Pats’ Kraft, ESPN’s Schefter Invest In Boom Entertainment Betting Product

Notable names part of a $15 million capital raise as Boom looks to develop a 'real money' gaming product
Kraft Schefter Boom Entertainment
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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter are among investors who contributed to an initial capital raise of $15 million by Boom Entertainment for development of “real-money gaming products.”

Kraft and Schefter were the biggest individual names among sports personalities listed in the company’s release, while gaming industry titans Sands Capital, Rush Street Interactive, and Golden Nugget Online Gaming also invested. Boom Entertainment, which is best known for creating the NBC Sports Predictor gaming app, said Sands Capital led the Series A round of investing.

“Sports fans and casino players are craving something more — new products and new games that will transform how they consume sports and how they are entertained,” said Stephen A. Murphy, co-founder and CEO of Boom Entertainment, in the release. “With this capital infusion, we will redefine what real-money gaming looks like by introducing new ways to bet on sports and new experiences for players.”

Boom Entertainment — whose general manager of sports betting products, Chris Fargis, appeared on the most recent episode of the US Bets podcast Gamble On to discuss the company’s offerings and outlook — expects to use the capital to invest in both casino and sports betting-related products. It also expects to unveil its initial offering of casino games to select partners in “the coming months” as well as products in both casino gaming and sports wagering in the first quarter of 2022.

Investor scorecard

Kraft is no stranger to investing in sports betting and has a stake in DraftKings. He sold approximately 10% of his holdings last October when the company made an underwritten public equity offering of 32 million Class A shares in a bid to raise $1 billion.

Schefter, though, may be the most interesting investor among those Boom Entertainment listed given his position as ESPN’s “senior NFL insider.” His ability to constantly and consistently break news — especially stories dealing with player availability for games — often creates the potential for betting lines to move based on his reporting and information.

Pro football is one of the primary drivers of the U.S. sports betting market. ESPN, which already has “co-exclusive” deals with both Caesars and DraftKings for sports wagering and daily fantasy sports, also has been rumored to be considering a deal to license its brand for sports betting purposes.

Several other investors in the initial capital raise are also well-connected to the gaming industry, including Better Collective CEO Jesper Sogaard (full disclosure: Better Collective is the parent company of US Bets), former MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren, ex-IGT CEO Patti Hart, and J2 Global CEO Vivek Shah. Former ESPN Senior VP Sean Bratches, former NBA Senior VP Chris Pantoya, and Eilers & Krejcik partner Chris Grove also invested in the initial round.

“Boom is in an enviable position as the premier provider of technology and games in an industry that is both rapidly expanding and increasingly in need of product differentiation,” said Scott Frederick, partner at Sands Capital. “Boom offers the entire continuum, from mass-casual free-to-play gaming products to fantasy sports to online casino and sports betting games. They are the go-to partner for any company looking to maximize their opportunity in this category.”

Boom Entertainment’s products, which also include Tim Horton’s NHL Hockey Challenge, PlayBarstool, NASCAR Jackpot races, MSGN Pick’em, and YES Pick N’ Play, have been played by nearly 3 million users.

Photo: Miguel Angel Lopez Rojas / Shutterstock

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