Draft, the daily fantasy sports application purchased by Paddy Power Betfair (LON: PPB) back in May, is making its push to compete with DFS market leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, as the NFL season gets ready to kick off this weekend. Instead of burning through cash on TV and radio ads, Draft’s strategy is to reach sports fans on social media, through their favorite athletes. Shaquille O’Neil is hosting a Week 1 head-to-head contest for his 14.6 million Twitter (TWTR) followers, while Chad Johnson, Michael Vick, Richard Sherman and Antonio Brown are also endorsing the DFS app.
Howie Long-Short: FanDuel and DraftKings have a huge lead in the DFS race, but those companies have spent the last year in the courtroom. Draft now has a market leading gaming operator backing it and a user acquisition strategy that makes sense. Expect Draft to become a household name.
Fan Marino: Athlete endorsements are great, but the best way for Draft to acquire users quickly is to promise them an even playing field (i.e. no sharks). During the first half of the 2015 MLB season, 1.3% of players paid 40% of the entry fees while winning 91% of the profits, on DraftKings & FanDuel. The casual player needs to believe they can win.