Category Archives: In The Biz

Sports Gambling Podcast Network Uses Short-Form Video To The Max

Sports Gambling Podcast Network’s (SGPN) latest offering of short-form content on YouTube has grown seven-fold over the last three months and is tracking to hit 750,000 views before the end of the year, outpacing industry growth metrics significantly as the college football season heads down the stretch and pro football hits the midpoint of its season.

The sports wagering industry’s leading independent provider of free analysis and picks, SGPN registered a record-breaking September and continues to see growth across multiple platforms. With over 6,350 subscribers on YouTube and over 100,000 followers over multiple platforms, SGPN has seen the number of views of shortform videos on YouTube alone go from 33,500 in August to over 208,700 in October.

A recent Instagram story featuring SGPN co-hosts and co-founders Sean Green and Ryan Kramer discussing Tom Brady’s recent struggles off the field is set to hit 1 million views alone.

Its model of sophisticated, entertaining, no-cost content resonates strongly with the growing audience of sports fans interested in the legal wagering boom sweeping the United States. Another boost is expected when the World Cup in Qatar begins Sunday, driving audience to The World Cup Gambling Podcast, which hit the airwaves on November 13. It provides users with in-depth wagering and picks around the biggest sporting event in soccer and one of the biggest in the world.

A key component of the SGPN success is the community they’ve created by offering completely free content spanning the full scope of bettable sports. Many SGPN competitors are designed to drive visitors to sign up for wagering accounts at various sportsbook websites, a revenue-generating approach that is transaction-oriented as opposed to relationship-oriented. The evidence that it is working is the dramatic audience growth on multiple platforms.

“Our sponsors and advertisers invest in our audience size and then find additional value in the response from our followers, who connect their products favorably to SGPN and its unbeatable value proposition of great information and guidance at no cost,” said Sean Green, co-founder and CEO who is now in his second decade with the company.

“We’ve found the short-form video to be a sweet spot because it enables us to provide the sports gambling content in an efficiently entertaining way as we cover sports news as it relates to betting the games,” added Ryan Kramer, co-founder of SGPN and an analytics geek in the art of picking winners. “This time of year is crazy with all the action. We’re proud of the depth and frequency of the content we produce.”

The news of the growth on YouTube comes one month after SGPN set a company record of 1.1 million downloads in September. That is more than twice (2.44x) the number of downloads experienced in September of 2021. For 2022, SGPN has seen over 6.5 million downloads from fans, already surpassing last year’s company record of three million downloads.

SGPN’s new World Cup podcast is hosted by Malcolm Bamford, who is advancing the event now and will break down game winners and totals with other insights once the competition begins. He’ll also dive into other wagering options that will help bettors find some easy money in the blockbuster international spectacle that is slated for major cover here in the United States, continuing through the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 18.

According to the American Gaming Association’s inaugural survey on World Cup wagering, an estimated 20.5 million American adults plan to bet a total of $1.8 billion on the upcoming World Cup, adding that 72 percent of bettors plan to place traditional bets either online, with a bookie or at a physical sportsbook.

Sportshandle.com: California Sports Gambling Initiative Among Greatest Losses in State Election History

Despite a record of nearly $500 million spent and raised – the most expensive ballot in U.S. history – to bring sports betting to California, a new Sportshandle.com story reports that the initiative was one of the worst losses in the state’s election history.

If passed, Prop 27 would have modified the state’s constitution to legalize mobile wagering.

Overall, the 83% to 17% defeat ranks as one of the most lopsided in the state’s history, making Prop 27 among the 99.6th percentile in terms of the scale of the loss, dating back more than a century to 1910.  

