Affiliate group Better Collective generated revenue of €56m in Q2 2022, an increase of 40% over the prior-year period.
This, the firm said, gave an organic growth rate of 22%, in addition to further growth driven by Better Collective’s acquired businesses.
The year-on-year growth came despite the annual Q2 lull in the US sporting calendar and an “exceptional” comparative period in Q2 2021.
Better Collective’s sports win margin was higher than in Q1 but still below Q2 2021 levels, it said, with an estimated impact of €7m compared to last year’s second quarter.
Q2 group EBITDA before special items came to €12.2m, a decrease of 3.9%, giving the business an EBITDA margin of 22%. Better Collective’s publishing segment showed an EBITDA margin of 26% while the paid media segment’s margin was significantly lower at 12%.
The affiliate’s US business – including Action Network – registered an EBITDA loss of €1.8m, which Better Collective said was as expected, reflecting seasonal impacts on group revenue and further ongoing change from a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) business model to a revenue share model in its partner contracts.
That change will be “transformational” for the company’s US segment, it said, with the impact of short-term costs upon EBITDA levels already absorbed by continued growth across the business.
Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard: “Our geographical diversification really proved its worth as the Europe & RoW Publishing business continued its strong momentum for both revenue and earnings.
The affiliate still expects to meet its anticipated market growth in the US, it added, with revenue from the region expected to exceed $100m by the end of 2022. It also expects the US business to deliver full-year profitability in line with the broader group.
Better Collective saw over 387,000 new depositing customers using its services during the quarter, some 93% ahead of the prior-year period. Of those, 310,000 – or around 80% – were sent on revenue share contracts.
“Q2 was a productive quarter. Revenues from revenue share contracts as well as NDCs were an all-time high of €22m and more than 387,000, respectively,” said Jesper Søgaard, co-founder & CEO of Better Collective.
“Our geographical diversification really proved its worth as the Europe & RoW Publishing business continued its strong momentum for both revenue and earnings. Our US business showed 90% topline growth and a negative EBITDA, which runs in line with our strategy to continue large scale investments in what rapidly has become our largest single market,” he concluded.
Jesper Søgaard: “Our US business showed 90% topline growth and a negative EBITDA, which runs in line with our strategy to continue large scale investments in what rapidly has become our largest single market.”
Significant events during the period included Better Collective’s acquisition of Canada Sports Betting in March, ahead of Ontario’s regulated online sports betting and iGaming market launch in April.
Better Collective said it has been “very satisfied with the development of the asset.”
Following the end of Q2, the business saw revenue reach almost €17m in July, representing year-on-year growth around 36% for the month.
The business also signed a number of new media agreements, including with the Chicago Tribune and German multi-channel sports platform SPORT1.
Today (23 August), the business announced a further new agreement with Boston.com, part of Boston Globe Media Partners. Boston Globe Media is a multimedia news and entertainment organisation operating across multiple brands and platforms.
Better Collective said the business is also the region’s leading digital destination for trusted information on breaking news and sports, serving millions of readers each month.
The newly agreed partnership with Boston.com will be co-branded with Better Collective’s VegasInsider brand in order to provide content, data and statistics for a new online sports betting section.
Better Collective has teamed up with the Chicago Tribune, the largest news organisation in the American Midwest, to bring sports betting content to the brand’s 18 million monthly online visitors.
With a print circulation of over 100,000, the Chicago Tribune – founded in 1847 – is the most-read daily newspaper in the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region.
It has won 27 Pulitzer Prizes and is known for its innovative investigative reporting, coverage of the arts and culture, and community-leading opinion writing.
For the Stockholm-listed affiliate giant, the new agreement comes hot on the heels of a recent content deal with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Under the partnership, Better Collective will provide readers of chicagotribune.com with betting odds and tips for upcoming games, analysis of teams and players, and direct links to sports betting platforms.
Executive editor of the Chicago Tribune Mitch Pugh: “Our readers depend on The Trib for sports news and information and the recent expansion of legalised sports gambling in our readership area makes this partnership with Better Collective a timely way to serve our readers.”
Executive editor of the Chicago Tribune, Mitch Pugh, said: “Our readers depend on The Trib for sports news and information and the recent expansion of legalised sports gambling in our readership area makes this partnership with Better Collective a timely way to serve our readers.”
