Joe Solanki, Twenty Dollars, Europe discussed on House of Cards
Delivered in less than an hour by drizzly head on over to jersey dot com and order today and now get five dollars off your first order of twenty dollars or more when using promo code drink nineteen at checkout shop beer wine and liquor with drizzly dot com for those of you just joining us. I am talking with the managing director of sports. Betting for nascar. Joe solanki one of the great things about the advent of sports. Betting in this country is that it's creating a brand new workforce i. I mean i know colleges and universities are now offering curriculum because young people are so interested in getting into the field of sports betting. What led you to be the head of sports betting for nas car. Which i'm sure isn't a position that didn't even exist a couple of years ago. Now that's a great question. I appreciate you asking i. I always tell people that. I really kinda fell backwards into the world of sports betting my background prior to being in this industry was military and law enforcement. So it's about as far as you could get from From sports betting or the the world of sport But i had the opportunity to live overseas in germany. And while i was living over there this is about twenty fifteen. Two thousand sixteen and i saw how mature and culturally normal. It was the bet on sports in europe and even the places. I traveled outside of europe as well and that was around the same time when sports betting the conversation looked like it was accelerating in terms legalisation in the us. And i thought well overseas in germany. It's probably a good idea for me to get involved with this industry So that when we moved. When i do we've back over to the us Maybe it's something that that is a good fit for me. So i worked on the data side Overseas for two and a half years. And that's exactly what happened in two thousand eighteen when i moved back to the us Legalization happened right around the same time and i stayed On the data side in the us selling data to operators as the market was legalizing and being in that position With sport radar the data supplier That i worked for for five. And a half years. I saw how much not only leagues but financial institutions consulting firms accounting firms. Were looking and and not even looking but realized that they needed to build some sort of vertical for sports but because it was bleeding so much into their organizations and i i really wanted to kind of be the person who was in charge of that at a league or organization that was involved in sports betting using my overseas and domestic expertise. So this opportunity at nascar Came about Late at the end of twenty twenty. And i jumped all over it. I mean there's only so many so many major leagues in the us. And there's only one of these positions of each of those leaks So i jumped in full speed on that and luckily nascar selected me to to take this role. And it's been an amazing three and a half months that i haven't i haven't looked back I really enjoy the culture here. And i i love the family You know the the family structure of nascar kind of how at trickles down to all levels of the organization. You came from sport radar which is an amazing place to watch the balloon of sports betting. I mean generally speaking. What has sports betting done for all sports. I mean people who listen to this show. no that i'm fascinated by the fact that people in colorado bet large amounts money on table tennis. I don't get it but if people win betting and table tennis good for them. How have sports betting been good for the popularity of sports across the board. Yeah that's a great question. I think it. I think it has and there's a time and place for for each of these sports. I mean if you look at the popularity of of table tennis and the betting on it really was a result of of cova you know with with. Us major sports shutting down and march april last year. You saw that spike. There was articles in the new york times about betting on ukrainian table tennis and that that really is a function of not only it was the only live content available but it also is a very segmented segmented sport where matches very short You could place a bet and got a pretty quick return if you do win And you can kind of go onto the next thing and you could also live stream. It which is also a huge a hugely helpful tool in terms of engagement and getting people to watch sports when they're really deprived of it and age of covid. But even as we're talking kind of outside of outside of the age of covid for sure. I mean you know what i was when i was living in in europe There were people at third division german or check soccer games and a huge part of that. You know you looked at the sponsors there. People were sponsoring or betting companies sponsoring You know these kind of third division teams which would be akin to a betting sponsor in the us sponsoring a single a team or something like that. Which would probably probably won't see for a few different reasons but it really did allow for Engagement in the lower leagues Because there was so much volume of sports and like i said there was a time in season for so even when Soccer ended at the end of june. July and august was an opportunity for some of the other sports Even east sports to really pick up in terms in terms of betting volume. So i think it has been a boon for for all sports involved. And that's how we look at it for nascar as well would attract did you to the position add ask what did you see in nascar that made it a perfect fit for sports betting for me for sure it was kind of the i would say aggressive nature which nascar has has approached sports betting relative to relative some of the other leagues. I think I have an opportunity at nascar to you. Know to have a platform like like on the show with you dave. I can talk about what we're doing the sport And really not the ba- coded about it at all I'm happy to talk about kind of how we're embracing sports betting as a vehicle to to grow the sport promoting our partnerships in terms of. You know what we've done in the sport to to help you know. Use it as a tool. Not that for a revenue tool But more so. Like i said in the beginning of this this call was is for fan engagement tool in efforts giving me the the latitude to kind of go out there and be aggressive about how we approach partnerships how we approach how we talk about it how we educate fans on what is betting on nascar understanding how important that part is and being aggressive about Just the whole. Us landscape getting involved in the conversation of how nascar gets involved in state by state legislation Even in the states that have tracks That we don't own now you mentioned fan engagement. And that's one of the reasons. Why all this sport leagues are really jumping on sports. Betting what are the indications that sports betting is increasing fan. Engagement for nascar. So we've seen we've seen it from the top of the funnel down in terms of engagement so You know we look at this Kind of funnel of of betting and how it's permitted all sand engagements At the top of the funnel i would say is kind of the free to play side and we have a free to play game on on nascar dot com in partnership with national jackpot races and the the engagement on that Free to play game week over week has been quite strong and since sports betting has been legalized. We've made so many improvements and as our partnership with pen has grown We've really been allowed and allowed ourselves to make some more improvements on that kind of connecting it to to bedding down the funnel But but kind of inbetween betting and the free to play side is fantasy as well which i know that With the topic we were going to get to here but nascar had a strong fantasy product. And it's something that we actually revamped. Because of sports betting in two thousand eighteen or fantasy live product is a season long season-long product but we We introduced a new feature where we have a driver in the garage. So if you're watching a race And driver driver crashes or as is removed from the race or not in consideration. You can put that driver from your garage in the race. So kind of allows fans to be engaged. Even if one of the drivers that they picked no longer In in contention let's say and then in the batting side just year over year in terms of growth and We look at the metrics of handle or turnover We have seen especially since the daytona five hundred this year. A significant amount of growth in terms of In terms of the handle and turnover that's bet on nascar compared to even the daytona five hundred twenty twenty And i think that is in large part because of the offering that we put out there and our learnings from last year and the in race product. That's our.