto, VP of Operations

Maintaining high operational excellence is essential for a fast-growing company. With a strong focus on operations, I’m confident we will grow customer retention and loyalty for years. I’m delighted to welcome Wes Matsumoto to lead our operations team.

Wes’ professional background includes industry-leading infrastructure and analytics work at companies like Arm, Genesys, and Treasure Data. Wes combines deep technical expertise with a focus on improving the customer experience. Further, Wes is focused on supporting product-led growth initiatives. Wes is focused on using technology to accelerate the sales process by bringing together marketing, sales, finance, and customer success teams.

With Wes leading operations, I’m confident that Arena will deliver on today’s customer expectations. Arena customers use our product to run important events and engage their audiences. We take that responsibility seriously, which is why we are investing further to take our operations to the next level.

Born and raised in southern California, Wes has also enjoyed hiking in the great outdoors and visiting the Golden State’s beaches. Wes is passionate about designing luxury watches and watching the LA Lakers compete.

Introducing Erik “Archer” Smith, VP of Marketing

Erik “Archer” Smith, VP of Marketing

Sales and operational success won’t be enough to reach our bottom-line growth goals, though. We must also build a go-to-market strategy that positions Arena effectively at all stages of the funnel. Archer is a highly successful marketing executive who understands our market deeply and has experience building full-funnel marketing programs for our target market. He has written thought pieces on first party data, data privacy, personalization and has spent years “marketing to marketers,” which makes him an ideal fit to empathize with our current and future customers. 

Before joining Arena, Archer contributed to impressive revenue growth at Treasure Data, a leader in the Customer Data Platform space. During his tenure, the company grew from Series A to Series C over several years before being acquired. In addition, Archer has deep experience in communications technology from his time at 8×8, a noted UCaaS firm, and he also brings a breadth of startup experience, both from his time as a founder in his 20s as well as his recent work in early stage venture capital.

When I met Archer, I loved his marketing philosophy. He starts with an emotional, human-level  deep dive into customer personas so we can effectively create messaging that resonates with users, influencers and decision makers. He supports this “emotional” approach with a deep understanding of data, attribution and performance marketing which will help us all make better, data-driven decisions as we optimize our funnel at different stages of growth.

Laying The Groundwork for 2023

With Archer, Wes, and Brandon joining us at Arena, we’re ready to achieve significant results in Q4 and next year. Specifically, I’m excited to make more significant progress in the following areas.

Bradon will build the sales organization as part of a broader strategy to go upmarket. The decline and fall of third-party cookies have caused considerable uncertainty for media and brands. Arena’s platform offers a way forward to brands looking to engage and grow their audiences in the 2020s.

Archer is focused on three marketing areas for the rest of the year. First, aligning Arena’s core messaging with our market. Second, rebuilding the demand generation engine with a focus on attribution. Finally, he will build a lead and attribution forecast by channel.

Wes will help us grow faster by using his systems architecture and process optimization skills. Specifically, his priority is documenting the end-to-end process from lead to sale. Second, he will develop a technology roadmap to accelerate the lead-to-sale journal. Finally, he will collaborate with Brandon and Archer to find gaps in our conversion funnel.

While there is increased economic uncertainty, I’m confident in Arena’s growth potential for two reasons:

  1. Our new team has the background, passion, and experience to help us tackle this market.
  2. The market itself is being forced to shift to first-party data, and Arena’s solutions enable global brands to engage with their audience in a way that makes first-party data feel like a party.

In other words, the team and the time are right. So, as we like to say in Brazil: LET’S BORA!

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