Matt King: Fanatics’ priority is on product and UX following PointsBet agreement

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Fanatics Betting and Gaming CEO Matt King has outlined the company’s strategy to integrate PointsBet US’ app into its ecosystem, noting that its primary focus is an efficient integration and engaging user experience. 

King spoke to Sports Business Journal last week after the group agreed to acquire PointsBet’s US division for $150m, a deal that sees it gain access to 14 US states as well as Banach tech and a license for a copy of PointsBet’s proprietary platform. 

However, despite all the talk of market access, gaining market share and Fanatics’ database of 95 million US users, King is keen to focus on a smooth integration process. Before gaining regulatory approval in individual states, he explained, Fanatics wants to ensure that the user experience is optimal. 

King told SBJ: “Our first priority is to make sure consumers in the state have a good experience, so we’re working with the PointsBet team on the integration plan and the consumer-facing view of that.

“Once we have a plan, we’ll go to regulators and talk to them about it. That’s the way we’re approaching the migration, but there’s work to do on the details.”

Since the deal was announced, onlookers have tried to visualize what the Fanatics experience would look like following the integration of PointsBet, since the company had already struck a deal with Amelco to license a copy of the source code of its sportsbook platform. 

Rigorous testing has already been the name of the game for Fanatics in recent months, with the sportsbook platform in beta testing in both Tennessee and Ohio while tweaks and adjustments are made to optimize the performance of the platform. 

Now, with the PointsBet integration, that process will likely be extended as testing and improvements are made to the integration. Yet King was full of praise for the PointsBet team and the platform they produced, despite any changes that Fanatics would make. 

“If you look at what the team has done, they’ve carved out a niche and built a good product, really with limited resources compared to the competition,” King added. 

“I have a lot of respect for what they’ve been able to do. There are places, like their trading technology and parts of the tech stack, that we’ll be able to incorporate into the platform that we’re building. And it will help us get further faster, in terms of the betting offering that we can put out there to consumers.”

King and Fanatics have been all in on the slower approach to launch in exchange for rigorous product testing. As a second mover, Fanatics – according to the CEO – is content with a slower approach and less marketing spend, whilst it is in the game for a decade. 

Speaking to SBC Americas recently, King said: “(With) most consumer technology you launch with a product and then you test it and get it out there. For us, it was the idea that we think we have a great product that tested extremely well when we were doing research, but we wanted to put it out there in the wild. 

“Then, what we saw was incredible feedback to both where the product is and where it’s going. For us, we’ve been in this for 10 years, so there’s no rush to say, hey, let’s turn on paid marketing. Let’s do this or that. It was the idea of let’s just do this as a beta launch for a while and really focus on opening up to Fanatics customers first, which is what we’ve done. 

“Really, any Fanatics customer can now sign up for the beta and we think it works really well because it allows our teams to really focus on getting the product the best it can be.”