FanDuel: Sports fans want experiences ‘radically different to traditional formats’

Appearing in the debut episode of the SBC Leaders Podcast, a podcast series that gets to know the people driving global gaming’s biggest developments, FanDuel CEO Matt King discussed the operator’s approach to developing sports betting in ‘radically different’ formats.

Speaking to SBC’s Global Relationships Director, Kelly Kehn, King outlined how both the sports betting and sports broadcasting markets are rapidly developing, discussing FanDuel’s comprehensive strategy to overcome multi-state complexities.

“It’s interesting to track the disruption going on across the media landscape. People talk about ‘ratings being down and equate it to young people not watching live sports’…I take the opposite view,” he stated.

Sports media, King believes, is going through a cycle of changes, and stakeholders must move away from traditional thinking and embrace new formats in order to effectively deal with these challenges.

“People of all generations care about sports, however, younger audiences don’t want to consume sports in a passive manner sitting in front of the TV for three hours – they want shorter intervals and access across all platforms.”

“This is a great opportunity for FanDuel, which I think can develop in sport’s new ecosystem, where younger generations want instant experiences and to connect with other sports fans… something radically different to traditional formats.”

King also addressed his career in the industry, having been appointed to lead FanDuel’s wagering post-PASPA by Flutter Entertainment in 2017. Beginning his tenure with FanDuel, the CEO’s primary objective was to establish FanDuel’s wagering identity against a tidal wave of glorified market projections, media hype and constant competitor speculation.

Though established as the US market’s leading DFS operator, King recalled how FanDuel had to restructure its entire product cycles and operational frameworks to accommodate for unknown challenges as US states began to take up their initial wagering regulations.

“In the early days of any marketplace, you forget that the easiest innovations are getting the basics right,” King stated. “Is it easy for the customer to sign-up, is it easy for them to place their first bets and can they follow what’s going on?”

“Our focus was on education, so our innovations were not sexy. Our goal was simply to make sure that we delivered the best first-time wagering experience for all customers”.

By ‘getting the basics right’, King said that FanDuel has secured its place as a leader in the next stage of product innovations for US wagering – which he believes will differ radically to any previous innovation cycles witnessed before by the sports betting industry.

“I think that we are here to bring sports viewing and wagering into the 21st century,” he remarked, “Our mission is to bring in sports fans from the sidelines and engage them with their favorite sport, just like they have been accustomed to with other digital products”.

“If you look at video games and social media platforms, the user has allowed them to personalise their product and offerings to better suit their own preferences… this should be no different for sports betting which at the moment is a static experience for the customer”.

FanDuel is a member of SBC Leaders, a membership of top tier global operators and operator associations formed with a mission to bring the industry’s best together in order to share ideas, collaborate on major issues, push innovation, and elevate the overall image of our industry through the promotion of its achievements.

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