More Than A Sportsbook: Is DraftKings Building A Media Empire?

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DraftKings has hired its first ever chief media officer in a move that hints at wider ambitions in the media space.

Brian Angiolet will fill the newly created role. He joins DraftKings at the end of April from his previous role as SVP Corporate Strategy at Verizon.

DK said Angiolet would “optimize content creation and media strategy” in the new role.

‘Virtuous circle’ between content and gaming

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins used an interesting term to describe the nexus within the new role.

“Brian deeply understands how the virtuous circle among sports, gaming, and content has the potential to boost engagement,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings’ co-founder and CEO.

“As our media presence grows with the acquisition of VSiN, among other strategic moves, Brian’s creative ideas and insightful perspectives will further propel the possibilities of DraftKings content.”

More media deals on the way

Beyond the VSiN deal, an Axios report said Angiolet would be looking at further media acquisitions for DK including The Action Network (TAN).

An LSR source with knowledge of the negotiations said that acquisition was a 50-50 shot. 

“What TAN has going for them is their parent company [The Chernin Group],” the source said. “Peter Chernin is a great negotiator and he has other assets in his portfolio that DK would want to leverage.”

The Chernin Group also has a stake in The Athletic, although the sports website has an existing betting partnership with BetMGM.

DraftKings still has a very healthy balance sheet for acquisitions after raising $1 billion last month.

DraftKings eyeing a media empire?

As for DraftKings, the release hinted at a future where sports betting is just one revenue stream in a wider media portfolio.

“DraftKings is quickly establishing itself as both a product provider and resource for fans,” the company said.

It referenced integration agreements with Turner Sports and ESPN, as well its own DK Live and DK Nation platforms.

The operator also recently invested in former ESPN chief John Skipper’s new venture Meadowlark Media.

Following that investment, DK said it would work with Meadowlark to deliver “high-quality, original sports programming.”

Around the DraftKings circle

Following these deals, DK could potentially make money from:

DraftKings stock was relatively unchanged on the announcement, following a 20% decline over the last month.