DraftKings Suits Up For Media Buying Spree

Content is king, they say. The king of online gambling has taken that expression to heart.

The popular fantasy sports and gambling app is reportedly building out a team to focus on “major” media acquisition targets.

From Bleacher Report to Yahoo, It’s All in the Cards

And they’re off to a running start. Last month DraftKings shelled out $100 million to acquire VSiN, a sports betting television and streaming channel.

DraftKings has also brought former Verizon executive Brian Angiolet as the company’s first-ever “chief media officer” to vet future deals and build content partnerships to help drive traffic to its app:

  • Target number one is reportedly Action Network, a digital sports betting publisher.
  • Other potential targets include sports media brands Bleacher Report, Blue Wire Podcasts, Front Office Sports, Wave.TV, Overtime, OutKick Media, and SportsGrid.

Breaking It Down: Analysts say a media acquisition binge could make sense for DraftKings as a way to use content to acquire customers more cheaply than paid marketing. DraftKings, which went public via SPAC last August, spent $475 million on sales and marketing last year alone.

By some accounts, DraftKings is taking a well-worn path. Casino and racetrack company Penn National acquired a 36% stake in Barstool Sports last year for $163 million, giving it front door access to Barstool’s deep audience. Earlier this year, software platform HubSpot acquired newsletter the Hustle for a reported $27 million.

“Leading operators, in addition to DraftKings, such as FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, WynnBet, PointsBet and more, they’re all looking at media assets,” David VanEgmond, CEO of investment fund Bettor Capital, told Axios.

the takeaway

In an ironic twist, Axios — which broke the DraftKings story — is in talks to merge with sports media company The Athletic and together go public through an SPAC.

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