DraftKings Files Trademark for Fantasy Game to Challenge PrizePicks, Underdog Fanasy

Posted on: September 18, 2023, 04:47h. 

Last updated on: September 19, 2023, 06:54h.

DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) has filed a trademark application for a new fantasy sports game that appears to be a competitor to the offerings of rivals Prize Picks and Underdog Sports.

DraftKings Cashpicks
Inside a DraftKings office. The company filed a trademark application for DraftKings Cashpicks, a new fantasy sports game. (Image: Wall Street Journal)

A recent filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicates the gaming company could be planning to launch “DraftKings Cashpicks” at some point in the future. Details in the regulatory document are sparse, but the game is described as “fantasy sports.”

Downloadable mobile applications for use in fantasy sports competitions, namely, mobile applications for managing and participating in fantasy sports competitions,” according to the USPTO filing. “Entertainment services in the nature of fantasy sports competitions, provided via downloadable mobile software applications, via a website, and distributed via various platforms across multiple forms of transmission media. Entertainment services in the nature of sports betting.”

Not all patent and trademark filings lead to launches of new products and services, but the filing for DraftKings Cashpicks could be a sign the operator is readying for states to approve the types of daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests being offered by PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy – games that DraftKings and FanDuel are rumored to be intentionally disparaging in the court of public opinion.

Why DraftKings Cashpicks USPTO Filing Matters

Rumored opposition to the games offered by PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy stems from the assertion that contests are more akin to sports betting than traditional DFS and are permitted in some states that haven’t approved sports wagering.

That’s relevant because Underdog and some of its comparable competitors operate in states coveted by the sports betting industry. Currently, Underdog offers fantasy games in 41 states and fantasy pick ‘em games in 39 states. Underdog is operational in California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas, none of which have competitive sports wagering markets. Florida is the only member of the quartet to permit that activity, and the Seminole Tribe controls it.

While neither PrizePicks nor Underdog Fantasy operates sportsbooks, the speculation is that those companies and others like them will eventually follow the template drafted by DraftKings and FanDuel of converting DFS players into sports bettors.

It’s a model that’s worked masterfully for FanDuel and DraftKings, as they now form a duopoly over the regulated sports betting market in the US.

DraftKings Cashpicks Speculation

While DraftKings and FanDuel are the pioneers of the DFS industry, many of their initially loyal, though smaller customers eventually grew frustrated by those platforms being dominated by “sharks” that were making a living from DFS.

That opened the door for upstarts such as PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy to craft new offerings and attract clients that ditched established rivals.

Of course, DraftKings is likely aware of that customer attrition. DraftKings Cashpicks could be an avenue for appealing to smaller DFS players, particularly in states that don’t allow sports betting. It could also be a competitive challenge to PrizePicks and Underdog, or it may never come to fruition.