SportsHandle.com’s Mark Saxon goes in-depth on Prop 27 ranking No. 6 all-time as the worst bill ever in the state of California.  The only propositions that have fared worse than Prop 27 fared at the voting include:

  • Prop 101 (1988)
  • Prop 24 (1914)
  • Prop 13 (1940)
  • Prop 24 (1938)
  • Prop 5 (1922)

A link to Saxon’s column can be accessed by clicking here – California Wagering Initiatives Made The Worst Kind Of History

MSG Networks Announces Lineup of Sports Betting Focused-Simulcasts of Knicks and Rangers Games

MSG Networks today announced a lineup of sports-betting focused simulcasts of select Knicks and Rangers games this season. The alternative broadcasts presented by DraftKings will air on MSGSN alongside the traditional game telecasts on MSG, featuring real-time commentary and analysis through the sports betting lens. The first BetCast will air tonight at 7:30pm ET when the Knicks take on Atlanta at home.

The schedule will include a total of 12 BetCasts between the Knicks and Rangers, which will mark the first time MSG Networks produces a sports betting-focused simulcast of an NHL game. The network debuted the BetCast during the 2021-2022 NBA season, offering the simulcast for five Knicks games.

The alternate Knicks telecasts will feature a rotating mix of sports betting experts and on-air talent from the network’s roster of shows, including Alex Monaco, Keiana Martin, Sean Little, Erik Coleman, Jeff Johnson, Harrison Sanford, Kazeem Famuyide and eight-year NBA veteran John Henson. The hosts will deliver live reaction to all the betting action on the game from the spread, team totals, player props and more, as well as provide in-game updates to the odds and lines as they move throughout the night.

The first hockey BetCast will air on Monday, December 5th at 7:00pm ET for the Rangers’ game against St. Louis. Rangers reporter Michelle Gingras and former Rangers and Devils center and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Scott Gomez will break down the play on the ice from a sports betting perspective.

MSG Networks will integrate DraftKings odds into the BetCasts, as well as highlight specific bets and parlays on the air that will be available for viewers exclusively within the DraftKings Sportsbook app. The simulcasts are also expected to include appearances by various on-air personalities from DraftKings.

All BetCast coveragewill also be available to view on MSG GO, the network’s live streaming and video on demand platform.

photo credit: Jean-Baptiste Bellet

National Lacrosse League, TSN Announce 2022-23 ‘NLL Game of The Week on TSN’ Schedule

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the world’s largest and most successful professional lacrosse league, and TSN, Canada’s Sports Leader, today revealed the schedule of the “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” broadcasts on its linear channels for the upcoming 2022-23 regular season. The slate of 20 marquee matchups begins with Philadelphia at Halifax (Friday, December 2, 6 p.m. ET) and Vancouver at Toronto (Saturday, December 3, 5 p.m. ET) during Face Off Weekend next month. In addition to the NLL Game of the Week broadcasts, TSN will continue to provide live streaming coverage of every game of the NLL regular season and postseason for fans across Canada on TSN’s digital platforms, TSN.ca and the TSN app.

Each of the five Canada-based franchises will make numerous appearances on the “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” schedule, and all 20 games will be played on the home floor of one of the Canadian teams. Eight of the games will feature two Canadian teams and 12 will pit a U.S. based club vs. a Canadian side. Eight of the 10 U.S. franchises are scheduled to appear.

“Reaction to last year’s NLL Game of the Week on TSN broadcasts was tremendous, and we’re pleased to again partner with TSN to provide a stellar lineup of games, starting with Face Off Weekend,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “In addition to showcasing the tremendous home venues and passionate fan bases of our five Canadian clubs, we are excited to present the game’s most intense rivalries and a cross-section of the league’s top talent to our audiences throughout the country.”

The NLL and TSN have also announced the broadcast teams for this season. Back on the call will be Jon Abbott, Pat Gregoire and Ashley Docking on most of the eastern based games, while the team of Teddy Jenner, Brad Challoner and Shantelle Chand will handle the majority of the western games.

The “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” schedule is as follows and is available on the NLL and TSN official websites (schedule subject to change, all times ET).

