Speaking to Kelly Kehn on the ‘SBC Leaders Podcast’ – broadcast on GamblingTV – FanDuel CEO Matt King discussed the operator’s approach to finding success in the US market.
Currently operating fantasy sports in 40 states, horse racing products in another 30, online gaming in three and sportsbook products – identified by King as ‘one of the big growth drivers in the business’ – in 10 states, FanDuel has become one of the most dominant players in the US sports betting industry.
In his conversation with SBC’s Global Relationships Director, King identified ‘getting the basics right’ as one of the ‘easiest innovations’ in securing a foothold in the burgeoning American market.
Questions what gambling firms should ask themselves, King argued that queries should include: “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?”
He added: “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.”
Elaborating on the keys to success in the US market, the CEO argued that providing an entertainment and engrossing product should be a core focus.
“Our view is we’re an entertainment business,” King explained. “At the end of the day, you need to build a good product experience where we deliver a good value for somebody’s dollar.
“So when I think about the Super Bowl, it’s really less about ‘do we win or lose on an event like that?’, but more about ‘do I deliver a good product experience?’”
He continued: “I think that we are here to bring sports viewing and wagering into the 21st century. Our mission is to bring in sports fans from the sidelines and engage them with their favourite 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.”
Finally, regarding sports media in the US, King put forward the argument that the broadcasting industry is facing a similar generational divide to sports wagering, but that this is not a result of ‘young people not watching live sports.’.
Taking the opposite view, King stated that: “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.”
FanDuel is a member of SBC Leaders, a group of elite global operators and operator associations established to consolidate key players in the sector in order to share ideas, collaborate on major issues, support innovation and promote the industry’s achievements in order to elevate its international image.