How DraftKings Survived And Made Daily Fantasy Sports Legal
Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur's editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below.
How can a company survive a crisis so big, its very future is in doubt? Two years ago, Draft Kings faced that terrifying question.
“I didn’t think we were just going to be stomped out of business in a moment’s notice,” says cofounder and CEO Jason Robins. “And all of a sudden, that’s where we were.”
In 2015, after a few years of strong growth and an advertising blitz that no sports fan could miss, DraftKings had become a dominant player in online fantasy sports betting. The company was planning for a year focused on customer acquisition -- but then the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit to stop DraftKings (and its rival, FanDuel) from operating in the state, and Massachusetts’s attorney general announced that she was reviewing whether the sites’ businesses were legal. Other states would potentially turn against the companies too.
And suddenly, everything at DraftKings changed.
For the next two years, the leaders of DraftKings and FanDuel had to engage in a world they knew little about -- concurrently fighting a lawsuit and launching a major lobbying campaign to keep their businesses legal. Today, they have much to show for his efforts: Both companies agreed to new regulations and are now explicitly legal in many states, including New York and Massachusetts. DraftKings revenue is up 30 percent over this time last year, and it has 8 million registered global users.
In this new episode of Problem Solvers, Robins talks candidly about what the experience was like, how they developed their strategy, and how he remained focused in a time of crisis. Listen to the show below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play,or wherever you get your podcasts.
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