The partnership is expected to be operational by mid-August in time for the start of the NFL season.
Marc Pedersen, vice president and CEO of Better Collective US, commented: “The Midwest and Chicago have so many great sports fans of different types of sports.
“We are very happy that we can bring engaging content, data and tips to dedicated readers of the Chicago Tribune that want to learn more about sports and sports betting,” he added.
Action Network chief content officer Chad Millman: “As a Chicagoland native, I know local sports fans have a hunger for expert sports betting information. That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with the region’s most respected news authority, delivering together the depth and breadth of content readers have always appreciated from The Trib.”
The partnership will be co-branded with Better Collective subsidiary Action Network, a digital sports media company providing premium content, proprietary tools and in-depth analytics to help sports fans make smarter wagers.
Chad Millman, Action Network’s chief content officer, said: “As a Chicagoland native, I know local sports fans have a hunger for expert sports betting information.
“That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with the region’s most respected news authority, delivering together the depth and breadth of content readers have always appreciated from The Trib.”
Better Collective is rapidly expanding in the US market. Revenue generated in US markets in Q1 2022 skyrocketed compared to the prior-year period, up to €31.0m from just €5.8m in Q1 2021. The region accounted for 46% of total group revenue and 56% of EBITDA during the quarter.
Better Collective-owned Action Network has announced a new partnership with Web3 membership community Knights of Degen ahead of the 2022 NFL season.
Knights of Degen describes itself as “a Web3 membership community for sports fans building a new way to experience sports fandom in the metaverse, with a passionate community of sports fans, bettors and entrepreneurs.”
The brand launched a collection of 8,888 NFTs last year, offering owner benefits including access to professional athletes and experts both online and offline and exclusive sports and entertainment contests and events.
Knights of Degen was founded by a mix of Web3 entrepreneurs and traditional sports personalities, including NFL star Tiki Barber, analytics expert Cynthia Frelund, actor Jerry Ferrara, and entrepreneur Jared Augustine.
This new partnership with Action Network – the North American sports media brand acquired by Better Collective in 2021 – aims to bridge the gap between sports fans and Web3, the businesses said.
It marks the first partnership between Knights of Degen and a sports media entity, and will unlock unique access for sports betting communities, cross-collaboration content, and live events including an NFL Kick Off event.
Better Collective US SVP commercial Scott Miller: “Sports betting is filled with unique one-of-a-kind experiences (just like NFTs) and our entrance into Web3 only furthers our commitment to combining the worlds of sports media and technology.”
Owners of Knight NFTs will be provided with premium subscriptions to Action Network’s sports betting content and analytics for free, while the Action Network community will benefit from new Reddit-style ‘ask-me-anything’ sessions (AMAs) with athletes, as well as contests and educational onboarding in the NFT space.
“Our partnership with the Knights of Degen will provide their community with direct access to Action’s best experts and serve as a bridge between the sports betting and NFT communities,” said Scott Miller, SVP commercial for Better Collective US.
“Sports betting is filled with unique one-of-a-kind experiences (just like NFTs) and our entrance into Web3 only furthers our commitment to combining the worlds of sports media and technology.”
Tiki Barber, former NFL running back for the New York Giants, added: “At the core of Knights of Degen, it’s about hanging out on Sundays with your friends talking about your action on the game or fantasy scores.
“We think Action Network is the perfect partner to provide great value and service to our community, and we believe KOD is the perfect entrance for traditional sports fans into Web3.”
Affiliate giant Better Collective has signed a media partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer to deliver sports betting and iGaming content for readers.
The Inquirer, which was founded in 1829, is the third-oldest continually operating daily newspaper in the US and the largest US newspaper organised under non-profit ownership. The brand’s online offering boasts a readership of some 10 million monthly visitors.
Under the partnership, which is expected to launch in August, Better Collective will provide Inquirer readers with a variety of sports betting content, data and statistics, to help inform both iGaming customers and sports bettors.
The content will be provided by Better Collective subsidiary Action Network, which the affiliate acquired in May last year for a total purchase price of $240m.
The Inquirer CEO Lisa Hughes: “This business partnership with Better Collective through Action Network allows us to offer quality content to readers who are interested in sports betting and iGaming.”
