Category Archives: In The Biz

More Than $150 Billion Wagered in U.S. According to SportsHandle.com New Sports Betting Revenue Tracker

More than $150 billion in total sports betting handle has been wagered in the United States since the overturning of Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) according to SportsHandle.com’s new Sports Betting Revenue Tracker.

The definitive resource for information on sports betting legislation and legalization in the United States, SportsHandle.com has introduced the all-new revenue database for consumers and sports betting industry leaders who wish to stay on top of the latest handles and sportsbook revenues in states where sports betting is legal.

The first-of-its-kind tracker includes real-time updates on each of the states reported monthly handles (including Washington D.C.), as well as other key figures including gross revenue win rate, gross/adjusted sportsbook revenue, state taxes collected, and the legal betting start date.

Additionally, the tracker provides an overall snapshot highlighting each state’s regulator, tax rate on sportsbook operators, biggest monthly handle to date, and more. The launch of the revenue database follows the success of Sports Handle’s Sports Betting Partnership Tracker, which was launched back in May.

“As more states legalize sports betting and the overall sports handle continues to soar, we saw the need for an all-encompassing resource center for both consumers and industry leaders,” said Brett Smiley, Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief at SportsHandle.com. “Our team has done a terrific job in gathering all these statistics, and providing a comprehensive breakdown on the sports betting history in each state – all in one convenient location.”

Founded in July 2017 by Brett Smiley and Dan Zucker, SportsHandle.com is an elite sports betting industry news site that covers legislative and regulatory developments through original reporting, features and analysis.

Today, Sports Handle is owned and operated by Better Collective, a leading sports betting media group that develops educational platforms within the iGaming industry. Other leading websites owned and operated by Better Collective include: The Action Network, US Bets, and RotoGrinders.

Telemundo Rolls Out The Future Is Futbol, A Comprehensive Report On The State Of Soccer

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises today released a timely report titled The Future Is Fútbol to define and characterize the fundamental shift in the importance of soccer in mainstream American sports and the role Latinos are playing in this economic, cultural and media phenomenon. The Future Is Fútbol report draws on primary and secondary research and data collection, including quantitative surveys and an innovative neuroscience study among bilingual Hispanics. To view the full report please click here.

Fútbol has an estimated 5 billion fans around the world and 85 million adult followers in the U.S. Gallup estimates that soccer has seen a significant increase in popularity, with a gain of 52% more fans from 2012 to 2019, compared to 27% growth in basketball and 8% growth in baseball during this period. Fueled by its growing popularity among young people and women in particular, as well as Latinos overall, the sport is benefiting from the tailwinds of growth driven by the FIFA World Cup 2022TM – kicking off in November in Qatar – and the tournament’s arrival in the U.S. in 2026.

“Fútbol is the sport of America’s future. Soccer is growing in the U.S. and Hispanics are clearly leading the way,” said Monica Gil, Chief Administrative and Marketing Officer, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “Every four years, the FIFA World Cup TM brings Latinos and non-Latinos together with a spirit and intensity that no other sporting event in the world can match. There is no more authentic way to experience the World Cup than in Spanish. For companies and brands seeking real cultural connection and a space to engage Latinos, soccer and the FIFA World Cup TM are the place to be, this fall and for years to come.”

According to the report, the World Cup is considered more important among Hispanic World Cup viewers than any other sporting event, including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Olympic Games, or the NBA Finals. FIFA reported that the 2018 FIFA World CupTM reached over half the global population with 3.57 billion viewers. In 2018, the World Cup had its greatest 32-day performance in Spanish-language media history, with a commanding total U.S. audience reach of 37 million.

The Future Is Fútbolfurther highlights the power of soccer as a multibillion-dollar business with profits of $40 billion in 2019, twice the worldwide revenue for American football. Fans follow players and teams year-round as celebrities and representatives of national origin and sources of local pride. U.S. soccer fans spend 7% more than the average American sports fan on team sports clothing, tickets, sports equipment, and memorabilia. In 2021, soccer matches were available almost every day, with only six days without a match on broadcast TV, a phenomenon that offers brands, retailers and advertisers alike an advantage like no other sports property.

Other key themes highlighted in The Future Is Fútbol include:

  • Latinos Fueling Growth – Latinos have driven shifts in the U.S. population over the last decade. As their influence grows, so does soccer’s popularity. Hispanics and other diverse fans bring with them a love for soccer that has been part of their story for generations, shaped by history and now representing the next breakthrough in mainstream American sports.
    • Among U.S. Latinos ages 16 and older, almost three-quarters (73%) say they are soccer fans, and three times more Hispanics call themselves Superfans (22%) compared to non-Hispanics (7%).
    • More than half (53%) of Latinos ages 16 and older and nearly 1 out of 3 non-Latinos (29%) say they plan to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022.
    • Latinos rank both soccer (57%) and American football (59%) well above basketball (45%) and baseball (40%).
  • Fútbol is Everything” Culture
  • 61% of Hispanic World Cup viewers are fútbol Enthusiasts, regular fans or superfans, who say that if their team won the World Cup, their euphoria would be unmatched, an experience more exciting than getting their dream job or getting married.
  • Over half (57%) of Hispanic Enthusiasts say they have reshuffled their priorities to watch an important game, including skipping family or friend events, taken off work, spent money they did not have or traveled miles to watch an important match.
  • The FIFA World Cup TM is as big as a holiday. Soccer gatherings are momentous among Latino Enthusiasts who rank the event second only to Christmas, more significant than Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
  • Biggest Multi-Platform Sporting Event –The ability of fans to watch and engage on any screen has a monumental impact on the growing FIFA World Cup TM fandom. Soccer media coverage and content have increased exponentially to meet the demand for more high-quality live, virtual and social fan experiences 24/7.
    • The FIFA World Cup 2022TM is expected to be the world’s biggest multi-platform sports event ever. The incremental viewership from live streaming helped make the 2018 FIFA World CupTM the biggest multi-platform sports event in Spanish-language history.
    • 67% of Hispanic viewers plan to watch the World Cup on broadcast TV, and 42% plan to stream the matches.
    • Television is the preferred device for Hispanics to watch the World Cup (90%), followed by smartphone (34%) and computer (17%).
  • The Power of Spanish – For most Hispanic fans, Spanish is the language and culture of fútbol. Viewers describe Spanish-language soccer commentators as excellent storytellers, utterly poetic and animated about what is happening on the field.
    • Over half (56%) of U.S. Hispanic World Cup viewers prefer watching the FIFA World CupTM in Spanish.
    • Even 1 out of 5 English-dominant Hispanic World Cup viewers prefer to watch in Spanish.
    • Spanish is not exclusive to Hispanics because 17% of non-Latino tournament viewers said they would watch some of the matches in Spanish as well, an increase of 12% over 2018.
    • According to a brain neuroscience study conducted among U.S. bilingual Hispanics, watching a World Cup match with Spanish commentary generated 15% greater likeability, keeping fans glued to their screens longer than watching the identical match in English.
      • Key game moments, like the iconic goal call by the Spanish commentator, prompted an average of 37% greater emotional intensity compared to English, making the “highs” higher and the “lows” lower.
      • The effects of Spanish game commentary also transferred to advertising. In the study, the identical ad, when played in Spanish had 19% higher likeability and 49% greater emotional intensity vs. English.
  • Latinas Are Watching and Bringing Their Kids Hispanic women are an untapped opportunity among soccer viewers.
  • Four in ten (41%) U.S. Latinas say they are likely to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022TM.
  • 76% of Hispanic mom tournament viewers encourage their kids to follow the World Cup and professional fútbol.
  • Hispanic females are passionate fans and together comprised 17 million Spanish-network FIFA World CupTM viewers in 2018, making the tournament the most-watched Latina sporting event in Spanish-language history.
  • Among the World Cup audience, a fifth (21%) of Latinas call themselves Superfans, which is far greater than both non-Hispanic males (10%) and non-Hispanic females (8%).
  • And Latino viewing is a family affair, with 70% of Latino parent event viewers saying it’s important to watch the FIFA World CupTM in Spanish with their kids.
  • First-Choice Sport of Young People in the U.S. Soccer has become the fastest-growing major team sport among all high school students and is the most popular among Hispanic high schoolers.
    • High school soccer participation increased 32% from 2002 to 2019, far more than the average growth of basketball (-6%), American football (-2%), baseball (6%), or ice hockey (7%).
    • Soccer is egalitarian, considering that high school girls play almost as much as boys, with participation growing 31% for girls versus 33% for boys from 2002 to 2019. There were 394,105 high school girls who played soccer in 2019, a figure not far behind the 459,077 high school boys who played.
    • Soccer is currently the most popular team sport among 40% of Hispanic high school students who say they played or were planning to play the sport in 2020, compared to 21% of all high school students.

