DraftKings Plans Expansion to Ireland and Austria
DraftKings has announced it will expand its daily fantasy sports product into Ireland and Austria, offering fantasy contests covering a number of European and North American leagues.
The company said it will offer several football leagues to Irish and Austrian players, including the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Spanish La Liga. Fantasy contests for both the PGA and European gold tours will also be included along with contests on mixed martial arts, Esports, the Canadian Football League, EuroLeague Basketball and U.S. leagues.
“Sports fans in Europe are embracing the game inside the game through DraftKings’ contests and content,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings chief executive in a press release. “As we looked to expand our European footprint, it was an easy choice to launch in Ireland and Austria, given their renowned passion for sports.”
DraftKings has long talked of expanding into Ireland where it estimates that Irish sports fans spent €2.5 billion on the sports industry last year.
“Ireland’s sports culture runs deep, with hundreds of thousands of passionate fans following both ‘proper football’ and ‘gridiron football’ across European and American sports leagues,” said Jeffrey Haas, DraftKings chief international officer. “Irish football fans will find many opportunities to test their wits on DraftKings while enjoying a new way to sweat the action during fixtures.”
DraftKings began offering products in Europe 18 months ago and has seen growth in that time. In September, DraftKings saw a 51 percent growth in entry fees over 2016 and 31 percent growth in new customers in the UK. The company also saw a 46 percent month-over-month growth in registered customers in Germany.
In another story, U.S. media mogul Peter Chernin has acquired three market leaders in sports betting and fantasy sports data.
Chernin Group has acquired Sports Insights, FantasyLabs and SportsAction. The three information platforms will be combined to form the Action Network, a subscription-based platform to “give sports bettors access to data and analytical tools, along with articles, podcasts and videos that analyses sports from the perspective of a fan who has money on the line,” said Chernin in a press release.
ESPN veteran Chad Millman will head the network.
FantasyLabs provides data and tools to test daily fantasy sports theories to help build team lineups. Sports Insights tracks real-time scores and gives betting line analysis, while SportsAction is an app featuring live scores, betting odds and gambling advice.
Action Network is to be a data analytics company that will sell “premium sports analysis that will cater to the $170bn-plus underserved sports wagering and fantasy markets,” the company said in a statement.
“The sports marketplace in general is in a time of enormous transition,” Chernin said. “We’re living in a world where people are getting scores almost immediately, getting highlights almost immediately.”