“Philadelphia has some of the most passionate and knowledgeable sports fans in the country and this business partnership with Better Collective through Action Network allows us to offer quality content to readers who are interested in sports betting and iGaming,” said Lisa Hughes, publisher and CEO of The Inquirer.
Marc Pedersen, VP and CEO of Better Collective US, added: “We believe that educating bettors by providing them with relevant information, data and statistics will enhance their betting experience.
“The partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer will allow us to reach a very large number of potential users, and we are excited to partner with the publication to provide engaging content to a growing audience.”
Better Collective US VP and CEO Marc Pedersen: “This partnership will allow us to reach a very large number of potential users.”
Action Network CEO Patrick Keane said: “This partnership will allow Action to share our unique sports betting insights and premium content to The Inquirer’s readers as they decide what wagers to place.
“We have a deep roster of talented sports betting experts who can now share their insights with a larger audience through this partnership. Action Network is purpose-driven to provide the best content, products and analytics to inform sports bettors of all levels of experience.”
Online sports betting and iGaming launched in Pennsylvania in 2019 and there are currently 14 regulated online operators in the state including Barstool, DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.
Licence applicants must pay a one-time $10m licensing fee for sports betting and must partner with a local land-based casino, each of which is permitted to operate one online sportsbook skin.
Sports betting revenue in Pennsylvania is subject to a 36% tax rate.
The partnership marks the latest high-profile media agreement signed by Better Collective this year. In January, the firm struck an agreement with the New York Post to provide commercial online sports betting content following the launch of regulated mobile wagering in the Empire State.
Indeed, Better Collective continues to focus its strategic efforts on North America. Its acquisitions of Action Network, VegasInsider and Scores&Odds all helped to increase the firm’s share of revenue derived from US markets to 46% in Q1 2022.
New Jersey-based peer-to-peer sports betting operator Prophet Exchange has strengthened its product and content teams with three new hires ahead of its launch later this year.
The operator aims to become the first US sports betting operator to enable peer-to-peer betting, with its New Jersey launch planned for this summer via a market access agreement with Caesars Entertainment.
Today (31 May), the firm announced it has hired former Caesars senior software engineer Matt Stolarz as director of technical product, software engineer Zhifeng Shi as director of software engineering, and former Action Network social media exec Casey Halpern as director of social media and content.
Prophet Exchange director of technical product, Matt Stolarz: “You couldn’t dream up a better product or a better team to come into.”
Prophet’s new director of technical product Matt Stolarz has worked as a senior software engineer at both Caesars Entertainment and William Hill, where he and his team were responsible for launching the William Hill sportsbook in New Jersey and expanding it across the US.
“I am beyond excited to join Prophet Exchange to help guide and build the first and best sports betting exchange product in the United States,” Stolarz said.
“I am also looking forward to working alongside a brilliant and talented team of fellow sports betting industry experts. You couldn’t dream up a better product or a better team to come into.”
Newly appointed director of software engineering Zhifeng Shi previously built large scale data ingestion pipelines to provide business insights into near real-time data for companies.
Prophet Exchange director of software engineering, Zhifeng Shi: “I am very excited to have the opportunity to join Prophet to work with the product and engineering teams and to build the most reliable and trustable platforms to power the next revolution in US sports betting.”
Most recently, Shi was a software engineer at real estate broker Compass, which he joined in its early stages to build an end-to-end transaction management platform. The platform now powers more than 6% of annual US real estate transactions since its initial release under a year ago.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to join Prophet to work with the product and engineering teams and to build the most reliable and trustable platforms to power the next revolution in US sports betting,” Shi said.
“I am looking forward to being a part of Prophet’s challenging and exciting journeys ahead.”
Prophet’s new director of social media and content, Casey Halpern, joins from his most recent role managing and overseeing social media channels at Better Collective-owned Action Network.
Prophet Exchange director of social media and content, Casey Halpern: “I firmly believe that Prophet Exchange will solve a plethora of problems that everyday sports bettors currently face.”
Prior to that, Halpern worked as a producer and researcher for NBC’s Football Night in America for the past five NFL seasons, in addition to a long history working with athletes and media personalities on producing social media content and building their profiles.
“I am thrilled to join Prophet Exchange,” Halpern said. “This is an incredible opportunity to help scale an important and innovative product that will be the first of its kind in the US.
