Almost Friday Media has inked an exclusive partnership with BetMGM, under which the comedy-driven content network and lifestyle brand will deliver assets across multiple channels.
As sports-themed podcasts with an entertainment bent continue to proliferate across the airwaves, Almost Friday provides consumers with a network of satirical content aimed at making sports enjoyable for its followers. The Almost Friday network has an audience of over 7 million followers, delivering an average of more than 120 million impressions per week, according to the company.
Under the partnership with BetMGM, Almost Friday will deliver assets across social media, YouTube, Discord, livestreams, podcasts, events, merchandise, and newsletters, the company said in announcing the deal Thursday.
Despite being relatively new to the sports betting industry, Almost Friday has already carved out a niche for its target audience.
“We’re not like a lot of the other outlets that can talk to this space in the sense that we lead with comedy, we lead with lifestyle. We’re not trying to be sharps or have that thoughtful or an intelligent take on what’s going on in football this week,” said Andrew Kenward, Almost Friday’s president and chief operating officer. “We’re excited to work with BetMGM to create content highlighting how to responsibly enjoy the phenomenon sweeping the country.”
The Barstool comparisons
Created by three brothers — Max, Jack, and Sam Barrett in 2019 — Almost Friday began as a collection of Instagram accounts that quickly gained a following among millennial sports fans. Each week, the Barrett brothers strive to entertain viewers with banter on their Friday Beers podcast, which has drawn guests such as former Boston Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon, Washington Wizards guard Corey Kispert, and Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson.
Jack, who serves as CEO of Almost Friday, patterns the comedic repertoire after National Lampoon, a humor magazine launched in 1970, but “done in a way that works in 2022.”
As it relates to sports betting, Almost Friday has a dedicated brand called Dr. Locks, which has garnered more than 80,000 followers on Instagram. When Dr. Locks launched in August 2020, Almost Friday described the fictional character as a man with a Ph.D. in parlays who blew his entire month’s rent on Yoenis Cespedes to win MLB Most Valuable Player honors. (You may recall that Cespedes abruptly left the New York Mets that month when he failed to show up to the ballpark during a series with the Atlanta Braves. He has not appeared in a game since.)
Dr. Locks, according to the site’s Twitter page, also steadfastly stands by his prediction that Freddy Adu will save American soccer. If you haven’t caught on by now, the prognostication is a farcical one.
Think of Dr. Locks as CollegeHumor.com for sports betting. A quick perusal of Dr. Locks on Instagram yields a bevy of lighthearted memes related to wagering on sports. One features a prop bet on Baker Mayfield’s total for regular-season passing yards at 3,599.5 yards. Dr. Locks muses over who is smashing the over. The prop is accompanied by a line that reads: Christian McCaffrey when Mayfield throws a screen 10 yards over his head for the millionth time. Underneath, Dr. Locks embedded a video of Antonio Brown leaving MetLife Stadium during his infamous rant against the Jets last season.
Despite the plethora of sarcastic content, Kenward indicated that there are stark differences between Almost Friday and the Barstool Sports media site.
“From the structure and scale, we obviously admire the business they built. But we’re not exactly apples-to-apples,” he told Sports Handle. “Our tone, our comedy, and point of view is quite different. They are more of a podcast company than anything else. I think we’re a little more social media first.”
More on the BetMGM partnership
Under the BetMGM deal, Almost Friday users will receive exclusive access to special co-branded promotions, betting opportunities, exclusive merchandise, and live sports events, according to the companies. Almost Friday is planning to host a live spot in Buffalo on Sept. 19 when the Bills face the Titans on Monday Night Football.
“Elevated, organic content is a key ingredient in our plans for keeping BetMGM’s voice differentiated as a premium online gaming platform. Almost Friday Media is a great partner to help us continue to distinguish ourselves as an industry leader,” said Matt Prevost, who serves as chief revenue officer at BetMGM.
In March, Almost Friday Media raised $6 million in seed funding to help fuel its expansion plans. Early investors in the company include Northern Right Capital’s Matt Drapkin, Dreamscape Hospitality’s Scott Broder, Tom Ellis, and Eric Birnbaum, as well as Jimmy Miller, founder of Mosaic Media Group.
“The partnership with BetMGM is validation of Almost Friday’s unique ability to leverage relatable humor as a springboard into successful commercial relationships with the world’s top consumer brands,” said Lloyd Danzig, managing partner of Sharp Alpha Advisors and an early investor in the company.