Daily Fantasy Sports giant FanDuel is swallowing its pride for the sake of a harmonious relationship with its rival DraftKings.
FanDuel is reportedly adding golf to the list of sports it offers as its merger with DraftKings nears, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Back in its heyday in 2014, FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles wasn’t keen on introducing fantasy golf due to issues on its legality. But two months after DraftKings and FanDuel agreed to merge, the latter made several changes to its lineup, including the offering of fantasy golf.
The fantasy golf is said to be the first new sport that FanDuel has added to its product in three years and its addition comes just two months after it started offering English Premier League (EPL) soccer in its sports lineup.
Analysts observed that FanDuel’s decision to offer EPL soccer and golf seemed to suggest that the DFS giant is trying to make itself look like DraftKings as it prepares for its scheduled December company marriage.
DraftKings has long offered more sports than FanDuel: both have NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, but DraftKings also offers golf, mixed martial arts, Nascar, and soccer (for English Premier League, Champions League, and MLS).
In the past, FanDuel’s answer for that gap was about focusing on the sports that bring the most revenue.
“When we looked at our data, we said, you know what, 80% of our revenue comes from NBA and football; it’s more important that we go deep there,” Eccles said in 2015. “If [DraftKings] have 100% market share of a sport that only has 1% of the total market, hey, okay. I’d rather have 80% market share of 80% of the market.”
With 11 months to go before their target merger, the two DFS giants have already sorted out the juicy positions in the company.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins will act as CEO of the merged company, while Eccles will serve as chairman. Each company will contribute three board directors to sit alongside one unidentified independent director.
But it yet to be seen whether the merger will be successful in terms of path to profitability. For one thing, it’s not clear that the merged entity will be able to significantly expand the DFS player base.