Global and inclusive, growing across women and youth, fútbol is poised to redefine the American sports landscape. After years of wins, both large and small, fútbol is coming of age at the moment when millions of Latinos and fútbol fans of all backgrounds stand ready to watch, engage and lead the way.

Telemundo Deportes is the exclusive Spanish-language home of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ taking place in Qatar this Fall, starting Nov. 20. The network is prepared to deliver the most ambitious coverage in Spanish-language history with all 64 matches live, including all four games on Thanksgiving Day. Peacock will stream all the Spanish-language World Cup matches live, and will feature pre-game and post-game coverage, as well as special programming with extended interviews and highlights.

FanDuel Group Launches FanDuel TV With Kay Adams

FanDuel Group, the premier online gaming company in North America, announced today its intent to launch FanDuel TV which will include a broadly distributed linear cable television network, and its new OTT platform to be known as FanDuel+. Both FanDuel TV and FanDuel+ will go live in September of this year and become the first linear/digital network dedicated to sports wagering content and delivering more live sports programming than any other network in America. As part of the launch, FanDuel TV is excited to welcome Kay Adams who will headline the network with a live daily morning show five days per week. Adams, who previously served as a host of Good Morning Football on the NFL Network will host the show from FanDuel TV’s Los Angeles studios each day at 11:00 am EDT. As part of the launch, the company announced that FanDuel+ will be free to download for existing FanDuel customers with accounts on any of its sportsbook, casino, horse racing or daily fantasy platforms.

“FanDuel TV is the first network designed from the ground up to be watched by viewers with their phone in hand,” said Mike Raffensperger, Chief Commercial Officer, FanDuel. “We intend for FanDuel TV to sit at the intersection of live sports and interactive content and believe Kay is the best example of an on-air talent who can bring fans closer to the narratives of the games they care about most. Our goal is to provide fans compelling programming to watch and wager on in tandem with our mobile app.”

Kay Adams Headlines New Morning Show

Adams will host her own hour long show Monday through Friday, welcoming guests and a wide range of personalities from across sports and entertainment. She looks forward to continuing her well-established track record of entertaining and informing sports fans in the morning! Daily viewers can expect the same “Hey Kay Adams” energy as always, and the daily studio show will also be available on YouTube and other social media platforms.

Pat McAfee and the Squad at PMI to Produce Original Content

FanDuel TV is excited that one of the hottest and most influential people in sports media Pat McAfee and his team at PMI Network will also be joining the party!  McAfee’s PMI Network will be producing fresh new content as part of the network’s weekly block of programming.  Details regarding new PMI Network content will be shared by Pat on The Pat McAfee Show when it’s ready for primetime!

Programming from Bill Simmons’ The Ringer Network

As part of the launch of FanDuel TV, the company has reached a programming agreement with The Ringer providing FanDuel TV content from one of the industry’s most listened to and followed sports and pop-culture podcasts and digital networks. Details on specific content from The Ringer, which Bill Simmons founded in 2016, will be disclosed in the future. 

More Ways to Win with Lisa Kerney

In addition, FanDuel’s signature sports betting show More Ways to Win will continue to be hosted by former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lisa Kerney bringing sports betting analysis and insight of the major sports leagues to viewers each week. More Ways to Win has been a cornerstone of FanDuel’s programming with Kerney covering a variety of sports content focused on the sports wagerer in her high energy style. A FanDuel brand ambassador, Kerney has appeared recently in the company’s baseball ads and hosted the company’s FanFest event, which was streamed live from Los Angeles to more than 300,000 viewers during the week of Super Bowl LVI.

“Having proven on-air talent, live content from the most influential name in sports media in Pat McAfee and the industry’s best team covering horse racing today demonstrates that FanDuel TV will be a dynamic network from day one,” said Amy Howe, Chief Executive Officer, FanDuel Group.   

New Live Sports Programming

FanDuel TV intends to become the new home of international basketball in the U.S. As part of a licensing agreement with Sportradar, FanDuel TV and FanDuel+ will air more than 3,000 hours of live sports including international basketball league action from the National Basketball League (NBL) Australia’s professional league, the Chinese Basketball League, as well as the French and German pro leagues.

Stable of Horse Racing Experts  

FanDuel TV will emerge from predecessor TVG Network, a channel synonymous with delivering racing excellence for the past quarter century. In keeping with its proud TVG lineage as the unquestioned home of horse racing, FanDuel TV will feature a stacked lineup of unparalleled coverage from respected experts including Christina Blacker, Britney Eurton, Gabby Gaudet, Mike Joyce, Todd Schrupp and the rest of TVG’s award-winning on-air talent roster.  FanDuel TV’s programming schedule will be underpinned with the best live coverage from the top tracks including Gulfstream, Del Mar, Keeneland, Pimlico, Santa Anita and many more. FanDuel TV will also deliver unmatched coverage of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships this November, hosted at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky.

“TVG has been the undisputed leader in the horse racing space for the past 20 years and the launch of FanDuel TV creates an exciting new platform for the next 20 years,” added Raffensperger. “FanDuel TV and FanDuel+ will accelerate the renaissance racing is enjoying and repackage the sport for a new generation of mobile enabled fans, while also bringing new leagues and sports to the U.S. market.  We plan to offer more live sports than any network in America.”

FanDuel TV will be broadly distributed on linear television through its relationships with the industry’s leading cable and satellite distributors including Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Verizon FIOS, DirectTV, DISH, Cox Communications, FuboTV, YouTubeTV, and Hulu. FanDuel+ will also be widely available on direct-to-consumer OTT platforms including Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. For more information on FanDuel TV programming and news, follow @FanDuelTV on Twitter and Instagram.

SGPNTV debuts in 150 million homes

The Sports Gambling Podcast Network’s flagship program, The Sports Gambling Podcast with Sean Green and Ryan Kramer, will be available to some 150 million additional viewers next month as the free sports gambling content provider launches SGPNTV on the popular TV streaming platforms RokuAmazon Fire, and Apple TV.

The launch of SGPNTV is set for Thursday, September 1, just in time for the 2022 NFL and college football seasons. The Sports Gambling Podcast will air its final NFL Predictions Show during a live stream at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT that day.  Additionally, all 32 NFL team previews previously produced by SGPN will also be available On Demand on the day of launch. Future episodes of The Sports Gambling Podcast will be available daily on SGPNTV. Additional SGPN podcasts are expected to be available on SGPNTV in the coming months. 

SGPNTV, which is free to download and watch, adds approximately 150 million more streamers to the potential viewership during a time when more and more states are making sports gambling legal. Currently, 30 states plus the District of Columbia allow sports betting, while five more states have approved the legislation and are awaiting its launch, and three more have bills pending.