“I firmly believe that Prophet Exchange will solve a plethora of problems that everyday sports bettors currently face. I am looking forward to the exciting, yet challenging times ahead as we build a best-in-class sports betting exchange.”
Better Collective has acquired the assets of sports betting affiliate Canada Sports Betting for a maximum purchase price of €21.4m.
The price consists of a €15.9m upfront cash payment, with a further €5.5m payable as a deferred cash payment contingent on certain deliverables to be achieved within three months.
Better Collective recently expanded its credit line with Nordea Bank by €100m, which will be used to finance the purchase as well as further acquisitions.
The deal was sealed less than two weeks before the launch of legalised online sports betting and iGaming in Ontario, Canada’s largest province by population with close to 15 million residents.
Better Collective said that it expects Canadian activities to drive in excess of €5m in revenue during the financial year 2022.
Canada Sports Betting helps guide customers to online sports betting operators and has become an established brand within the Canadian market since launching.
Better Collective said it has developed its US business successfully following the execution of its acquisition strategy and ongoing investment in North American sports betting markets, with the strategy generating high growth and a rapid increase in profitability for the business.
Other major Better Collective brands, in particular Action Network and VegasInsider, will drive its North American performance alongside Canada Sports Betting.
Better Collective is preparing for the opening of online sports betting in Ontario.https://t.co/WiUg6mb1JT pic.twitter.com/HmAnB8x4yG
— Better Collective (@BetterCollectiv) March 23, 2022
In line with these developments, Better Collective said it expects the North American market to continue to grow, bringing increased revenue and EBTIDA to the business.
Last month, Better Collective’s Q4 and full-year 2021 financial results showed the US market had provided 40% of the firm’s revenue in the fourth quarter, generating €20m during the period.
For the full year 2022, the affiliate said the US market is expected to provide annual revenue in excess of $100m.
“I am very happy to include Canada Sports Betting in the Better Collective product portfolio,” said Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard. “This acquisition gives us a strong foothold in a Canadian market, which is developing in a very promising direction.
“With these new websites and with support from our established North American business, I believe we can develop these assets to become flagship brands within sports betting in Canada.”
In line with the acquisition, Better Collective has updated its financial targets for the financial year, with EBITDA expected to reach approximately €80m, adjusted upwards from previous projections of €75m.
The firm’s other financial targets relating to organic growth and debt leverage, however, remain unchanged.
Competition is expected to be fierce in Ontario’s legalised online gaming market upon launch on 4 April, with several major international operators including 888, bet365, Unibet and LeoVegas, as well as the biggest players in the US market such as FanDuel and DraftKings, approved to go live at market launch by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Better Collective’s share price has increased by 1.7% today and sits at SEK155 at the time of writing.
Better Collective has reported a 44% year-on-year rise in revenue to €52.8m for Q4 2021 driven by an all-time high intake of new depositing customers (NDCs).
The Stockholm-listed affiliate delivered more than 267,000 NDCs to its operator partners during the fourth quarter, up 75% compared to the same period of last year.
Crucially for Better Collective, more than 190,000 of these customers were directed via rev share contracts, which should secure future recurring revenue for the company and provide longer term security than cost per acquisition (CPA) agreements.
“I am very excited about this development,” said Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard. “However, these ‘quantum leaps’ come with a short-term dampening effect on revenue and earnings.
“Combined with an all-time low sports win margin during the quarter, we have estimated an effect of approximately 6m for Q4 compared to the historical average,” he added, explaining why Q4 revenue fell just short of prior estimates.
Better Collective said the successful development in NDCs was down to the strong performance of its media partnerships, which progressed at the beginning of the year after the firm joined forces with the New York Post.
“We continue to pursue and favour revenue share as the preferred business model, and we have now started working on the first rev share contracts with US operators,” said Søgaard.
The US has already become Better Collective’s biggest market and is approaching the same level of profitability as its European publishing business.
Driven by the Action Network brand, the firm’s US revenue reached €20m in Q4 to account for almost 40% of overall group revenue. For full-year 2022, the US is expected to provide annual revenue in excess of $100m.
Better Collective is now live in 16 states, the most recent of which was Louisiana, which launched online sports betting in late January. The company has more than 200 dedicated employees across US offices in New York, Florida and Tennessee.