• Friday, December 2, Philadelphia @ Halifax, 6 p.m.
• Saturday, December 3, Vancouver @ Toronto, 5 p.m.
• Saturday, December 10, Vancouver @ Calgary, 9:30 p.m.
• Friday, December 16, Calgary @ Vancouver, 10 p.m.
• Friday, December 30, San Diego @ Calgary, 9 p.m.
• Friday, January 13, Albany @ Halifax, 6:30 p.m.
• Saturday, January 28, Toronto @ Calgary, 9 p.m.
• Saturday, February 4, New York @ Toronto, 7 p.m.
• Saturday, February 4, Saskatchewan @ Vancouver, 10 p.m.
• Friday, February 10, Saskatchewan @ Calgary, 9 p.m.
• Friday February 17, Calgary @ Vancouver, 10 p.m.
• Saturday February 25, Vancouver @ Saskatchewan, 8 p.m.
• Friday, March 3, Buffalo @ Halifax, 6:30 p.m.
• Saturday, March 11, Albany @ Toronto, 7 p.m.
• Saturday, April 1, Buffalo @ Toronto, 7 p.m.
• Saturday, April 8, Panther City @ Calgary, 9 p.m.
• Friday, April 14, Las Vegas @ Calgary, 9 p.m.
• Saturday, April 15, Philadelphia @ Toronto, 7 p.m.
• Saturday, April 22, New York @ Halifax OR Colorado @ Saskatchewan, (TBD Flex) 
• Saturday, April 29, New York @ Vancouver, 10 p.m.

Other highlights of the 2022-23 NLL Game of the Week on TSN schedule include:
• Long-time Roughneck Curtis Dickson will make his anticipated return to Calgary on December 30 after leaving in free agency this offseason for San Diego.
• A Saturday doubleheader will see several of the best stars in the NLL play all in the same day on February 4 as 2022 NLL Rookie of the Year Jeff Teat and the Riptide will play Tom Schreiber and the Rock. Following that game, Mark Matthews and the Rush will take on Keegan Bal and the Warriors.
• In a rematch from last season’s thrilling East Conference Finals, the Bandits will play the Rock on April 1 in what could decide the top spot in the conference as the league enters the last month of the regular season.
• The NLL’s 15th and newest franchise playing in their inaugural season, the Las Vegas Desert Dogs, will play in front of a national Canadian audience against the Roughnecks on April 14.

The full NLL regular season schedule is available at https://www.nll.com/schedule/full-schedule/.

Q&A with Tanner Simkins, CEO Complete SET Agency

Tanner Simkins is the founder and CEO of Complete SET agency, a hybrid and entertainment firm that works with multinational brands, world-class athletes, platinum entertainers, and more. Simkins has agreed to sit down and weigh in on what he calls his innovative agency model a think tank of sports and entertainment representation.

What inspired you to get into sports representation?

I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and played sports my whole life. My dad was a star three athlete, and I still hear stories about his glory days. My mom was the lead majorette for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The influence of sports was there from an early age for me. Growing up, my brother was always the better basketball player, so the plan was for him to go pro, and for me to be his agent. 

Fast forward a bit – my brother is now a super successful real estate finance exec, and I’m just trying to keep the dream alive! I am so proud of what I’ve built with Complete SET Agency. We go head to head with some of the biggest companies in the world and, despite being out-funded and outsourced, we continue to win clients in sports representation and consulting. 

What experiences early in your career helped to shape your focus on becoming a sports agent?

While I am a certified sports agent, I prefer the entrepreneur description because I am the CEO of the company and I do so much more in business. Everyone wants to work in sports, and being an athlete or a fan is no qualification; you have got to bring value to the table. For me, the hustle needed to make it to the top echelon of this industry was appealing. 

I was told early on by a mentor that to be an elite sports exec, you have to be “the 1% of 1%”. I embraced the challenge and each of my educational or career steps since has been intentional and strategic. I lean into the unconventional, which this career path very much is. 

How does an agency like Complete SET help athletes and brands?

I lead Complete SET Agency like a think tank. I always want to be at the frontier of new trends and developments. If there is a way I can disrupt the marketplace or innovate somewhere, that’s the route I take. Many competitor agencies operate with what I believe is an antiquated model – so doing things differently and boldly is my comparative advantage. 