“We’ve found a sizable audience and it’s growing, so this is another step in our journey as the top independent, always-free provider of sports betting content,” said SPGN co-founder Green, who has experience as a Hollywood show writer and comedian. Green funded the growth of SGPN five years ago when he won $200,000 in a DraftKings daily fantasy contest.

The American Gaming Association estimated that 31.4 million Americans bet over $7B on the Super Bowl and that over 45 million people in the U.S. bet over $3B on March Madness this past year. 

“The addition of SGPN to these platforms is key as the entire industry continues to climb,” said SGPN co-founder Kramer. “The growth of sports betting and the amazingly diverse populations that are engaged is a great fit for our offering of all free, all the time sophisticated picks and analysis.  Content is king and we produce more than anyone in the non-subscription space.”

As the marketplace begins to mature, more platforms are hiding content behind paywalls and forcing followers to pay for picks and analysis on the bigger games. SGPN’s traditional model relies on delivering the desired audience in both size and demographics to advertisers, marketers and brand-builders.  Audiences continue to grow because the content comes at no cost.

Robust H1 performance with strategic focus on broader customer appeal delivering record level of activesLaunch of Entain CEE and acquisition of SuperSport in Croatia

Entain plc (LSE: ENT), the global sports-betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, today reports its Interim Results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2022 (“H1”).

Strategic progress

  • Group’s strategic focus on a broader recreational customer base delivering record level of actives, up 57% versus H1 2019, and higher quality earnings
  • Greater customer engagement driven by innovative new products and enriched experiences
  • Further geographic expansion with five transactions this year to date consistent with our strategy of expanding into regulated markets
    • Creation of Entain CEE and acquisition of SuperSport announced separately today, provides a strategic springboard to unlock the clear expansion opportunity in Central and Eastern Europe (“CEE”)
    • Acquisition in June of BetCity in the Netherlands to deliver growth in the newly regulated Dutch market
    • Completion of Avid Gaming (Canada), Klondaika (Latvia) and Totolotek (Poland) transactions
  • Ongoing ESG leadership and further progress made across our Sustainability Charter
  • Expansion of Advanced Responsibility & Care (“ARCTM “) player protection trials into international markets
  • Founding partner of Global Gaming Alliance (“GGA”), awarded GamCare’s Advanced Safer Gambling Standard, and received numerous awards for safer gambling, including from S&P, SBC & EGR
  • Pitching-In Volunteer Hub for the UK Trident Leagues launched to connect volunteers and local clubs
  • Appointment of Rahul Welde as an independent Non-Executive Director

Financial highlights

  • Robust Group performance during H1, reflecting the diversified business model and underlying momentum of the online business
  • Total Group net gaming revenue (“NGR”) growth of 18% (+18%cc2)
  • Online NGR down 7% (-7%cc2) reflecting strong prior year comparators driven by Covid lockdowns, temporary closure in the Netherlands, affordability measures in the UK and customers responding to the economic backdrop
    • Excluding the Netherlands, NGR was down -3%cc2
    • Strong underlying momentum with H1 Online NGR 3yr CAGR up 13%cc2
  • Retail perfomance ahead of expectations with a more interactive digital experience across gaming machines and betting terminals driving greater customer engagement
  • BetMGM continues to perform strongly and is on track to deliver FY22 NGR of over $1.3bn
  • H1 NGR of $608m, 65% ahead of 2021
  • Established number two operator with 23%7 market share where BetMGM operates (excluding New York)
  • Consistent leading iGaming operator with 30%7 market share
  • Reiterate expectation to reach positive EBITDA during 2023,8
  • Group EBITDA4,5 up 17% at £471m
  • Group profit after tax from continuing operations £28m, down £63m
  • FY 2022 Group EBITDA4,5,9 expected to be in the range of £925m to £975m, in line with current consensus10
  • New progressive dividend policy announced:
  • Full year payment of £100m split evenly between Interim and Full Year
  • Interim dividend of 8.5p per share

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, commented:

“We continue to make excellent progress on our strategic priorities, with momentum in our business remaining strong as a result of putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.  I am delighted that more customers are choosing to play with us as we focus on providing them with even better products, engaging content and exciting experiences.  This has resulted in our highest ever level of actives in H1, up 57% versus the same period two years ago.  Not only is this approach great for our customers, but it also provides us with a broader, more recreational customer base that will support more sustainable long-term revenues.

Underpinned by the Entain platform, we continue to expand our growth opportunities, and have already announced five transactions so far this year.  This includes today’s announcement of an innovative growth strategy for Central and Eastern Europe, starting with the acquisition of SuperSport in Croatia.  In the US, BetMGM goes from strength to strength and continues to demonstrate its market leadership with a 23%7 market share.

We continue to lead our industry on responsibility and sustainability as we deliver further progress on our Sustainability Charter.  ARC™ continues to be rolled out into international markets and our efforts have been recognised in the UK and internationally with awards from GamCare, S&P, SBC as well as our inclusion in the Global Sustainability Yearbook 2022.

As ever, I would like to thank each and every one of our talented colleagues around the world for their hard work and dedication in helping deliver these results. We have established a meaningful runway for sustainable and high-quality growth.  While we remain vigilant to the consumer backdrop, our geographic and product diversity provides resilience which, together with our proven ability to drive superior returns, gives us confidence that we will continue to deliver benefits for our stakeholders.”

USA Swimming Partners with RealResponse

USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, today announced their alignment with RealResponse, the award-winning safe and secure feedback, monitoring and anonymous reporting platform. Starting September 1, 2022, USA Swimming members can submit anonymously or on the record through simple text messaging at 888-270-SWIM (7946). To enhance the ability of USA Swimming to gather facts while still protecting the identity of anonymous reporters, select USA Swimming staff will be able to respond through the platform for appropriate follow up. This includes the recent hiring of two additional Safe Sport staff members who will focus on responding to reports.

This summer, the RealResponse platform was made available to USA Swimming’s National and Junior National Teams as they traveled overseas for competitions. It will now be released to the rest of the organization on September 1 to track, monitor and proactively address reports.

“We are excited to provide this valuable new resource for our USA Swimming members,” said Liz Hahn, Program Director for Safe Sport at USA Swimming. “Our utilization of this platform will allow all members to easily report from their phones, while still remaining anonymous – if they wish. In addition to continuing to provide anonymous reporting, this tool will allow USA Swimming to gather additional facts to effectively permit staff to follow up on all reports.”

RealResponse allows individuals to report with ease through text messaging. Additionally, all current reporting mechanisms, such as email, phone and the online reporting form, will continue to be available here.

“USA Swimming has always had athlete and member well-being at the top of their priorities, and our partnership will give all involved the ability to further promote the well-being of USA Swimming members,” said David Chadwick, Founder and CEO of RealResponse. “Not only will RealResponse provide for timely, critical reporting, but USA Swimming will be able to watch for trends in health and wellness aspects of its athletes, from mental health to out of competition concerns.”

USA Swimming will continue to protect the identity of reporters, and will serve its members through resources such as the Whistleblower and Anti-Retaliation Policy.

For more information on USA Swimming’s Safe Sport efforts, please visit https://www.usaswimming.org/safe-sport.

Fantasy Guru Ryan Kramer To Draft 24 Teams In 24 Hours Tuesday To Launch 2022 Season

Ryan Kramer of the Sports Gambling Podcast Network (SGPN), America’s leading free content Fantasy Football expert, will conduct a marathon, 24-teams-in-24-hours draft live on multiple video platforms for the second consecutive year in another unprecedented offering to NFL fans gearing up for the 2022 season. 

