Owner of NFL team Miami Dolphins Stephen Ross is going all-in on sports betting. He is investing in analytics platform The Action Network via RSE Ventures.
The Action Network raises funds
The startup held a $17.5 million fundraising round recently led by Fertitta Capital. The private investment firm is led by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. The firm is looking to invest $20 to $75 million to businesses catering to consumers in the media, technology and entertainment sectors. The brothers were formerly associated with the UFC and owned Red Rock Resorts.
Legalized sports betting is attracting several sports franchise owners. Recently, David Blitzer, the co-owner of Devils and 76ers from the Blackstone Group, made a similar investment. 6721 Capital, the owner of the Cubs and Bitkraft Esports Ventures have also jumped on available opportunities to invest in gambling-related companies. RSE made an investment The Action Network earlier this year, but none of the firms disclosed the deal. The VC firm hasn’t listed The Action Network as an investment on its website yet.
Betting on promising companies in the industry
According to RSE co-founder and CEO Matt Higgins, a new media company that can integrate content and data will be necessary to service the legalized sports betting market. He said The Action Network blends data miners with imaginative content creators, which could lead to compelling subscription growth.
The gambling startup’s CEO Patrick Keane said that the firm wants to bring franchise owners of all four major US leagues on board as investors. He said that staying in the vicinity of franchise owners and taking counsel from them will provide an edge to his company.
NFL owners have historically opposed sports betting, but the league is ready to take a new path now. The $15 billion enterprises are forced to take a new outlook on betting. Since the Supreme Court struck down PASPA last year, states like New Jersey have opened up their gambling markets, and dozens more are following the same path. In such a scenario, staying away from athletic gambling could be detrimental to the league’s own financial interests.
After realizing it, the NFL teamed up with Caesars Entertainment and made it their first official casino partner. It also deepened its relationship with Sportradar to provide official league data and other content to a broader global audience. It has also signed DraftKings as the official daily fantasy partner.