It’s part expertise, part sweat equity, part authenticity, part charisma – and I package that up into a suite of services which looks one way for athletes and differently for our brand clients. It’s about pushing the envelope on cutting edge technologies and trends. My commitment to this type of mentality usually gets the meeting, and after that, it’s time to deliver. 

How did some previous experience like with the Miami Heat and elsewhere help shape your future career?

I am an interdisciplinarian. It’s just my curious nature to develop a lot of skills and juggle a lot of things. I was at University of Miami wrapping up my dual undergraduate degree when I was working full time for the Miami Heat. Technically I was an intern, but I was doing it all, and I loved that. We ended up winning the NBA Championship that year, so I like to joke that I have a perfect winning record, because that was my one season with the club. 

Then I went to Columbia University for my grad degree and I utilized my position as an Ivy League student to my advantage. I was freelancing, doing contracted sports projects for big time companies like Bloomberg and Time Magazine. I was doing some sports finance and venture capital work about this time as well. I was lucky enough to work for legend Joe Favorito and he introduced me to heavy hitters, like Harvey Schiller for example and many others. 

It was doing good and reliable work for these types of people and companies that allowed me to build a book of consulting business, which I eventually rolled up to create Complete SET Agency. I got certified in all the pro basketball and football leagues shortly thereafter to add in the athlete representation dynamic to my agency. We have been rolling ever since! 

How have you seen Complete SET change the course of your clients’ careers?

I know what it is like to chase a dream, to put your heart and soul into a goal like being a pro athlete. So it is very rewarding to be able to help my clients. I have terrific client testimonials crediting my support and good work to their career success, which is always very special to hear. We don’t stop there, though; we work with our clients throughout their post-playing career to pursue business opportunities and philanthropic efforts. 

What is something you’re excited about for the future of Complete SET Agency?

Onward and upward! We are going to continue to scale. I have already been approached with some acquisition offers so I imagine the bigger agencies will continue to be interested in the work I am doing. As for now, no exit plans are in place. My focus is on increasing dealflow, creating disruptive innovation, and bringing bold ideas to the solutions I provide to clients. 

Entain Data Reveals Huge Rise In Popularity Of Betting On Formula 1

Entain, the global sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment group, reports a surge in popularity for bets on Formula 1 with a record-breaking year on the cards. Data from Entain between 2018 and 2022 reveals that:

· The total number of Entain customers betting on Formula 1 increased 50 per cent from 2018 to 2021, and the total number of bets on each season has grown by 30 per cent
· Most customers who bet on Formula 1 between 2018 and 2021 were from the UK (35 per cent), Brazil (17 per cent), Germany (17 per cent) and Spain (5 per cent)
· Entain has seen an 18 per cent increase from 2021 to 2022 in the number of UK customers betting on Formula 1, with four races still yet to go in the 2022 season
· The British Grand Prix in July 2022 saw a 121 per cent increase compared with 2018, and there has been a four-fold increase in the number of bets on a winner at the race
· This trend replicates the spike in popularity of the sport across streaming and multimedia platforms. According to Formula 1, it was the fastest-growing major sports league in terms of follower growth in 2021. Followers on social media platforms increased 40 per cent to 49.1 million, with video views up 50 per cent to 7 billion and total engagement up 74 per cent to 1.5 billion.

Dom Grounsell, Chief Commercial Officer at Entain, said: “Our customers are finding Formula 1 an increasingly exciting sport to participate in – numbers are growing year on year, in line with the popularity of the sport. This has no doubt been helped by the hugely successful Netflix Formula 1 Drive to Survive series. We’re looking forward to the next stage of Formula 1’s exhilarating journey, and with our bench-strength of global sporting brands, are perfectly placed to keep our customers entertained and close to the action.”

Whilst the marked rise in popularity of motor racing is exciting for Entain, the interactive entertainment group works hard to ensure its customers are enjoying the thrill of the race while staying safe and playing within their limits. Entain’s industry-leading player protection programme, Advanced Responsibility and Care™, uses artificial intelligence to anticipate and identify potential problems and lead players back to safety.

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.