The live stream event, “Draft Day 2.0,” is set to begin at noon PT/3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 9, from the Sports Gambling Podcast Network’s Los Angeles studio.  It will continue until noon PT/3 pm ET Wednesday and be available on You Tube at https://sg.pn/watchdraftday

The co-host of the prominent Sports Gambling Podcast, Kramer, broke new ground one year ago with his unique offering for Fantasy Football fanatics who can join any time within the day-long window to get his expertise and actual selections plus insights, strategy, entertainment and tips with detailed rationale. 

The initiative will also be a platform to raise money via GoFundMe for the medical bills of an SGPN friend and colleague injured earlier this year in a motorcycle accident. Darryl, 31, from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was riding home from work when he was cut off by a box truck, resulting in the loss of his right leg (above the knee) and multiple other injuries, some permanent.  The accident happened four days before he was to marry his fiancé.  The couple is now putting their lives back together and they appreciate the support of the Sports Gambling Podcast Network community and the Draft Day 2.0 fundraising efforts.  In addition to the GoFundMe opportunityall Draft Day 2.0 merchandise profits will be directed to pay the ongoing medical expenses.  Branded apparel is available in the SGPN Merch Store and further information on Darryl’s story can be found here. 

The format will be “Best Ball Draft” on Underdog Fantasy and Kramer will be joined by multiple guests and SGPN contributors while constructing 24 separate and distinct teams over the full day span, providing viewers with the player selections that he believes will pile up points for the millions of Fantasy participants looking forward to the 2022 season. 

“Fortunately, the analytics research is done so I can focus now on news coming out of the camps to sharpen my views and deliver the well-reasoned selections that people need to get an edge in their drafting,” stated Kramer, a three-time Top 20 Fantasy Football Players Championship Main Event finisher.  “It’s a bit of an audacious undertaking, but the growing phenomenon of Fantasy Football deserves this level of commitment and our SGPN audiences always respond.” 

With over 25 years’ experience in the Fantasy Football space, Kramer has put together over 1,000 teams while overseeing 50 leagues and originating 10 more. The content will include hourly raffles and giveaways plus prop-style contests accessible in the SGPN App and live audience interaction, all free in line with the Sports Gambling Podcast Network’s wagering picks and analysis on all popular sports available at www.sportsgamblingpodcast.com.    

Kramer will be drafting full teams, consecutively, for the full 24 hours with each cycle expected to take slightly less than one hour. He will intersperse the player selections with traditional wagering commentary on the upcoming NFL season plus analytics drawn from his background as a computer engineer and the myriad skills that have enabled his elite fantasy football accomplishments. 

Viewers should expect Kramer to be bullish on Najee Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the running back position based on volume touches in a run-oriented offense led by Mitch Trubisky.  He is high on Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Drake London and new Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota as affordable, point-scoring options.  Look for Kramer to stay away from aging Dallas Cowboys running back Zeke Elliott. 

“Draft Day 2.0” will also be live on SGPN’s Facebook and Twitter.  

FanDuel Names Andrew Sneyd To The Position Of Executive Vice President Of Marketing

FanDuel Group, the premier online gaming company in North America, has promoted Andrew Sneyd to Executive Vice President of Marketing.

As the Executive Vice President of Marketing at FanDuel Group, Sneyd will oversee thecore marketing functions across the company’s full portfolio of brands within sports betting, daily fantasy sports, casino, advance-deposit wagering, retail, and free-to-play. Formerly the Senior Vice President of Brand, Sneyd will now steward growth marketing, media, customer engagement, and marketing operations, in addition to brand and product marketing strategy, creative, customer insight, press relations and partnership activation. During his tenure as Senior Vice President of Brand, Sneyd has championed the marketing engine to harness creativity for impact, advancing FanDuel’s position as America’s #1 Sportsbook and extending the lead over competition.   

“Since his arrival at FanDuel, Andrew has elevated our creative efforts and continued our explosive growth,” said Mike Raffensperger, Chief Commercial Officer for FanDuel Group. “His acumen for brand marketing has separated us from the field and under his leadership, I expect that we will continue to make moments matter more for our customers.” 

Sneyd brings more than 20 years of global marketing experience, specifically in the Fortune 100 consumer packaged goods and technology sector. Prior to joining FanDuel, he served as Vice President, Brand Marketing & Strategy at Priceline. Before joining Priceline in 2017, Andrew held multiple marketing leadership roles at Anheuser Busch InBev, where he led the creation of award-winning Super Bowl creative advertising for Budweiser.

SGPN Candidate For SBC’s Sports Media Company of Year

Sports Gambling Podcast Network (SGPN), the leading independent sports wagering analysis/prognostication content provider offering free user content, is among eight companies selected by SBC Awards 2022 as candidates for Sports Media Company of the Year. The announcement of the winner will take place Thursday as the third annual SBC Sports & Betting Conference Summit North America trade show culminates at Pier 60 in Manhattan, New York City.

SGPN’s competition in the category includes some of the most prominent and well-heeled companies in the sports media space, including American Affiliate, Better Collective, Catena North America, MediaTroopers, NBC Sports Next. Playmaker Capital, The Game Day and XLMedia. Almost all are backed by capital resources in the billions or tens of millions of dollars. By contrast, SGPN co-founders Sean Green and Ryan Kramer launched 10 years ago in Green’s one-car garage, taking advantage of new technology to push out their content inexpensively and begin building a following.

In 2017, Green won $200,000 in a DraftKings Fantasy Competition and SGPN used the money to turn the corner as a profitable, sustainable business. With the repeal of the Professional Sports and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) that following year, SGPN was well positioned to seize the moment and grow the enterprise that now includes 60 contributors and 23 different podcasts providing analysis and selections on 18 wagerable sports plus special events. SGPN is headquartered at a state-of-the-art studio in Los Angeles.

Other companies that are shortlisted in various categories at the SBC Awards North America 2022 include: Circa Resort & Casino, DraftKings, FanDuel, Penn Interactive, PointsBet, BetMGM, Resorts Digital Gaming and Rush Street Interactive. Awards will be presented in 27 categories as the highlight of the summit finale in front of 600-plus industry executives following two days of events, symposiums and networking sessions at Meadowlands Exposition Centre in Northern New Jersey.

“This is as big as it gets in our industry,” said Green, a Philadelphia-area native. “We are going up against some of the biggest brands in the space. We started with personal seed money and have continued to grow through traditional channels. Our candidacy for Sports Media Company of the Year is a testament to all the hard work everyone at SGPN has put in over the last 10 years to deliver a high-quality experience for our followers.”

“This is a great way to celebrate our 10th anniversary,” added Kramer, who hails from the North Jersey community of Scotch Plains. “We believed we could package sports wagering information in an insightful and entertaining way and it has caught on. It’s awesome to see our efforts being recognized.”

“With such strong competition among the Awards entrants, just making it on to the shortlists is a real mark of quality, so it will be fascinating to learn who our expert judges select as the big winners on the night,” said Rasmus Sojmark, Founder and CEO of SBC.

The SBC Awards North America Awards is the culmination of a week of events at the SBC Summit North America, the biggest conference and trade show for the sports betting and iGaming industries in the US and Canada. The awards recognize the achievements of operators, affiliates and suppliers from all the major disciplines including payments, marketing, platform providers and data.

RealResponse Enters Professional Baseball With Major League Baseball Agreement

RealResponse, (@RealResponseHQ), the award-winning safe and secure feedback, monitoring, and anonymous reporting platform for athletic teams and organizations, today announced its expansion into professional baseball, as Major League Baseball has begun to implement the RealResponse Anonymous Texting system for reports of player, staff, or employee misconduct.

RealResponse will provide an additional platform to help MLB track and proactively respond to misconduct issues, including the use of PED’s, sports betting, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and other potential violations of baseball’s conduct rules and policies for players, staff, and employees.

