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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Fanatics Sportsbook Rolls Out Unique Strategy In Four States

  • Rubin-led merchandising giant looks for more targeted approach to user adoption
  • Company will face uphill climb to challenge established market duopoly

Fanatics Sportsbook has made its full debut in four states — and now, it’s looking to challenge established sports betting leaders with a more targeted, cost-efficient strategy.

After six months of beta testing, the sports merchandising giant has formally started its online sportsbook operations in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee. 

The initial rollout will be joined by 12 additional states — including key betting locales such as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania — after its $225 million purchase of PointsBet’s U.S. operations closes later this month.

Despite the company’s apparent omnipresence among sports fans and a $31 billion company valuation, Fanatics is still an upstart against an established FanDuel-DraftKings market duopoly and will face further competition from the newly rebranded ESPN Bet.

But instead of the heavy consumer ad blitzes common to many of Fanatics’ sportsbook competitors, company officials said they will lean on their existing database of more than 95 million customers and a promotional partnership with NBC Sports inherited with the PointsBet acquisition.

Earlier this year, Fanatics Betting & Gaming CEO Matt King said the company was “not necessarily in pursuit of market share,” instead touting a broader, Fanatics-powered consumer experience. The view, however, is diametrically opposed to PENN Entertainment’s stated intent of reaching a 20% online sports betting market share in its $2 billion ESPN deal.

Physical Presence

In addition to the online presence, physical sportsbooks at or near pro sports venues will be a key element of Fanatics’ strategy.

Earlier this year, the company opened a location at the Washington Commanders’ FedEx Field, which will be followed on Friday by one at the Cleveland Guardians’ Progressive Field and one near the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Nationwide Arena later this month.

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