Sporting Solutions, a leading provider of sports betting technology, introduces its esports offering through integration with prominent esports provider PandaScore.

The integration with PandaScore provides Sporting Solutions partners with all major markets for CS;GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends, delivered through PandaScore’s expert dedicated trading team.

Expressing his satisfaction with new partnership, Andy Wright, CEO at Sporting Solutions, said: “With PandaScore there are no doubts that we are getting the best esports product on the market, the performance of their markets, superior uptimes expert modelling and unwavering commitment to customer experience have made this partnership a no brainer and will bring the best possible esports product to our partners.”

Oliver Niner, head of sales at PandaScore, said: ‘’This is a great milestone for us to get our product live with Sporting Solutions. We are looking forward to the future of our partnership and the distribution of our high performing products to their clients. This one of a kind collaboration is unique and our trading heritage and values are very well aligned.’’

About Sporting Solutions

Sporting Solutions is the B2B division of the Sporting Group and is a provider of the highest quality pricing, trading and risk management software and data services to the global sports betting industry.

The Sporting Group is a highly regulated business, being overseen by both the UK Gambling Commission and Financial Conduct Authority and has been operating since 1992.

The Sporting Group is the global leader in handling the most sophisticated form of sports risk, via its B2C sports spread betting company, Sporting Index, and has successfully leveraged its pricing and trading expertise to provide market leading B2B solutions since 2007.

In 2019, the Sporting Group was acquired by Française des Jeux (FDJ). FDJ is a leading lottery and gaming operator in France and the fourth biggest lottery group in the world.

The combination with FDJ Gaming Solutions, the B2B division of FDJ, has further enhanced our capabilities to support lottery and tier 1 operators in regulated territories.

About PandaScore

Through a unique combination of our esports expert trading team and our data-driven, AI-powered approach, PandaScore provides reliable extensive esports betting products via a direct and regularly consulted line of contact from our traders to yours.

We work very closely with all of our partners to ensure they have the highest level of support from a technical, trading and customer success perspectives. We pride ourselves on historically delivering a premium esports product that is reliable, innovative and profitable.

PandaScore has always gone above and beyond with our ‘outside of the box’ approach when it comes to innovation of new esports products. We are esports experts that pride ourselves on quick and consistent delivery.

We are always searching for new ways for our partners to get the most out of our products and services to be impressive and stand out on the market.

Sports merchandising firm and potential sports betting disruptor Fanatics has raised some $700m in its latest funding round, taking the company’s valuation to around $31bn.

According to the Wall Street Journal, around two-thirds of the capital came from parties which had not previously invested in the business, including private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group, which led the funding round.

Merchant banking firm LionTree was another of Fanatics’ new investors, while existing shareholders Silver Lake, Fidelity Management & Research and SoftBank Group also contributed.

Proceeds from the investment will be set aside for strategic M&A, the sources said, and will not be used to fund the firm’s day-to-day operations.

This marks Fanatics’ latest funding round after the business raised a further $1.5bn in March, at the time pushing its total valuation to some $27bn.

While the latest increase in valuation is modest, it marks Fanatics as one of a few large companies able to raise money at a higher valuation amid widespread economic turmoil in 2022.

It is not yet clear where Fanatics is likely to spend its new found cash. While CEO Michael Rubin has made some bold claims about the firm’s aspirations in sports betting, it continues to derive the vast majority of its revenue from sports merchandising.

The Fanatics Collectibles division is also on track to post around $1bn in sales this year according to the WSJ, while Fanatics is yet to derive any revenue from sports betting.

The business expects to launch sports betting in the US in January 2023, with hopes to go live in 15-20 states by the start of the 2023 NFL season.

Fanatics has not yet made clear its product intentions. It is therefore possible the M&A war chest will be used to purchase an existing sports betting business with proprietary technology.

Firms including Amelco and Tipico have previously been suggested as possible acquisition targets for Fanatics.

To help it on its way to sports betting success, the firm has assembled an all-star cast of industry figures, from former FanDuel CEO Matt King leading the business segment, to former Sky Betting & Gaming executive Andy Wright taking charge of its trading division.

While Fanatics has secured its latest round of private investment, it still has plans for a public listing in future.

Speaking in October, Rubin said the business was “absolutely going to go public in the mid-term.” 

He added, however, that the firm is “pretty big, we make real money, we have a tonne of cash on the balance sheet, we generate real cash every year, so we’re in no rush to go public. 