“With Major League Baseball’s implementation of our services, they expand the ability for individuals to report misconduct issues in medium that they may feel more comfortable in, while remaining safe and anonymous,” said David Chadwick, CEO and Founder of RealResponse. “It will really help augment the great work MLB has already been doing in this space and, most importantly, it can help not only identify but potentially prevent potential issues before they arise. We look forward to learning and assisting in any way we can to help MLB.”

MLB’s Department of Investigations will leverage RealResponse’s Anonymous Texting platform to receive and respond to messages with the Anonymous Texter, which will enable the individual to remain anonymous as long as they would like while they can continue to provide information and assist with investigations.

“The addition of RealResponse to our existing reporting channels will provide another option to encourage the reporting of misconduct, by ensuring that people have a variety of pathways to make a report, so they can use the method that they are most comfortable with,” said Moira Weinberg, MLB’s Senior Vice President, Investigations & Deputy General Counsel. “The platform is another safe and confidential option for people to speak up and helps us continue to take a proactive approach addressing potential misconduct issues.”

cover image: credit Pixabay

Technology Dominates at the Barclays Center

by Noah Zaret, special to The Daily Payoff

On June 14, I had the opportunity to attend the SportiConference Converge, organized by Sportico at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Having been to the Barclays Center a handful of times for sporting events as well as concerts, I was excited to see the venue in a different light.

Throughout the day, there were many discussions led by industry professionals who have experiences in a variety of areas in the sports business industry. Topics included: “Future Fans: Enhancing the Engagement of new audiences”, “What’s Possible?: The intersection of Technology & Fan Engagement”, “State of the Industry: Marketing & Advertising amongst Giants and Economic Uncertainty”, “Risk and Rewards: A behind the scenes look at the acceleration of Sports Betting”, “Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0: The Future Sports Platforms”, “Generating Higher Fan Engagement”, and “How Brooklyn Built the Metaverse”. All of these discussions had their own twist to them. I sincerely believe that I left the conference with a greater knowledge base and understanding of the current issues affecting the sports industry than I had prior to attending.

There were many takeaways and information that I learned from attending the conference. One of the main topics was enhancing the engagement of new and future audiences in sport. TikTok has become more than just a platform for lip sync and dancing, as it is now being used to advance the fan experience in sports and highlights. In the minds of content creators, one has to put themselves in the seat of the users and ask themselves what does the user want to see? Publishers are now partnering with content creators to plan, create and deliver the best content possible. Due to the fact that TikTok contains an untapped audience, the ability to take risks and experiment with content is prevalent amongst content creators. This was extremely beneficial during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Archive content was very popular during the pandemic without live sports and has carried over post pandemic. For example, say it is an athlete’s birthday, content creators will work with publishers to post his/her career highlights and/or famous clips. TikTok will continue to provide content in a variety of ways that will enhance the engagement of current and future audiences.

The impact that technology has on fan engagement has increased significantly as of late. The New York Liberty was the first WNBA team to release their own NFT. Not only does this educate fans about digital assets, but it also has the opportunity to draw in more fans, especially women. Just like TikTok is enhancing the mobile experience, Seatgeek is a company that is using technology to enhance the fan experience for those attending live events. Paula Segal, head of consumer product for SeatGeek, mentioned that Covid accelerated the switch to digital tickets and that tickets are now more than just a barcode. They can be used for mobile food ordering, buying merchandise and persuading fans to bet on the sport event itself. These examples are part of a movement to use technology to enhance the in-game experience instead of focusing solely on technology being used outside the arena or stadium.

The growing acceleration of sports betting and the marketing and advertising amongst the giants in the industry was another topic that caught my attention. Sports betting companies are using other forms of media such as TV and radio to market and promote their product beyond basic advertising. Content creation such as gambling shows are done to help promote gambling companies and their respective sports books. CBS and ESPN are examples of sports channels that are broadcasting betting shows, an interactive approach to the promotion of sports betting. Sportsbooks are trying to differentiate themselves from competitors in the industry and gain competitive advantage by gaining loyal customers and keeping them engaged on their platform. Sports betters typically tend to choose their preferred sportsbook depending upon ease of use. Customers have the ability to switch sportsbooks at any time, so if they do not like one they can easily switch to another. In order for gambling companies to limit this from happening, they are attempting to innovate their sportsbooks to make them stand out and appear different to the average user. I believe that this is just the beginning for the sports betting industry, as there are endless opportunities for success in the future.

Lastly, the future of sport platforms and generating higher fan engagement was a popular topic of discussion. I learned that not only can fan engagement exist in the real world, but in a virtual environment as well. As said by Scott Lawin, CEO of Candy Digital, “sports is the gateway drug into NFT’s & Crypto”. As more teams and leagues are getting involved with digital assets, casual fans can begin to get an understanding of how they work. As there are more fans that are educated on this matter, the engagement will continue to improve over time. Lawin also mentioned that in three to five years, he expects purchasing consumer products, sporting event tickets and concert tickets will require an NFT attached to it. As this is my first “real world” exposure to NFT’s and Crypto, I am seeing how the emergence of NFT’s are at the center of the future of promotion. I plan on further educating myself on NFT’s, Crypto, Blockchain and the Metaverse, as I know they are and will continue to be pivotal components in the sports industry.

Overall, the SportiConference Converge was a great opportunity as I became more educated on the relevant topics in the industry today. I was also able to meet and converse with a variety of interesting and experienced professionals. Sportico should be commended for organizing such a successful event.

Entain plc Acquisition of BetCity, one of the Netherlands’ leading online sports betting and gaming operators

Entain plc (LSE: ENT), the leading global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group (“Entain” or the “Group”), today announces that it has agreed to acquire the entire share capital of BetEnt B.V., which trades under the BetCity.nl name (“BetCity” or the “Company”), from Sports Entertainment Media B.V. for an initial consideration of €300m (approximately £257m1) and deferred contingent consideration of up to €550m (approximately £472m1).

BetCity is one of the Netherlands’ leading online sports betting and gaming operators. Headquartered in Amsterdam, BetCity received an online sports betting and gaming licence from the KSA (Kansspelautoriteit), the Dutch Gaming and Gambling Authority, in October 2021.

The newly regulated Netherlands online market is highly attractive and fast-growing across both sports betting and gaming.  Since its licensing in October 2021, BetCity has delivered rapid growth, establishing a leading position with approximately 20%2 market share during the fourth quarter of 2021.  This acquisition will create a strong market operator with significant growth opportunities, in line with the Group’s strategy.

BetCity’s offering is highly complementary to Entain’s bwin and Party brands which are awaiting approval for a licence to operate in the Netherlands – now expected during the latter part of this year as the KSA has recently requested additional documentation as part of the ongoing application process.  The combination of BetCity’s local expertise, strong brand and large diverse user-base, with Entain’s global scale and market-leading platform will provide customers with a broader offering of engaging products, fresh content and new experiences.

Melvin Bostelaar, BetCity’s CEO, along with other key members of the leadership team, will remain with the Company.
Consideration structure:
•       Initial consideration of €300m (approximately £257m1) is payable in cash at completion, with a balancing payment to be paid in early 2023 based on the actual performance of BetCity in the financial year 2022;
•       A further contingent payment will be paid in early 2024, based on 10x BetCity’s EBITDA for the financial year 2023, less amounts already paid out;
•       In addition, a final contingent payment of €50m (approximately £43m1) will be paid on delivery of synergies and successful migration to the Entain Platform;

The total consideration payable on current expectations is €450m (approximately £386m1).  However, dependent on the performance of BetCity, the maximum consideration is capped at €850m (approximately £729m1).  The combination is expected to deliver approximately €28m (approximately £24m1) of cost synergies, predominantly from technology, content and royalty benefits, by the end of 2026.

