Sports Technology

Bet on It: How DraftKings Is Expanding Sports Consumption

Overview The authorized sports betting operator of the NBA, DraftKings addresses the nuances of sports betting, and how wagering has allowed new fans to engage with sports.

DraftKings, a sports technology and entertainment company, is augmenting the sports fan experience through immersive betting and fantasy products. Most fans watch sports because they are invested in the final outcome, drawn to rooting for their favorite teams or players.

“This skin-in-the-game feeling only intensifies by having a daily fantasy lineup or wager in play with real money on the line,” said Jason Robins, CEO of DraftKings.

At CES 2020, DraftKings spoke on the sports technology panel “Immersive Media Evolves to Win the Fluid Fan,” and the company announced major news: DraftKings plans to become a public company that creates the only vertically-integrated, pure play sports betting and online gaming company headquartered in the U.S.

It’s also entered a business partnership with Harry Sloan’s Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, and SBTech, an international turnkey provider of cutting-edge sports betting and gaming technologies.

Robins shared how fans should approach sports betting and DraftKings’s plans for the future.

Tell us what the main takeaway should be when it comes to sports betting.

The main takeaway on sports betting for people is that the greatest competitor to regulated operators like DraftKings, remains the illegal market.

There is a multibillion-dollar unregulated betting industry we are fighting against that leaves consumers completely vulnerable and generates zero tax revenue. Our hope is that we are able to expand across the country as the only vertically-integrated, pure play sports betting and online gaming company that was started in the U.S.

Our goal is to be available for all customers and ultimately quell the demand for illegal betting products all together. In doing so, we believe we will also drive a new wave of innovation by being able to collaborate with sports leagues, media partners and regulators to bring experiences to our users that will even further deepen their love and passion for sports.

What are some ways you see people who’ve maybe never been the traditional sports fan before engaging with your platform?

Whereas most people tune in for their home team’s games, our platform has helped expand consumption more league-wide. Now users care about the outcome of a variety of games and are also engaged beyond just who wins and loses to see how their fantasy team performs or whether their wager pays out.

Additionally, our products can help form new fandoms among non-traditional fans, who begin playing one sports on our platform and in the process discover a completely new one to enjoy. For example, I once had a fan tweet a picture of himself at a Rangers game to me with a note about how he had never followed hockey before until getting into hockey DFS on DraftKings.

Can you tell us more about being the authorized sports betting operator of the NBA, as well as any other partnerships?

The NBA has been an early advocate of regulated betting and a crucial source of validation for our industry. We are absolutely thrilled to be recognized as an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA, an organization that shares our vision for the future of fan engagement.

Live betting, a critical component of sports betting technology and the future of the industry, is more prevalent on DraftKings Sportsbook for the NBA than any other sport — over 70 percent of NBA bettors have live-wagered, while nearly 45 percent of NBA handle has come from in-play bets.

Pepsi is an excellent example of the customizable nature of our platform that allows us to create catered offerings for fans. With around 12 million registered and highly engaged customers, brands recognize a unique opportunity to capture mindshare among this audience and so we collaborate on new games.

We also recently became the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the NFL, an exclusive and landmark agreement that bolsters the ways in which fans experience our games.

What are some trends that you see coming up in sports technology and/or fantasy sports in particular?

Live betting is one of the more fascinating trends in sports technology that appears poised to become more prevalent. While traditional, retail sportsbooks have their own benefits and charm, there is an unmatched convenience and speed of simply pulling out a phone to place a bet.

At DraftKings, 60 percent of our customers have already live wagered via mobile device. As streaming and more new-era consumption mediums gain traction while the regulated betting market expands, the future growth of real-time betting looks promising.

Catch DraftKings on the Immersive Media Evolves to Win the Fluid Fan panel from CES 2020.

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