Five days before the historic launch of the ESPN BET Massachusetts sportsbook, ESPN held its third annual Edge Conference for industry leaders and media professionals at The Seaport at Pier 17 in New York.
The 3 1/2 hour in-person presentation included a 30-minute conversation between Jay Snowden, Chief Executive Officer and President of PENN Entertainment, and Mike Morrison, Vice President of Sports Betting & Fantasy. ESPN previewed next week's launch, briefly going over the introduction of both companies, how this came about and what could be the future between both companies.
“In that first meeting with Jimmy (Pitaro), I felt like this might go somewhere because there was really a shared vision," Snowden said. "Jimmy, his executive team, anyone who you talk to at ESPN really appreciates that what it’s always about what the fan wants, and the fan wants a betting experience as part of their sports consumption that is frictionless.
“How do we differentiate ourselves over the competition? You have to start with best-in-class products features and the ability so people can navigate with ease. But what’s really different for us is this deep integration behind the number one sports media brand in the world (ESPN), and those sports fans who like to bet and want to bet and the trust factor to be able to do that seamlessly is something that we take very seriously. It’s also, as you think about it down the road, where you can potentially go with this. I think the opportunities are endless.”
BetMassachusetts.com will have you covered during the launch next Tuesday, and keep tabs for any other news across Massachusetts sports betting sites and apps.
New Era For Massachusetts Sports Betting
The launch of ESPN BET will be Tuesday, Nov. 14, and will go live in 17 states where the Barstool-to-ESPN BET rebrand will take place: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. ESPN BET is a separate marketing deal for PENN Entertainment, while Barstool Sports and its Massachusetts mobile betting apps entry was a wholly owned subsidiary of PENN.
PENN Entertainment is to pay ESPN $150 million a year for 10 years, with an out clause after three years and again after seven. Depending on performance, ESPN was also granted up to $500 million in warrants to buy shares of PENN stock.
As a side note, starting Friday, Nov. 11, ESPN’s ‘Daily Wager’ show will become ‘ESPN BET Live.’
Fans, who enter their email on the ESPN Bet launch page to be notified when the app will be available for download, can enter into a sweepstakes for the chance to win an exclusive trip to the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn.
“It’s infectious when you’re in the room and I get asked the question all the time how important is this to Disney? Does ESPN even care? We can stop speculating and finally say you’ll see next week how much they care,” said Snowden as the conversation ended.
Yes we will.