The initial consideration will be funded from existing cash resources and drawings on the Group’s revolving credit facility.

The acquisition is expected to complete during H2 2022.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, comments:
“We are delighted that BetCity is joining Entain and are excited by the significant opportunities in the newly regulated Dutch market.  This acquisition will provide customers with an even better experience as we combine BetCity’s local expertise and brand alongside Entain’s market leading, customer focused platform.  This transaction further underpins our growth strategy of operating in attractive regulated markets. We look forward to working with Melvin and the BetCity team.”

Melvin Bostelaar, CEO of BetCity, comments:
“We are happy to be joining forces with a world-class group in Entain. Together we will be well-placed to maintain a strong market position in the Dutch market for the coming years. Entain’s market leading platform, technology, established brands and global scale provides a fantastic opportunity to expand and enrich our customer offering. Both BetCity and Entain position the customer at the heart of everything we do, with Entain’s core values and philosophy in responsible gaming, compliance and company-culture seamlessly aligning with those of BetCity. We look forward to a bright future together.”

U.S. Open Championship Audio Coverage, Exclusively on SiriusXM

SiriusXM announced today its extensive programming coverage for the 122nd U.S. Open Championship, which will be played June 16th-19th at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.  SiriusXM is the exclusive national radio broadcaster of the U.S. Open.

SiriusXM’s extensive production will provide listeners with more than 40 hours of live shot-by-shot coverage from the course across all four rounds of play.  On Thursday and Friday, with the full field on the course, SiriusXM’s coverage will extend from the day’s first tee time at 6:45 am ET through the end of play.  On the weekend, SiriusXM’s on-course coverage will begin at 10 am ET on Saturday and Sunday and run through the completion of play both days.  If a playoff occurs, SiriusXM will provide live coverage of every shot played. 

SiriusXM’s U.S. Open Championship broadcast team will feature play-by-play voice Brian Katrek and lead analyst Mark Carnevale.  Fred AlbersCarl Paulson, Dennis PaulsonJohn Maginnes and Andres Gonzales, who is new to the SiriusXM team, will be on-course reporters, following key playing groups.  Chantel McCabeJason Sobel and Taylor Zarzour will serve as hosts, provide leaderboard updates and conduct interviews with players.  Swing coach Jim McLean will provide reports from the range as players warm up for their rounds.

On Thursday and Friday, The Starter with Taylor Zarzour, Michael Breed and Greg DuCharme will be on live in the morning to provide coverage as the earliest groups tee off. 

Immediately following each round, listeners will hear a three-hour wrap-up of the day’s play, hosted by Drew Stoltz and Gary Williams.  Three-time U.S. Open Champion Hale Irwin will co-host the show after Sunday’s round.  The show will also feature hour-long appearances by major championship winners Juli Inkster, Scott Simpson, Craig Stadler and Dave Stockton.

PGA Tour players Jason Kokrak and Harold Varner III, both top-40 players who will be competing in this U.S. Open, will host new episodes of their SiriusXM shows.  Crushing It with Kokrak will air tonight at 7 pm ET, immediately followed by The HV3 Show at 8 pm ET.

World Golf Hall of Fame member Fred Couples, who competed in 23 U.S. Open Championships, will host a new episode of The Fred Couples Show on Tuesday at 8 pm ET. 

The U.S. Open Championship, conducted by the USGA, is the ultimate test of golf for the best players in the world.  Played on America’s greatest courses, the U.S. Open annually provides thousands of golfers of all backgrounds the opportunity to qualify through a rigorous two-stage process.

In the days leading up to its U.S. Open coverage, and every week throughout the year, SiriusXM’s weekday golf programming lineup features live shows starting at 7am ET that offer news, analysis, expert instruction and more.  For more go to SiriusXM.com/golfonsxm.

U.S. Open programming on SiriusXM will air nationwide on channel 92 on SiriusXM radios.  Subscribers can also listen with the SXM App (siriusxm.us/SXMPGATourRadio), and with Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant or however they stream at home.  Streaming access is included with SiriusXM’s audio trials and most popular plans.

SiriusXM’s U.S. Open broadcast rights come through its agreement with the United States Golf Association and NBCUniversal, the principal domestic media partner of the USGA.

Congressman Peter King Named To Save The Game Advisory Board

Peter T. King, the former New York Congressman who represented the South Shore Long Island district for almost 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, has been named to the advisory board of Save the Game™ www.savethegameus.com, the grass roots effort designed to align with Major League Baseball to encourage youth participation in baseball and “Grow the Game.”  King will be joined on the advisory board by five additional charter members: youth sports authority, Rick Wolff, the host of the “Sports Edge” on WFAN Radio, a publisher, and former minor league player and college coach; Mike Port, the former Major League executive with the Red Sox, Angels and Padres, and former MLB director of umpires; Queens native and Suffolk Sports Hall of Famer Fred Cambria, a former big league pitcher and instructor; the longtime Chicago Cubs scout, Brooklyn native and NYS Baseball Hall of Famer Billy Blitzer; and girls softball coach and Trumbull Little League (CT.) executive board member Jeff Dobrydney, a senior vice president at JSG Commodities in Norwalk. King, the respected elected official and former Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security,  is a New York native, and an ardent New York Mets fan since the team’s inception.  The announcement was made today by Save The Game™ founders – former college baseball standouts and New York natives Kevin Gallagher and Pat Geoghegan and former MLB infielder, nine-year veteran Jeff Frey. Baseball is part of the very fabric of our country, so anything I can do to enhance the game is important to me,” said King. “Save The Game™ is a significant grass roots effort to encourage young boys and girls to play, and move baseball back to the faster pace of a bygone era, which I greatly enjoyed throughout my youth.”

TheScore Bet Plans To Discontinue Sports Wagering In U.S. On July 1

Flourishing in its home nation since the debut of the Ontario iGaming market in April, theScore alerted customers on Wednesday that it will discontinue its U.S. sports betting operations effective July 1.

With the closure, theScore will shift focus to accelerating its growth in Ontario and expanding its technology roadmap north of the U.S. border, with the ultimate goal of migrating Barstool Sportsbook onto the company’s in-house risk and trading platform in the relatively near future.

The move comes nearly eight months after Penn National Gaming completed a $2.1 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of theScore. While Penn asserted at the time that it sought to operate theScore as a standalone business, Wednesday’s move allows theScore to strategically deploy resources in Canada, where it ranks as the nation’s most popular sports media app.

Since the acquisition was announced last August, Penn has taken a bifurcated approach to expanding sports betting operations in North America, with Barstool taking the lead in the U.S., while theScore Bet remains out in front up in Canada.

“This move enables us to maximize the value of both brands through our organic media and gaming approach. Key to our strategy is integrating theScore media app with Barstool Sportsbook, which we’re currently working towards,” Benjie Levy, president and COO of theScore, told Sports Handle. “Bringing together theScore’s powerful mobile sports media platform with Barstool Sportsbook in a unified ecosystem, supported by our in-house technology and custom integrations, will strengthen the overall U.S. product offering and broaden its reach.”

Short-Term Roadmap

When theScore made its U.S. sports betting debut in New Jersey three years ago, it became the first media company since the historic PASPA decision to launch sportsbook operations in the U.S.

Following the New Jersey debut, theScore began accepting sports wagers in three other states: Colorado, Iowa, and Indiana. The company also disclosed on Wednesday that by June 15, theScore Bet will no longer accept customer deposits or new wagers in the U.S.

By the time theScore plans to fully cease its U.S. sports betting operations, both the NBA and the NHL are scheduled to complete their respective postseason campaigns. The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers opened Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche, the Oilers’ first trip to the conference finals since 2006.