In Q4, the affiliate’s Publishing division provided 74% of overall revenue at €38.9m, while Paid Media contributed the rest at 26% and €13.9m.
Group EBITDA before special items increased by 16% in Q4 to €16.3m, representing an EBITDA margin before special items of 31%.
For full-year 2021, the business grew revenue by 94% to €177m as EBITDA before special items climbed by 46% to €55.8m.
After the most recent reporting period, January 2022 revenue surpassed the €26m mark while EBITDA broke the €11m barrier, once again boosted by US performance.
As a result, Better Collective is targeting EBITDA of €75m in full-year 2022 and organic revenue growth of between 15% and 25%.
Better Collective’s share price has fallen by more than 6% in early trading to SEK149.
Better Collective has hired Adam Rosenberg as its new head of marketing and communications across US brands including Action Network.
Rosenberg has prior experience in digital marketing, branding and communications having worked in the technology, esports and sports betting sectors.
One of his first responsibilities will be to establish a local communications team to promote Better Collective’s US brands; Action Network, US Bets, Vegas Insider and Sports Handle.
He arrives at the Stockholm-listed affiliate from seveneighteen, a US sports content portal.
Rosenberg has also worked as head of communications and PR for esports tech business Vindex, where he was based in Boston between October 2020 and February 2022.
Marc Pedersen, CEO of Better Collective US, said: “Adam has the skills and experience we are looking for to support our continued strong growth in the US market and to increase the awareness about our many strong US brands.”
Rosenberg is also a DJ and songwriter.
He said: “This is a dream opportunity for me as an avid and unapologetic Philly sports fan and member of the growing online sports betting community.
“Sports betting isn’t going anywhere and with more US states bringing legalised mobile sports betting online this year, more and more sports fans will be able to mix art and science in making their picks.
“I am thrilled to be joining Better Collective’s family of brands and eager to get in the room and get to work,” he added.
Rosenberg joined Better Collective on 14 February. The Copenhagen-based affiliate will report its Q4 financial results on 24 February.
Better Collective has struck an agreement with US tabloid media outlet the New York Post to provide it with commercial online sports betting content.
The deal includes content, data and statistics for the betting section of the New York Post to be delivered by Better Collective’s leading US media brand Action Network.
Stockholm-listed Better Collective acquired Action Network in May 2021 for a record fee of $240m amid plans to grow its US revenue to more than $100m by 2022.
The New York Post was founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton and has been owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp since 1993.
It is thought to be the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the whole of the US and boasts a digital readership across its portfolio of titles of more than 92m unique monthly users.
More than 11m of these users come from New York, which is a key strategic area for Better Collective following the launch of the state’s mobile sports betting market on 8 January.
A @nypost cover we’ve waited a long time for:
Mobile sports betting is finally here! pic.twitter.com/6O38UcvdYe
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) January 7, 2022
The affiliate said it is off to a great start in New York with all five active operators (FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, Rush Street Interactive) and expects to work with four further operators (PointsBet, Bally Bet, WynnBet and Resorts World) once they have been cleared to launch.
In fact, Action Network CEO Patrick Keane said the launch of mobile betting in New York marked the biggest weekend in the history of the company.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Better Collective will be solely responsible for the monetisation of the joint business and will manage accounts with operators.
The partnership will be operational from 21 January.
Marc Pedersen, CEO Better Collective US, said: “We believe that educating bettors and iGamers by providing them with relevant information, data and statistics will enhance their betting experience.
“The partnership with the New York Post is the biggest media partnership agreement to date for Better Collective.
“It will allow us to reach a very large number of potential users and we are excited to partner with the New York Post to provide betting and iGaming information to a growing audience,” he added.
In the most recent reporting quarter (Q3), the US accounted for 32% of Better Collective revenue at €14.4m.
New York Post COO Brad Elders said: “We are looking forward to bringing better sports betting content and utility to the best sports fans to continue our commitment to deliver unrivalled sports coverage.
“Better Collective’s innovative tools and informative content will provide our fans with the best resources to navigate sports betting with ease,” he added.
Better Collective’s Nasdaq-listed affiliate rival Gambling.com Group this week sealed a similar media partnership with Miami Herald publisher The McClatchy Company.