Sports brands are betting big on…sports betting, of all things…to attract new fans. And an Atlanta-based startup could help them cash in on that bet.
MoneyLine is an online sports app designed to bring the “younger and more casual person to the sports gaming space…the ones that might not be a sportsbook’s target market,” founder Cole Warner told Hypepotamus. He explained it as “the minor leagues for the sports gaming space.”
There is nothing minor about the opportunities MoneyLine sees in the expanding space. 32 states currently allow, or have pending legislation for, in-person or mobile sportsbooks.
So why the big “bet” on sports betting right now?
“We know that when people have money on the line, they tune in with more intention,” Jenna Kurath, Vice President of Startup Partnerships and Head of Comcast NBCU SportsTech, told Hypepotamus. “And we need to find a way to get younger people more engaged in sports and not just tuning into the highlights.”
MoneyLine is one of several startups building in the crowded sports betting and fantasy sports vertical. In fact, Kurath said it was the most popular submission type for startups looking to join the 2nd cohort of the Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator. But MoneyLine’s low customer acquisition cost and ability to attract new, younger users helped the startup stand out and ultimately earn one of 10 spots in this spring’s accelerator class.
Based out of Atlanta, the accelerator looks to connect emerging sports-related startups with partners like the PGA TOUR, NBC Sports, NASCAR, the Olympics organizations, and other key sports-related brands.
Time in the accelerator not only helped MoneyLine raise over $500,000 in pre-seed money, but it also helped them secure marketing help from NBC and a partnership with PointsBet, a large US sportsbook.
“That affiliate model with sportsbooks wasn’t something we were planning on doing before we entered the accelerator. But having talked with so many people not only on the sportsbook side of things but also experts in the sports gaming space, they really pushed us more towards that. So now we have an additional revenue source that we’re projecting could be over a million dollars in the first year, and we are making strategic partnerships across the country,” Warner added.
The SportsTech accelerator offered a unique glimpse into what major sports organizations and brands are hyperfocused on when it comes to the future of athletics.
Outside of sports betting, startups that participated in this most recent SportsTech accelerator are working to solve other problems in fan engagement, athletic performance data collection, and ticket sales.