The war chest for sports media company theScore just got a little bigger as it seeks to bolster its online sportsbook product. And its New Jersey online sportsbook is also fully launched as of today thanks to its sports betting partner Bet.works.
TheScore gets $40 million for growth
TheScore announced Monday that it entered into an agreement with Fengate Asset Management that will provide $40 million in funding. That money will be used “to fund the growth and development of the Company’s media and sports betting businesses,” according to a release about the deal.
“TheScore is focused on becoming a leader in mobile sports gaming in North America and this strategic investment significantly enhances our ability to execute on this plan,” said John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore.
“Fengate is recognized as a highly respected and experienced investor across North America, with significant expertise in the gaming industry. They are the perfect strategic investment partner as we launch our best-in-class mobile sportsbook in the United States.”
TheScore is hoping to leverage its position as a media company with millions of active users in North America to cross over into the sports betting space.
Fengate, meanwhile, expands a gambling portfolio that includes the 2018 acquisition of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
TheScore Bet in NJ
The deal came just ahead of Tuesday’s full rollout of theScore app in NJ. TheScore soft launched its NJ sports betting app in August, powered by Bet.works.
The most interesting part is the interaction between the core sports app and the betting app that Bet.works developed for theScore. Here’s how theScore describes the user experience:
Moreover, theScore Bet provides a distinctly unique experience when paired with theScore’s sports app, unlocking a seamlessly integrated offering of media and sports betting. Users’ favorite teams, leagues, and games from theScore sports app sync automatically to show personalized betting options in theScore Bet, while any wagers placed can then be tracked in real-time on theScore.
TheScore also promotes its “Bet Mode” feature across platforms, with faster scoring updates, real-time odds and live bet tracking. Providing that experience is what theScore is banking on will differentiate it from its competitors.
“theScore Bet is a completely unique and ground-breaking mobile sports betting experience,” said Levy. “Our team has launched a best-in-class sports betting app that’s also been seamlessly integrated with our market-leading media app. Millions of sports fans all over North America were already using theScore, with many relying on our data and content to help inform their betting decisions.
“Now, starting with fans in New Jersey, we’ll be able to bring the bet right to them. We’ve always believed sports betting is just one facet of the overall fan experience, and now with theScore Bet we can deliver sports betting the way it was meant to be.”
Screenshots from the app:
More sports betting is coming from theScore
But NJ is hardly the only market theScore has it sights set on. While the publicly traded company has not made its exact plans known, it will likely to try to get into most of the markets where there is a relatively open opportunity to offer online betting.
In order to compete in New Jersey and elsewhere, it will take more than just a good product and theScore’s brand and reach. It will take spending on a number of fronts, including marketing its sportsbook.
And it will have plenty of competition:
- The Stars Group’s venture with Fox Sports — Fox Bet — just went live in NJ this weekend. TSG recently divulged that it will spend $40 million on its US operations.
- The early leaders of sports betting outside of Nevada — FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. Both will be spending heavily as football season begins, in addition to trying to take early leads in new states.
- US casino heavyweights MGM Resorts and Caesars International should also be more active in the coming months and years in new and current states.
The big question is how valuable theScore’s database is, and how successful it will be at converting those sports fans to their sportsbook.