Aug 30, 2022 - Economy

PointsBet to launch betting newsletter amid U.S. push

Illustration of a slot machine featuring a basketball, baseball, football, and dollar signs.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

PointsBet, an online sportsbook operator based in Australia, is launching a sports betting newsletter via a partnership with sports media company Front Office Sports as it looks to expand its U.S. presence.

Why it matters: Sportsbooks are looking for cheaper and more sustainable alternatives to accrue customers and engage them rather than spending millions of dollars on paid digital marketing.

  • For example, FanDuel said last week it plans to launch FanDuel TV, which will include a linear TV network, and FanDuel+, its streaming platform.

Details: The newsletter will be created by Front Office Sports' in-house content studio, with editorial guidance from PointsBet senior editor Teddy Greenstein.

  • It will be sent three times a week (Sunday, Monday and Thursday) at first, with plans to eventually expand to five times per week in the fall.
  • The newsletter will go to PointsBet's existing list of roughly 1 million free email subscribers, executive vice president of media and strategy Rick Martira told Axios.
  • The company currently sends a once-per-week newsletter called Hustle by PointsBet. The reimagined newsletter will offer more of the latest betting news in addition to betting tips and insights from PointsBet.

Between the lines: The aim of the newsletter is to help existing bettors become more engaged, in addition to accruing new customers, Martira said. Success for online sportsbooks, he noted, is "actually about share of wallet."

  • Martira said he isn't opposed to one day monetizing the newsletter with sponsorships, "as long as it's secondary to the primary objective," which is providing quality information to its customers to better engage with betting.

Background: PointsBet launched in the U.S. in 2019 with a mobile betting app in New Jersey. It's since expanded to 11 states. It's hoping media partnerships with established brands can help raise brand awareness.

  • The company inked a five-year deal with NBC Sports to become its official sports-betting partner in 2020. The nearly $500 million deal gave NBCUniversal an equity stake in the company.

The big picture: The deal marks a turning point for Front Office Sports, which until now has mostly made money from selling sponsorships around its own content and newsletters, instead of licensing its tech to other companies.

  • Front Office Sports has roughly 1 million free email subscribers to its daily newsletter. It previously sent a series of specialized newsletters, which covered things like the NBA and college sports, but has since subsetted those emails and has consolidated those subscribers into its main newsletter.
  • Front Office Sports CEO Adam White said the company is on track to bring in around $8 million to $9 million in revenue this year, roughly double compared to last year, and is profitable.
  • In February, Front Office Sports received a new growth equity funding round from Crain Communications, valuing the firm at $25 million.

What's next: The first newsletter will be sent on Sept. 8.

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