PrizePicks Lands Partnership with Hometown Braves as Market for Single-Player DFS Game Grows
Posted on: September 3, 2020, 04:39h.
Last updated on: September 27, 2020, 10:07h.
A seasoned veteran of fantasy sports, Adam Wexler had an idea in the back of his mind.
As he conducted research in constructing his lineups, the digital entrepreneur would feel pretty good about his chances. But something was missing.
The question was always, I want to put my knowledge to the test, and I know that I have supreme confidence Patrick Mahomes is going to go over the 24-point projection that Yahoo’s got him pegged at,” Wexler told Casino.org. “Where can I put that knowledge to the test?”
That led to PrizePicks, a single-player daily fantasy game created two years ago by Wexler’s Atlanta-based Performance Predictions.
Since the return of major league sports in the US over a month ago, Wexler said his company has seen increases in daily, weekly, and monthly participation. They’re optimistic that will carry over into football season, especially as the NFL starts in one week.
“Single-player fantasy is a quickly emerging category under the daily fantasy umbrella,” Wexler said.
The game is available on an app for iOS and Android platforms, and players can also play online at PrizePicks.com.
This isn’t Wexler’s first attempt at a fantasy sports contest. Four years ago, his team developed a game called SidePrize that allowed fantasy league members to make side wagers with each other. It earned an award from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. But the market dried up after New York’s Attorney General called fantasy sports an illegal form of gambling.
Braves New Venture
On Wednesday, PrizePicks announced it reached a marketing partnership agreement with the Atlanta Braves that would run for the remainder of the MLB season. It’s the second such deal with a baseball club this season, with the Miami Marlins coming on board earlier this year.
The deal increases PrizePicks’ exposure, as the team will promote the fantasy sports game on Braves television broadcasts.
Besides the tie-in of being a local company, PrizePicks and the Braves have something else in common, too. Former Braves star Andruw Jones became a shareholder in the company a year ago.
“Their market is on fire, and they have a product I knew could be huge from the moment I saw it… and it’s great to know my former team sees the potential in the company, just like I do,” the five-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner said in a statement. “Their industry will see massive growth in the coming years.”
Jones isn’t the only high-profile investor, either. Earlier this year, PrizePicks raised $850,000 in an investment round, with poker pro Phil Hellmuth among those involved.
Besides the Braves and Marlins, Wexler also has made efforts to go beyond traditional sports and secure deals with the American Cornhole League and eSports venture SMITE Pro League.
How to Play
As the company says in the news release, the contest is the closest legal alternative to sports betting for a majority of Americans. It’s available in 27 states and Canada as a real-money game for people age 18 and older.
As a single-player fantasy game, instead of going up against a group of friends or a pool of strangers across the country or globe, the player picks from a roster of athletes across a variety of sports. For now, that includes the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, WNBA, PGA, Tennis, auto racing, and college football.
The player picks between two to four athletes across all available sports. Each athlete has a total fantasy point projection for their upcoming game or match, and the player decides whether each of their picks will go over the total or stay under it.
There are two different types of contests. The “Power Play” pays out if the player’s picks are all correct, and “Flex Play,” which pays out at a lower rate, but also pays if the player misses on one of their selections. Power Plays can pay up to 10 times the entry fee for four correct picks.
Players choose how much they want to risk for an entry fee, with the minimum being $5. The average is around $25, Wexler said.
The maximum prize amount for any entry is $1,000.
There are other rules as well that are posted on the site. But one key one is that athletes must be from multiple teams for the entry to be valid. For example, a player couldn’t pick just two from the Milwaukee Bucks for a two-pick entry, but they could have two Bucks on a three-pick entry if they picked a third athlete from a different team or sport.
New Market Growth
As COVID-19 has dramatically affected sports this year — and still could, in some cases — Wexler told Casino.org he sees an opportunity to attract traditional fantasy players into a new market
Where traditional fantasy leagues would have a problem if a team or two had to stop playing because of an outbreak, similar to what the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals endured earlier in the baseball season, a single-player format can simply just pull those players off their board and still offer contests, Wexler said.
“I think a lot of season-long fantasy players may have dabbled in daily fantasy in the heyday, when (DFS operators) were spending hundreds of millions in advertising. But a lot of people got turned off because they lost all the time, and they were playing up against sharks,” he explained. “What they didn’t realize is that the DFS category is more than just one format.”
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