Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are simply exploding in the US and all eyes are on the industry, for better or for worse. Unless the US government decides to put the brakes on DFS, its full steam ahead for unforeseeable future and everyone wants a piece of the action.
Scotland based David Copeland has been studying DFS for several years now and has launched a successful affiliate site, SuperLobby.com, serving both DFS enthusiasts and operators. This week I sat down with Copeland to hear more about his venture and seek his opinion on matters such as DFS being viewed as a game of skill vs. chance, regulation of the industry and expansion into the UK.
Becky Liggero: Today I’m with David Copeland, the CEO of SuperLobby.com, an information source for Daily Fantasy Sports players providing analytics, insight and a whole lot of data that can be offered as a B2B service.
Daily Fantasy Sports is just exploding in America, especially with the start of the NFL Season– its just everywhere which is bringing a lot of attention to the industry which I guess could be both good and bad. Lets start today by talking about what your affiliate site provides – what kind of information does it provide to people who are interested in doing well in their daily fantasy sports?
David Copeland: We’ve got a product, the Super Lobby and what it provides to the users is choice, so instead of having to cross 20 different sites, you can come to Super Lobby and we’ve aggregated all those contests into one place.
Its particularly important for daily fantasy because time is always a massive issue – there is late breaking injury news that really effects people’s lineups when they’re trying to build them and then to have the time saving of not having to go across multiple sites and search for that contest that you want to enter, that becomes really strong for us, so people are really kind of tied into our process.
In a way we’re really kind of the front page for daily fantasy sports users- like Google.
BL: So what percentage of your traffic would you say is coming from America?
DC: I think we’re looking at 95%.
BL: Figures, that’s what I thought. And I know you’ve also collected an enormous amount of data through Super Lobby here, can you tell me what is some of this information and how can operators use the info that you’ve gathered?
DC: So obviously we take the information of how many people enter contests, type of contests people enter, when they are entering the contest, and we have that sort of data top to bottom so operators will look at that and use it to learn how to manage their own contest, or it can be used for the purposes of strategic investment, if there is interest in investing in X, Y or Z sports.
BL: We know the online gambling industry in particular has really got their eyes on Daily Fantasy Sports, so do affiliates, so do a lot of people. As I was saying earlier, we’ve got the NFL season under way here and I hear that you see DraftKings commercials every five seconds and things like that, so of course what that does in lovely U S of A is it attracts attention of different states and different people who are potentially anti-gambling and all of this.
So what happens to the industry if you’ve got the Massachusetts Attorney General, for example, saying this is actually a game of chance, this is not a game of skill- what would happen to the Daily Fantasy sports industry and to your business?
DC: Well if the Daily Fantasy Sports business goes completely bust, then we’re probably completely bust and that’s just the truth. But I think its pretty protected and its going to take a lot more than just some guy in Massachusetts to say that he thinks it’s a game of chance and its not a game of skill.
You know, every information piece that we have shows the amount of time and the care that people take who win the contests, it can’t be a coincidence, so I think its really about support and that the back up infrastructure in the states with the leagues being so heavily involved, I think that can’t be underestimated, in terms of the voice that they have.
I know Jason Robins and Nigel Eccles, these guys have talked at length about how strong they feel the backend of the industry is, but the answer to your first question is we’re completely screwed!
BL: [Laughs] Well, you’re saying its unlikely.
DC: Its not going to happen.
BL: OK. I know that some people are saying that if you’ve got Massachusetts saying that is one thing, than the other states could potentially join in and I think there are twenty states or so that would potentially follow suit. But what about regulation? I know the daily fantasy sports companies are happy the way things are now, what are your thoughts on if the industry were to become regulated or the chances of that happening?
DC: I think it will happen. Ya, I definitely could see that happening. Its not a massive concern now, people love working in unregulated markets for well documented reasons. It is coming, people can’t consider it won’t, I actually think the players and the actors in the sector just now are all pretty well behaved. You know, I don’t see many of the patterns that maybe I did see fifteen years ago in other online gaming related sectors. Its quite a well-behaved bunch we’re dealing with in daily fantasy.
BL: Excellent, excellent. And I know you mentioned Jason Robins and DraftKings and he’s now expanding over into the UK and you said earlier your website 95% American traffic. What do you think the potential is for exciting the UK market with Daily Fantasy Sports offerings?
DC: Sure, that’s the way our site has been going because of the market, but we are looking at a UK site now, we’re already in the process of building content for serving to the UK market.
What I think about the UK market? I think there are some pretty interesting opportunities there and I think that everyone thinks their football is going to be our soccer. I kind of think its going to be American football hobbyists, I think they’re the ones who are going to see massive opportunity and the fact that DraftKings have come over here.
There are some other really cool sports to play, golf is just absolutely ready for DraftKings in the last six months, I think it will be exciting. Exciting to see there are lots of rumors about DraftKings, spending a lot of money, maybe some big partnerships, perhaps some EPO clubs, its going to give a little bit of an edge to what’s become the sort of sports betting dominated advertising landscape over here in the UK sport land.
BL: Excellent, excellent. Ya, sounds like from your side there’s lots of growth and excitement, anything else that you wanted to add today David?
DC: Not really.
BL: [Laughs]Cool. Well I think you really do have a unique product out there and getting involved in the affiliate side of things with Daily Fantasy Sports is probably a good call- lots of opportunity there- and look forward to following your progress. Thank you so much for joining me.
DC: Thanks for having me.