DraftKings looking for ways to expand beyond daily fantasy sports
Legal Sports Report

DraftKings CEO: ‘We’re Marching Towards An IPO Path’

DraftKings march to IPO
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins recently went on a Bloomberg radio show in what amounted to pitching his company as much more than just a daily fantasy sports site.

He also indicated that the future of his company lies in an initial public offering, although he didn’t offer a timeline for such a possibility.

DraftKings and an IPO?

Robins was appearing on Bloomberg Baystate Radio and talking about the future of DraftKings. Interestingly, very little of the conversation had to do with DFS and DraftKings’ DFS product. (That’s interesting, of course, in that that is almost all of DraftKings’ revenue, currently.)

We also got a sense of where the future lies for DraftKings in the wake of a merger with FanDuel that was called off. According to Robins, the future he hopes for is an IPO:

“For us the goal has always been to build a great business and make that business stand on its own merits, and that really would lead to the IPO path…. Right now we’re marching towards an IPO path,” Robins said.

You can listen to the whole interview here.

Robins, partially because of the interviewers’ questions and partially via his own steering, was positioning DraftKings as much more than just DFS. Bloomberg and its audience are more interested in the big picture and the business side of things. Still, the lack of talk about the core DFS product was striking.

Robins spent the interview saying DraftKings could be a platform for all manner of content and commerce. That, of course, makes DraftKings more attractive for a potential IPO.

Live streaming and DFS

Robins talked about his company’s recent deal with the EuroLeague to live stream games as a model that he hopes can be replicated, in some form, for other sports.

DraftKings obviously is not in a position where it can bid with major media companies for broadcast rights, as Robins said, but can be a vehicle for that content.

What we are interested in is figuring out how do we partner with those rights holders and that could be those very people that pay those hundreds of millions, that are looking for ways to distribute their content.

And:

 I also think being able to demonstrate success from the EuroLeague deal will really help accelerate some of the discussions.

The idea is we’re a platform, we don’t need to be one the ones who own the rights or even broadcast the content. We just want to be the ones that connect the customer that wants to see that content with the content rights owner or content producer … and using our platform, and our data, and our wallet relationship to do it.

Selling more than DFS entries

Beyond just live streaming, Robins also hinted at far more ambitious goals. Robins indicated that the data and his company’s relationship with is customers can be leveraged in ways beyond getting them to buy entries for a DFS contest:

We can also sell into other categories that aren’t content. We know which customers are fans and which types of players they like, that helps you understand what apparel to sell them, what tickets they might want to go to sporting events. All those things are on our roadmap.

This year DraftKings opened up an e-commerce store, for example, and has been very focused on expanding its content offerings.

Some of DraftKings’ ambition is a long-held desire to spread its wings beyond DFS. Some of it is perhaps acknowledgment that the core DFS business is not the path for more growth.

Either way, its becoming increasingly clear that DraftKings does not want to be put in a box of just being a DFS contest operator.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.