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NEXT.io sits down with Fanatics Betting & Gaming CEO Matt King to discuss how the operator plans to achieve a podium position in US online sports betting.

NEXT: Fanatics has said in the past about leveraging its brand to achieve a top three position in US sports betting. What is the wider strategy here?  

MK: The strategy is really around creating great products. I do think product is kind of portable, what everybody wants. And two, really leveraging the Fanatics brand and ecosystem to create something that ultimately creates a better fan experience. Most of the users that we’re targeting, they buy merchandise, they collect cards, they do it all. And we think we can offer a unique value proposition that links all of those things in a compelling way.

NEXT: What is your vision for the product?

MK: What we’re trying to do is to build something that ultimately delivers an experience that people want. It’s all the bets they want, when they want them, but done in a way that is faster and easier to use. It’s by no means rocket science, but ultimately, its core to what a lot of consumer technology companies have done, which is to just take what people want to do already, and make it better.

NEXT: As a business looking to leverage a strong existing brand, have you learned any lessons from either the successes or failures of previous media-led gaming efforts?

MK: People talk about those brands as all about the media integration, but I think the reality is about leveraging a brand. But the brand is only one part of it. So, I think the difference between success and failure really comes down to whether they were going to market the product, because if you don’t have a compelling product, I don’t care what your brand is – you are going to fail.

NEXT: How are you thinking of leveraging the Fanatics database to support the strategy?

MK: When you think about our 100-million person database, we literally have the largest database in the industry. It’s bigger than any of the land-based databases. It’s bigger than any of the DFS databases. Almost everybody that is a potential customer sits in our database somewhere. We have signal about what they do and what they like that allows us to better target messaging, so we look to target those customers both in paid media and in our organic channels with something compelling.

NEXT: What experiences can you lean on from your time as FanDuel CEO?

MK: I think I’ve learned a lot of lessons. At its core, I learned a lot about delivering great digital products, and two, the importance of risk and training. Flutter was a great partner of FanDuel, and I think the access to risk and trading really helped accelerate our market position. But I also learned what I would do differently, like, how do you build more of an organic acquisition model? How do you leverage something like a database and avoid spending as much money on marketing?

NEXT: What is your assessment of the competitive landscape?

MK: It is obviously very competitive with a lot of good competitors out there. But ultimately, it comes down to the fact that most sports bettors of reasonable value are downloading multiple apps. They see what everybody has to offer, which is why I go back to product and customer proposition. If you have the most compelling product, people will use you more than they use somebody else. It is less about what those guys are doing and more about how we be the best.

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