Just days away from the launch of ESPN Bet, the sports media giant is making a bold move into the world of sports betting. The company has faced financial challenges in recent years, and with the legalization of sports betting in 2018, it seems like a natural progression for ESPN to enter this lucrative market.
In a billion-dollar deal, ESPN will license their brand to Penn Entertainment to bring ESPN Bet to the public. The goal is to compete with established sports betting companies like DraftKings and FanDuel. This move is seen as a way for ESPN to keep fans engaged on their platforms, rather than losing them to other betting sites.
Penn CEO Jay Snowden highlighted the necessity for ESPN to enter the sports betting arena, as fans are already looking to place bets on the games they follow on ESPN’s platforms. The partnership with ESPN represents a significant opportunity for Penn to reach sports fans who may not yet be bettors, especially in states where sports betting is not yet legalized.
Snowden emphasized that the focus is not just on targeting sports bettors, but on engaging sports fans as a whole. The deep integration with the ESPN brand and the seamless betting experience is expected to be a major selling point for ESPN Bet.
Both ESPN and Penn see the partnership as beneficial, and the success of ESPN Bet will be determined when it launches on November 14th. This venture represents a significant shift for ESPN, as it embraces the growing trend of sports betting and looks to capitalize on the demands of sports fans.