The future of the US sports betting industry, its relationships with professional sports organisations and media brands, and the sector’s investment landscape will be subject to in-depth examinations during the Leaders in Sports track at SBC Summit North America.
Executives from companies including DraftKings, BetMGM, Penn Interactive, Bally’s Corporation, ESPN, and Yahoo Sports are set to participate in the track, which takes place on December 1, the first full day of the sports betting and igaming industry event at Meadowlands Exposition Center, New Jersey.
The track will open with a keynote from one of the central figures in the gambling industry’s hectic M&A activity, Bally’s Corporation chair Soo Kim. He will talk to CNBC’s Contessa Brewer about the intersection of sports and gaming, the New York and New Jersey markets, and how igaming is rolling out.
Next up will be a special SBC Leaders Panel that will address the latest trends, developments, obstacles and opportunities in the US betting and gaming industry. The expert panelists include BetMGM’s chief revenue officer Matt Prevost, the head of Penn Interactive Jon Kaplowitz, and Ezra Kucharz, the chief business officer of DraftKings, with OpenBet’s chief commercial officer Cathryn Lai in the moderator’s chair.
One of 2021’s biggest industry trends has been the establishment of partnerships between major media brands and sports betting operators, and the opportunities to further develop that relationship and reach the next generation of bettors is the subject of the second panel session of the day.
‘Exploring the Converging Worlds of Media and Betting’ will feature ESPN’s vice president sports betting & fantasy Mike Morrison, Yahoo Sports’ general manager Geoff Reiss, CEO and founder of Quarter4 Kelly Brooks, WSC Sports’ head of betting Yuval Benyamini, and Jason Logan, senior industry analyst for Covers.
The afternoon’s program will begin with a keynote from Bill Miller, president & CEO of the AGA, before attention turns to the investment landscape helping to drive the growth of sports betting in North America, with the ‘Life After SPACS: What’s Next for the Betting and Capital Market Ecosystem?’ session.
Joel Simkins (managing director – head of gaming & leisure investment banking, Truist Securities) will moderate an expert panel that includes Davis Catlin, senior managing director at Las Vegas Sands Corp, Matt Davey, president & CEO of Tekkorp Capital, Jake Kleiner, investment partner with Bettor Capital, and Kresimir Spajic, president of igaming, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.
A further session focused on investment will examine how gaming companies can sustain the profitability and growth needed to justify their stock values. The ‘Race for M&A: Bust or Boom?’ panel will feature Crispin Nieboer, partner at Orange Cap, Wayne Kimmel, managing partner for SeventySix Capital, Chris Grove, CEO of American Affiliate Co, and Barry Jonas, managing director at Truist Securities.
The next topic in the spotlight is what betting companies can learn from the fan engagement strategies of professional sports teams and leagues, and how the many partnerships between companies from the two industries could develop beyond traditional sponsorship models in the coming years.
Specialists taking part in the ‘Delivering on Fan Experience: Lessons From Teams and Leagues’ session include Jeff Fernandez (VP business development + ventures, New York Jets), Matt Stallknecht (senior manager, sports betting, NASCAR), Adi Dhandhania (COO, North America Interactive, Bally’s Corporation), Matthew Ryter (head of sales – fan engagement, Genius Sports), Omer Dor (CEO, Sports IQ Analytics), and moderator Robert Davidman (partner, Slapshot Media).
A further panel will delve deeper into the crucial issue of player engagement and examine whether operators need to reassess their strategies now to engender long-term customer loyalty.
The ‘Player Engagement Models: The Battleground of the Future?’ features Laila Mintas, CEO of PlayUp US, Matthew Metcalf, sportsbook director at Circa Sports, Seth Young, chief strategy officer for Fifth Street Gaming, Tommy Kearns, CEO of Extremepush, and Johan Junker, CEO & co-founder of Antourage. Sports Betting Hall of Fame member and president of USBookmaking Vic Salerno will moderate the panel.
Rasmus Sojmark, founder and CEO of SBC, said: “The progress made by the betting industry in the US in the past couple of years has been staggering, and we’ve seen both established international companies and challenger brands deliver exceptional performance.
“It’ll be fascinating to see how the industry develops over the next few years, and for the Leaders in Sports track, we’ve assembled a high-level speaker lineup that is ideally placed to offer informed insights on what the next steps are likely to be as markets in the individual states mature and what the big untapped opportunities are.”
Leaders in Sports is one of eight tracks on the SBC Summit North America conference agenda. The other seven cover the latest regulatory developments, technology and innovations, payments and compliance, igaming, sports betting, capital and growth, and marketing strategies.
The Summit begins with a networking party at Jay Z’s 40/40 Club in Manhattan on November 30, before the conference and tradeshow at Meadowlands on December 1 and 2.
Delegates can also look forward to the Sports Betting Hall of Fame ceremony at the MetLife Stadium on December 1 and, the following evening, the SBC Awards North America ceremony alongside the closing networking party at The Edison Ballroom in New York City.
Book your pass for SBC Summit North America at the event’s official website.