Billionaire Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, has invested in the sports gambling startup The Action Network via private investment firm RSE Ventures.
A Multi-Million Investment Led by Feritta Capital
The undertaking as part of a $17.5m fundraising round that closed earlier this year is an attempt by yet another National Football League owner to follow the growing trend of legal sports betting. The round was headed by Fertitta Capital, a private investment firm launched by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, which focuses on investments between $20 and $75 million in the area of consumer-facing businesses, and in particular – technology, media, and entertainment sectors.
Other Major Gambling Investments
RSE’s involvement was not disclosed back then, and the Action Network is not among the list of investments published on the RSE website. Ross has followed the example of Blackstone Group’s David Blitzer, co-owner of the 76ers and Devils; the owners of the Cubs; 6721 Capital, a fund founded by sports marketing executive Casey Wasserman and the investment banking firm Code Advisors; and Bitkraft Esports Ventures, the world’s first and most active esports investment fund in the world.
According to Matt Higgins, RSE’s co-founder and CEO, “As more and more states legalize sports betting, we believe that a new media company will emerge to service this sector, one that best integrates data and content. The Action Network has a unique blend of imaginative content creators and data miners. ”
It’s a compelling combination that’s translating to impressive growth in subscriptions.
Action Network Chief Executive Officer Patrick Keane said that it is affirming to the strategy of the startup to have all four of the major U.S. sports as investors. Keane also expressed his confidence that the ability to call on the counsel of these owners would be of big advantage to the company.
NFL Opening Up to Sports Gambling
The NFL has recently has taken a new path in regards to sports gambling, despite its owners were against this throughout many years. They long a negative stance towards legal sports gambling on concerns that it would threaten the integrity of its $15 billion enterprise. However, after last year the Supreme Court overturned the law banning sports betting across the US, the NFL has noticeably changed its position.
In the past months, the NFL has been working in a team with Caesars Entertainment to become its inaugural official casino partner. The NFL also broadened its existing partnership with Sportradar, which licensed the distribution of NFL official league data and content to a wider public around the world. At that time DraftKings signed a contract to be the league’s first official daily fantasy partner.
Reports show that the NFL is the US league with the biggest profit from legal sports betting. A 2018 study by the American Gaming Association and Nielsen showed that the NFL’s projected revenue increase amounted to $2.33 billion, twice more than that of the next league on the list, and four times compared to the NBA.