Sigdahl had some concerns, most notably when it came to the actual mobile sportsbook, noting that without a top-notch interface, the road could be rocky.
“What we’ve seen at Caesars, at PENN, these companies that have big aspirations and unique go-to-market strategies, they can’t win without product,” Sigdahl said. “So we’ll see what [Fanatics comes] to market with.”
Well, at the risk of editorializing, the first look at Fanatics Sportsbook is fantastic.
Sports Handle was anonymously sent some screenshots of Fanatics’ beta testing site — taken either from Tennessee or Ohio, the two states where beta testing is underway — and we have a handful of takeaways.
Remember, these screenshots are from the beta testing, and there’s no guarantee that this is what users will eventually see. With that being said …
- Clean layout: Black background, white type, Apple-esque fonts. If this is what Fanatics is coming to market with, it’s going to be one of the better-designed mobile sportsbooks in the land.
- Not jumbled: Based on what we’ve seen, the eye isn’t wandering all over the screen to find what the bettor is looking for. Virtually no clutter.
- Editable quick bet: As far as we know, this is a first for the industry, enabling the user to have up to three units for bets ready to go at any given time. For instance: You can have a $20, a $40, and an $80 bet pre-loaded so all you have to do is one-click your bet through. This feature will almost certainly be copied. It’s handy.
One non-design feature that is also going to clearly set Fanatics apart from the competition is the “FanCash.” It appears that 1% of all straight bets and up to 5% on single-game parlays will be given back as FanCash, which can then, it is supposed, be converted into merchandise purchases.
“The biggest questions as to their success surround the success rate at converting users in the database and the [lifetime value] expansion they achieve by cross-selling users between gaming, merchandise, collectibles, and other potential verticals,” Lloyd Danzig, the managing partner for Sharp Alpha Advisors, told Sports Handle a few weeks ago.
Clearly, Fanatics will be using its merchandise business as a carrot for would-be sports bettors.
“Similar to Tennessee, we are giving a small group of customers in Ohio access this month to our beta product,” a Fanatics spokesman said. “We are working with these customers to get feedback in order to deliver the product that sports fans deserve later this year.”
So far, it looks very deserving.