Although it appears that theScore will encourage U.S. customers to open a new account at Barstool, it is not currently possible for customers of theScore to transfer their account or remaining balance with theScore over to Barstool Sportsbook, according to a source familiar with the situation. It is also immediately unclear if the respective sports betting skins theScore obtained to gain market access in the four states will transfer automatically to Penn National.

But the transition could be smooth in states such as Iowa, where theScore received market access through a partnership with Penn.

Larger industry consolidation

In the same month (August) that theScore announced the proposed merger with Penn, theScore launched its own player account management (PAM) trading and promotion engine.

During the third quarter of this year, theScore Bet plans to transition to the company’s proprietary in-house risk and trading platform in Ontario, Penn previously disclosed. The transition will lead to expanded betting markets and parlay options, Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden explained at last month’s quarterly earnings call.

Penn anticipates that Barstool Sportsbook will transition to theScore’s PAM and trading platforms by the third quarter of 2023.

Over the first month of sports betting operations in Ontario, roughly 79% of sports bettors used theScore’s app, Snowden noted. All told, theScore exceeded Penn’s early expectations with its performance in Ontario, underscoring Snowden’s belief in the brand a year ago.

“A large part of what we love about Barstool and theScore is their authentic voice, their scrappy nature, and their entrepreneurial spirit,” Snowden said in 2021.

Beyond theScore, the decision may serve as a harbinger for a larger pattern of consolidation across the industry. The top three mobile sportsbook operators in the U.S., DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, control at least 70% of the overall market share, according to various estimates.

By forging strategic partnerships, companies such as Penn National Gaming and theScore are able to carve out a niche across various segments of the North American market. In 2021, Penn projected adjusted EBITDA accretion of at least $200 million by 2023, with incremental long-term synergies of at least $500 million from the partnership. In M&A transactions, accretive acquisitions are defined as those which cause the company’s earnings to increase as a result of the deal.

“As we approach a major undertaking this summer with the launch of our proprietary risk and trading service, the timing is right to focus our U.S. efforts on marketing Barstool Sportsbook and our Canadian efforts on marketing theScore Bet,” Levy said.

All-Free SGPN Grows Via Media Exposure; Available In 150 Million Homes This Fall

Recognition by authoritative media outlets plus in-depth offerings to new audience segments has elevated Sports Gambling Podcast Network (SGPN) to the top of the field in the competition for consumers seeking no-cost advice on what, how and why to place wagers on sports and entertainment events. 

With the ever-broadening array of legalized betting opportunities in the United States, SGPN has elevated its trajectory of growth in audience engagement through the first quarter of 2022, evidenced by website visits, podcast downloads and YouTube views.  In addition to the lure of quality content that is all-free, all the time, the platform has added niche sports and expert contributors while embracing USFL Football with a level of immersion that is arguably stronger than any media enterprise on the landscape. 

SGPN projects seven million downloads in 2022 (more than double the 2021 metric) and now has 24 unique podcasts and 60 contributors covering 18 different sports.  

 In anticipation of the high-interest fall NFL and college football seasons, SGPN co-founders Green and Kramer are now  arranging OTT (over the top) smart TV partnerships with AmazonTV, AndroidTV and RokuTV in the largest distribution expansion of their 10-year history. 

“We’ll be unlocking the in-home capability of audiences to watch us live and on-demand,” explained Kramer,  a Hulu engineer in his previous life. “We’re flipping on the video switch and will be in 150 million households in time for the football season openers in August and September.” 

Los Angeles-based SGPN was featured in the prominent Los Angeles Business Journal (February 28) and in the industry trade offering Media Village (April 26) while Green and Kramer have become regular guests on sports talk radio and digital outlets including Cheddar.com around major events like the Super Bowl, Final Four and NFL Draft. 

“We’ve taken the road less traveled and it’s paid off,” stated Green in reference to legacy media and corporately-backed outlets that pursue the monthly fee/subscriptions/recurring revenue model.  “Ours is a traditional advertising play and we’ve been able to increase revenue by delivering more and more eyeballs and audience impressions.  We’re proud of the strong measure of loyalty from our young, male demographic that appreciates the quality content at their fingertips for free.” 

One advertiser, BettorFantasy.com, leverages the audience loyalty component. “We’ve seen a high ROI with SGPN and we attribute that to the authentic and relatable connection they have with their community of followers,” stated Will Tighe, chief marketing officer of BettorFantasy, an app for fantasy sports enthusiasts that launched last year. “Working with SGPN has played a crucial role in our company’s success.” 

Another satisfied customer is TallySight, the content creation marketing software company that has grown alongside the sports wagering industry since 2019. “Working with SGPN has been great for building our brand,” offered Masheed Ahadi, the TallySight co-founder and chief technical officer. “They are one of the top performing brands we support.” 

The Media Village article by marketing expert Rob DiGisi appears in the “Sports Unbundled” section of the sophisticated digital news outlet alongside columns on Super Bowl advertising and National Public Radio podcaster/sports personality Jay Williams. DiGisi writes, “Competing against more well-heeled media companies, SGPN boasts that the base of the audience was built on bettors who didn’t need state-authorized sports books to take their wagers.  Many were also engaged with fantasy sports for years prior to discovering SGPN.” 

SGPN content is most readily available on the SGPN Appavailable on all devices and downloadable at Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store or via www.sportsgamblingpodcast.com 

Ones Basketball League Announces Content Partnership with SHOWTIME Sports

Ones Basketball League (OBL) — an elite competition that celebrates the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet and created by Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady – today announced a content partnership with SHOWTIME Sports, the newest media distribution relationship for the start-up league.

Under its highly successful SHOWTIME® Basketball brand, SHOWTIME Sports will distribute a behind-the-scenes, all-access documentary feature for its YouTube channel capturing the story of this season through the eyes of Tracy McGrady. SHOWTIME Sports will also produce short-form digital content for distribution across its social networks from the remainder of the inaugural OBL season through the league’s Las Vegas Championship in July.

“The production and creative team at SHOWTIME Sports knows how to build and tell stories like no one else, and the detailed background and exciting drama we have already started to capture with OBL makes this content partnership a perfect fit for us,” McGrady said. “The team at SHOWTIME shares our excitement for putting a spotlight on one-on-one basketball and all of the great action, rich stories, and hyper-competition that flows from the game.”

“We believe in Tracy’s vision and are thrilled to be working with the OBL on their inaugural season,” said Brian Dailey, SVP, Sports Programming & Content, Showtime Networks Inc. “This collaboration embodies the SHOWTIME Basketball brand — premium, bold and boundary-pushing. We are delighted to welcome Tracy and the OBL team to our unmatched lineup of content and talent.”

“The early results of our proof-of-concept season look good, we love what we see on the court, and so does SHOWTIME,” said Jeffrey Pollack, OBL strategic advisor. “This content partnership with SHOWTIME Sports came together quickly and further validates Tracy’s vision for shining a bright light on the essence of basketball and celebrating the vibrant talent and culture that fuels the one-on-one community.”

SHOWTIME Sports joins SLAM Media, Playmaker and Heart and Hustle Productions’ as initial production and content partners for OBL.

Six cities across the United States are hosting a two-day, regional, 32-player round-robin knockout tournament with athletes aged 18 and up who are currently not under an NBA contract and have not been on an active NBA roster for more than 164 games (equivalent to two NBA regular seasons). The participants come from a combination of open-sourced video submissions and the advice of basketball insiders. The aim is to welcome both best-in-class talent and players who may still be under the radar of most basketball fans. The inaugural events this year will feature only men, and women will be welcomed as equal participants as soon as 2023.

