Splash acquired RYP and OFP in late 2021 and has been operating in stealth since then, growing the office pool space with it. Splash stated that it has taken the combined American audience of the two sites from 600,000 to 2.2 million since the purchases, noting that the office pool industry sees about $10 billion wagered each year, with the bulk of that money handled offline.
Now, with Splash Sports set for public release in July, would-be commissioners or contest organizers can legally run their office pools online, with the gameplay — as well as the money and payouts — handled by the company. Splash Sports will only deal with peer-to-peer contests, and there will be no betting against the house.
“A trend we’ve seen in real money gaming is that players are tired of giving money ‘to the house.’ It is almost impossible to consistently beat the book, and those who do win get their accounts limited or shut down,” TJ Ross, co-founder of Splash Sports, said in a press release. “Our focus is providing the platform for commissioners to run their own games and we truly don’t care who wins. We think playing in a peer-to-peer setting is not only more fun, but also more fair.”
Splash Sports will allow people to create contests, share invites, provide live scoring, and handle all entry fees and payouts. Payments will be processed by PaySafe.
“Sports are more fun with your friends, and the popularity of fantasy football, survivor pools, and March Madness brackets shows that players want to compete against people they know” Joel Milton, the other co-founder at Splash Sports, said in the release. “Whereas operators struggle to integrate social elements into their product experience, pools are inherently social, which results in a far stickier product than an individual user betting against the house. From a business perspective, lower customer acquisition costs and higher retention are two key metrics that help Splash Sports stand out in this competitive industry.”
Splash Sports is backed by such venture capital firms as Accomplice, Acies Investments, and Elysian Park Ventures, as well as angel investors from the sports world like Theo Epstein, Alex Morgan, and Jonathan Kraft. According to a report in Sportico, the company has raised over “eight figures” in its latest funding round.
Sportico also reported that RunYourPool and OfficeFootballPool will continue to operate as separate “free, entertainment-only sites,” while Splash Sports will get its revenue from sponsorships and by taking a cut of each contest. The exact percentage will be determined by contest size, according to the report.
Splash Sports will reportedly be available in 29 states, with commissioners from each contest getting a cut of the proceeds.