FanDuel CEO Amy Howe isn’t mincing words: sportsbooks and fantasy sports platforms need to shift their marketing to women.
In an interview with Fortune, Howe said sports betting’s male-focused marketing needs to shift.
“If you look at the marketing, it’s been very male-centric,” Howe said in her interview. “I don’t think there has been an effort to appeal to a female audience.”
And with growing interest in legal sports betting in Oregon and across the country, focusing marketing efforts on women for a change could be a profitable strategy.
Industry experts hope to make sports betting more approachable for women
One of the issues that Howe mentioned as a microcosm of the gender disparity in sports betting is that online sports competitions – whether fantasy sports or sports betting – can be intimidating.
“For some women, setting up a fantasy sports league and participating in sports betting can be intimidating,” Howe said.
Jaymee Messler, the founder of gamification company Gaming Society, also spoke with Fortune about women and sports betting. She noted that betters of any gender can have a hard time finding betting lines on women’s sports.
Messler, who recently started Gaming Society, a sports betting and gaming startup for casual fans said:
“They need to be creating a more inclusive product across the board”. “The interest among women is there, but the barrier to entry is high.”
Solving the disparity in women’s sports lines and the intimidation factor that some women feel is a complex issue. But it has some practical solutions.
For example, FanDuel worked with female-focused sports media site The Gist to promote a FanDuel fantasy football league with a $2 buy-in and $2,000 in prizes.
The two sites have since run contests for NBA games and golf for followers of The Gist, known as “GISTers.”
And it may be partnerships between sportsbooks and female-focused sports media sites like The Gist that can help usher in a new generation of sports bettors that have been otherwise ignored.
In an interview with Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs, The Gist Co-founder Roslyn McLarty drove that point home and said:
“We feel like we’re just scratching the surface in terms of the value we can provide our GISTers and partners”. “Our long-term vision is to become the go-to source for sports for underserved sports fans and we’re ready to double down on what’s been working well in order to get there faster.”
Women love sports as much as men, but few dive into sports betting
From a market perspective, the female demographic has a tremendous amount of sway in the sports world.
Women made up 38% of all football fans and 43% of all basketball fans in the U.S. in 2020, according to a study from Gemba Insights.
Yet when it comes to sports betting, women’s share of interest drastically decreases. A 2019 study from the American Gaming Association noted that 69% of core sports bettors are male.
The 69-31 split between men and women stands in stark contrast to two metrics offered in a Golden Nugget Online Gaming June 2020 investor presentation:
- Women make up roughly half of all land-based casino players aged 50-55. And 45% of those who bet through online casinos.
- Women make up just 5% of online sports bettors aged 30-35.
And this gap between younger, core sports bettors is something that Howe hopes to fix.
FanDuel’s female-focused strategy could prove to be another nudge to the growing rate of Oregon’s online sports bettors.