The regional tournaments scheduled for the rest of the OBL season are:
· New York City, May 28-29
(Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, NY)
· The DMV, June 4-5
(The St. James, Springfield, VA)
· Los Angeles, June 18-19
(TBD)

The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 21 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.” The regional winners from the first three events include: Glen Rice Jr. (Marietta, Ga.), Antonio Hester (Miami), and Tiras Wade (Tampa) from the Atlanta regional; John Jordan (Houston), Matt Kiatipis (Austin by way of Canada and Simon Fraser University), and Myron Taylor (Killeen, Tex.) from the Houston regional; and Mario Smith (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Yoshi Craig (Chicago), and Grant Anderson (Chicago), who took the top three places this past weekend in the Chicago regional.

More information about Ones Basketball League at: https://www.oblhoops.com/.

OBL Crowns Chicago Regional Champion at Hope Academy Athletic Center and Awards $10,000 First Prize

Ones Basketball League (OBL) — the first-ever elite competition that celebrates the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet and created by Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady — crowned its third Regional Champion at Chicago Hope Academy Athletic Center on Saturday and Sunday. A total of 32 top area and national-level basketball players squared off in spirited action, and it was Mario Smith (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Yoshi Craig (Chicago) and Grant Anderson (Chicago) who took the top three places in a weekend filled with exciting and high-quality play across the board.

Smith, the OBL (@oblhoops) Chicago Regional Champion and recipient of the $10,000 prize, was seeded fourth after a 6-1 record on Saturday. He won the Championship match, 9-8, over Craig, making two free throws to ice the win. Anderson’s buzzer-beater over Armani Chaney earned the former Cornell (Ind.) College and Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) high school standout third place. All three now advance to the OBL Finals in Las Vegas this summer (dates and location TBA).

“The Chicago event was another strong step forward for us and further proof that OBL will help these athletes get known and noticed,” said McGrady. “The energy on the court was intense and the fans made themselves part of the show. Chicago brought the love for OBL and we are grateful.”

Smith, 30, the only non-local player at the OBL Chicago Regional, competed at Glen Oaks CC in Michigan, and his pro career has included stints in Mexico and the Mid-Michigan Spartans. He now trains basketball players of all ages.

“I drove back and forth last night once I knew I’d make it through,” said Smith, who traveled 2.5 hours each way, both days, to participate. “The level of competition was really strong and it was a grind but it’s very gratifying to advance.”

Craig, 28, played at Iowa Central and Kennedy-King College.

“It’s great to make it to Las Vegas,” said Craig. “I was disappointed to lose on free throws, but the two days showed that this is a concept that will work and can grow. I’m looking forward to repping Chicago in July.”

After a successful debut event in Houston (April 30-May 1) and follow-ups in Atlanta (May 7-8) and Chicago, OBL’s next regional event is Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29 at the Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, New York.

Following New York, the remainder of the regional schedule is as follows:
• The DMV, June 4-5 (The St. James, Springfield, VA)
• Los Angeles, TBD (TBD)

The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 18 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.”

OBL media partners include SLAM Media, Playmaker, and Heart and Hustle Productions.

Follow Ones Basketball League at https://www.oblhoops.com/.

SportsHandle.com Unveils Comprehensive Betting Partnerships Tracker 

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was judicially overturned on May 14, 2018, and with the four-year anniversary of the decision approaching, SportsHandle.com today has launched a first-of-its-kind tracker with more than 250 sports betting partnerships formed since the initial ruling.  

A leading source for information on sports betting legalization in the United States, SportsHandle.com has created the go-to-resource to monitor all sports betting partnerships across professional sports leagues, teams, colleges, sports venues, athletes, celebrities, and more. 

Accessible under SportsHandle.com’s drop-down menu under “Tools,” the Sports Betting Partnership Tracker lists all agreements involving U.S. sportsbooks and sports entities. To date, 29 sportsbooks have entered into at least one partnership.

SportsHandle.com’s Sports Betting Partnership Tracker will be updated regularly with the latest agreements. As of today, the following number of partnerships exist in each of the below categories:

  • 133 – Professional sports teams 
  • 50 – Professional sports leagues 
  • 36 – Celebrity endorsers
  • 18 – Sports venues
  • 15 – Media properties or companies
  • 4 – Colleges and universities

Additional noteworthy statistics in Sports Handle’s Sports Betting Partnership Tracker include: 

  • 37 – Partnerships are the most by any one sportsbook (Caesars and DraftKings are tied) 
  • 24 – Individual DraftKings’ deals with pro sports teams (most of any sportsbook)
  • 22 – League with most individual teams partnered with a sportsbook (NBA), followed by the NFL (18), NHL (16) and MLB (11)
  • 2 – Sportsbooks have entered partnerships with major colleges and universities (Caesars and PointsBet)
  • – Sportsbook has at least one team partnership in the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL and WNBA (FanDuel) 

“The sports betting landscape is constantly evolving, and we are proud to unveil this all-encompassing resource that provides the most up-to-date partnership and sponsorship information in one convenient location,” said Brett Smiley, Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief at SportsHandle.com. “Although there are currently more than 250 sports betting sponsorships, new partnerships and categories are being established on a weekly, if not daily, basis. We look forward to maintaining the most robust database for this information on the internet and we are extremely proud of the Sports Handle editorial and research team for making this valuable resource a reality.”

Jeffrey Pollack Named First Executive-in-Residence at Rutgers University Global Sports Business Master’s Program

Jeffrey Pollack, a sports business executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience driving catalytic change, growth, and innovation, has been appointed the first Executive-in-Residence in the Global Sports Business master’s program at Rutgers University.

Pollack will serve as a guest instructor and coach and guide students as they begin to navigate their career paths in the sports industry.

“We are thrilled to have Jeffrey as part of our GSB family,” said the program’s executive director Mike Finkelstein. “His career in sports has been extraordinary and we know Jeffrey will provide our students with a unique, seasoned perspective as they begin their professional journey.”

“It is an honor to support the Rutgers Global Sports Business program,” said Pollack. “I look forward to working closely with the students, Mike Finkelstein, Art Burke, and the rest of the faculty. The Rutgers approach to sports business education is progressive and entrepreneurial, and I appreciate the opportunity to share my stories and experiences.”

Jeffrey most recently served as President and CEO of the XFL. He joined the XFL in 2019 as President and COO to lead all strategic planning and business operations, reporting directly to Chairman and Founder Vince McMahon. Under Pollack’s leadership, the XFL launched in 2020 to critical acclaim and proved that spring football in the United States can work.

Among other projects, Jeffrey is currently advising Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady on his launch of the Ones Basketball League (OBL), a new global one-on-one-basketball tournament that has just tipped off its first season.

Lauded for helping businesses and brands rethink, recalibrate, and evolve, Pollack — immediately prior to his leadership role at the XFL — was Special Advisor and Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for the NFL Los Angeles Chargers. He has also served as Executive Chairman of the Professional Bull Riders, President and Commissioner of the World Series of Poker, Managing Director of Broadcasting and New Media for NASCAR, and Strategic Communications Consultant and Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at the NBA.

Pollack is the founder of The Sports Business Daily, the original trade publication for the sports industry. Through his vision and direction as President and Publisher, “The Daily,” launched in 1994, immediately became the industry standard and must-read for sports executives, and gave rise to a proliferation of sports business news and information services around the world.

Trained as a leadership and organizational performance coach at the Rutgers University LCOP Program, Pollack also serves confidentially and selectively as a coach to other executives in the sports, entertainment, and media industries.

Pollack has a bachelor’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, a master’s degree from The Graduate School of Political Management, and a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

The Global Sports Business Master’s Degree Program at Rutgers, recently ranked No. 18 in the country and 32nd in the world among sports management graduate programs, is designed to train leaders for careers in all sectors of the sports industry. It is a broad-based, inherently global, industry-specific program of study that reflects Rutgers’ traditional strengths in finance, marketing, management, and law, as well as its location in the New York/Philadelphia/Washington northeast corridor, the center of the sports industry.