“At the same time, our company’s owned 50% by institutional investors, and they deserve a path to liquidity, so we’re going to get that for them,” he added.

A successful launch of its sports betting operations next year could help fuel the consumer confidence required to make a success of its eventual listing, albeit in a difficult economic market at present. 

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin has finally lifted the veil on his firm’s entry into real-money sports wagering and revealed the sports merchandising giant will kickstart its US betting operations in January.  

Rubin, who spoke at the Sports Business Journal World Congress of Sports in New York, said Fanatics intends to be live in around “15 to 20 states” by the start of the 2023 NFL season.

“We’ll be in every major state other than New York, where you can’t make money,” said Rubin, referring to the state’s 51% tax rate for licensed sportsbook operators.

“We do like to make money, by the way. It’s this crazy concept in business – where we have revenue, we try to have profits that follow it,” he added.

Last year, Fanatics together with rapper Jay-Z and Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook applied for a New York online and mobile sports betting licence, but the group’s application was rejected.

Rubin also highlighted that sports betting and Fanatics’ other business segments could bring in $8bn in profits over the next decade, which “is a pretty massive number”.

"In the betting business, we're going to start launching multiple states in January."

CEO @michaelrubin announced that @Fanatics' betting business will be in every major state other than New York by next football season. #SBJWCOS

— Sports Business Journal (@SBJ) October 11, 2022

Fanatics has recruited a high-profile executive team led by former FanDuel CEO Matt King and trading expertise in the shape of former Sky Betting & Gaming executive Andy Wright.

In May, the company applied to register the “BETFANATICS” trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office, fuelling rumours that Fanatic’s long awaited move into the sports betting space was imminent.

While many believe Fanatics has the potential to become a market leader in the future alongside FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM, it is not yet known how exactly the company plans to enter the market.

It will do so with both an online offering and retail sportsbooks, however.

In June, Fanatics was reportedly in talks to acquire German sports betting company Tipico, which has a small presence in the US, but the deal has yet to be confirmed.

Sports data provider Stats Perform and sports betting supplier Sporting Solutions have teamed up to release their first joint B2B product, the Opta BetBuilder Plus, via the pair’s Betting Innovation Centre.

The two companies established the Betting Innovation Centre in June to jointly build and bring to market new solutions for the sports betting industry.

Opta BetBuilder Plus will utilise Stats Perform’s Opta player statistics and has been developed in time for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

The companies said the product fills key gaps that have held back the growth of betting by connecting sharp pricing with contextual front-end Opta stats, in-play as well as pre-game, delivered in multiple formats including singles, pre-combined multis, a BetBuilder API and hosted BetBuilder UI.

Shane Gannon, SVP betting at Stats Perform, commented: “Opta BetBuilder Plus creates dream experiences for bettors and operators and will set a benchmark for the future of betbuilder products.

“It perfectly combines the best of Sporting Solutions and Stats Perform: elite modelling and trading expertise, uniquely deep player data, product expertise and the world-renowned Opta brand,” he added.

Sporting Solutions CEO Andy Wright: “Since announcing the Betting Innovation Centre, operators have been asking for player proposition prices like shots to be available at scale in betbuilders and same-game products, in-play as well as pre-game, to make football betting more entertaining for their users.”

Opta BetBuilder Plus features Opta-powered markets, like player shots on target and goalkeeper saves, which are available for a broad range of global football competitions.

The service has been built from the ground-up to be fast and simple to launch, particularly for hundreds of operators with an existing Sporting Solutions or Stats Perform integration, the two companies said.

“Since announcing the Betting Innovation Centre, operators have been asking for player proposition prices like shots to be available at scale in betbuilders and same-game products, in-play as well as pre-game, to make football betting more entertaining for their users,” said Andy Wright, CEO of Sporting Solutions.

Betbuilders, or single-game parlay products as they are known in the US, are becoming ever more popular with consumers and make up an essential part of the product portfolio for sports betting operators.

They already account for a significant percentage of US football betting. Half of all Kambi platform sports bettors that bet on the US Super Bowl placed at least one single-game parlay last season, for example.

Meanwhile, Stats Perform has extended its partnership with the Spanish football league LaLiga for a further five years.

Under the new agreement, Stats Perform will continue to exclusively collect and manage live official data and player statistics from over 800 LaLiga matches per season and distribute them to enhance LaLiga coverage for licensed global broadcasters, sponsors, publishers, fantasy providers, sportsbooks and the leagues’ own digital platforms.