SEEING THE FIELD

With three major sports-related announcements, MGM Resorts gets the top billing this week. First, the gaming and real estate company formed a 50/50 joint venture with GVC Holdings, the online gambling operator (that acquired Ladbrokes Coral earlier this year). The $200M JV will center around a new online gaming and sports betting platform based in the US – MGM delivers market access and GVC offers technology expertise and scale. Separately, MGM teamed with Boyd Gaming on a market access agreement – fueled by the desire to reach consumers in every state where betting is legal.

Lastly, MGM became the official gaming partner of the NBA (essentially the exclusive industry sponsor). In addition to the brand affiliation, MGM will be able to access the league’s direct data feed. The NBA has been the most publicly active of the leagues regarding sports betting and MGM already owns a WNBA franchise so the two groups have an established relationship.


TOP PLAYS
  • Peloton closed a $550M Series F ($150M in secondary funding) at a valuation of ~$4.15B. Peloton is expected to generate ~$700M in revenue this fiscal year, is launching their new treadmill product, and is now a dominant media subscription business. Last week ClassPass raised $85M with plans to create a competitive digital offering, as the appetite for at-home fitness content grows.

  • Genius Sports, the sports data company that works with many leagues, governing bodies (including a 10-year partnership with the NCAA announced in May), and sportsbooks, was acquired by PE firm Apax Partners. The deal comes close on the heels of competitor Sportradar’s recent financing that valued that company at $2.4B. With real-time and secure data as a key component of the sports betting market, both companies are looking to aggressively acquire market share.

  • The Overwatch League (OWL) closed out its first season last weekend, selling out the Barclays Center and airing across ABC networks (in addition to streaming platforms like Twitch). While the TV broadcast numbers were low (both by general and esports standards), the overall global audience was a success with an 860K average minute audience.

THE SPRINT
  • The voice market is rapidly expanding and sports organizations are taking notice. CBS Sports announced a partnership with Google to bring fantasy football advice to voice assistants. Users will be able to ask for lineup recommendations and updates, joining the increasing number of skills available to sports fans on the voice-enabled devices.

  • In another example of a notable tech startup aiming to leverage the sports market for growth, HQ Trivia has launched a new sports-specific offering. The first offshoot of the primary trivia game, the sports format has drawn hundreds of thousands of users in its first weeks.