Leading Australian tipping site Champion Bets has this week launched a new brand for the fast-growing US market. Sports Predictor is aimed squarely at American sports bettors with a focus on football, basketball, baseball, hockey and PGA golf picks. Founder and CEO David Duffield spoke with SBC Americas to share the firm’s US expansion plans.
Plenty of companies are venturing to the US. Why do you think you can succeed?
The US has been on our radar since that glorious day in May of last year when PASPA was repealed. Our business model of recruiting professional bettors to share their picks with subscribers doesn’t need full state-by-state legislation, but the fact that sports betting is becoming more mainstream every day is a boon for our business. With football starting in a matter of days and basketball in October it’s the perfect time to go live in the US market.
We’ve been operating in Australia since 2006 and have a market-leading position for what we do. Now obviously US bettors are not identical to Aussies and in fact there are many different demographics within such a massive population. But we’ve done our research and are very confident we’ll have product/market fit right from the get go. Sports Predictor will have a unique offering to anything else out there.
How do you aim to achieve that?
Well this is an industry that lacks oversight and has more than its fair share of people who over-promise and under-deliver, to put it lightly. So we need to stand out from those types in order to attract and retain our subscribers long term. We believe that unmatched integrity and transparency will help do that at Sports Predictor, just like it has in Australia with Champion Bets. So every Sports Predictor handicapper abides by our industry-leading Code Of Conduct. The simple version of that is having skin in the game, operating with full transparency, giving exceptional customer service, publishing betting education and having sound bankroll management strategies.
Each of those probably sound like common sense but you might be surprised to learn how rare it is to find a handicapping service that can tick all those boxes. Our guys bet their own money, publish results for all picks, educate members and newsletter readers, and stick to proven bankroll management strategies. That’s why we’ve established a code of conduct that our entire team abide by. We feel it’s a real point of difference.
Why would a professional bettor partner up with you?
We get that question a lot and each professional has their own reasons but there are a few recurring ones.
Being able to earn another source of income for work they are already doing is enticing to many. A solo professional bettor might spend 60 hours per work on his craft, so a few minutes each day sending an update to members is a very small amount of extra work but one that has the potential to pay off very well. For some it is a reliable secondary income and for others it’s a great way of fast-tracking their bankroll growth so they can bet bigger, sooner.
Ego is another reason. And so is the group atmosphere of a client base because professional betting is far less glamorous than most realize. It is actually a very isolated and sedentary lifestyle. Our team get a real sense of enjoyment in helping other bettors win.
Covering some or all of their overhead by having a subscriber base makes a lot of sense for some of our professionals. They spend five and six figures annually on data, software and staff so their income from us offsets a lot of that and means their betting profits can go straight to the bottom line.
The struggle to get on is real. Many of our guys are operating in markets where they’d like to bet more than their bookies will allow. Selling picks is just another way of monetizing their edge.
How do you plan on acquiring subscribers?
Content marketing is a big part of what we do. We enjoy publishing insightful betting articles and a twice-weekly podcast. All of that educational content helps establish and maintain our credibility. After all it’s very easy to toss a coin and put out picks but it’s far harder to write or record content that helps bettors learn new concepts such as handicapping, predictive models, math, or mindset.
We’re also setting up some key partnerships which came about directly from attending Betting On Sports USA in April. That was the perfect kick-start for us because all of the key movers and shakers were in the one place for three days and nights. It was a real eye opener to gain a better understanding of the size and scope of the market. It was also enlightening to meet some super affiliates at Betting on Sports America. They’re operating at such a scale that we won’t be playing in that market at all. Sports Predictor is exclusively a paid subscription site and I’m very confident that focus will serve us well. Exciting times are ahead!