Atlanta-based PrizePicks has quickly risen in popularity as a Daily Fantasy Sports platform. Its unique player projections format has been a differentiator in a market containing DFS giants DraftKings and FanDuel, attracting seasoned fantasy players and newbies alike.
But with a quick rise often comes swift critiques, and some have argued that parlay prop bets on players are no different than sports betting, which is currently illegal in Georgia. Despite the commentary, PrizePicks continues to rack up active users — and partnerships with professional sports teams.
PrizePicks’ model firmly within fantasy sports laws, executive says
PlayGeorgia spoke with PrizePicks’ Head of Company Relations & Market Intelligence, Steven Kerstein, who defines PrizePicks and their ability to identify a gap in the fantasy gaming industry as a disruptor in the DFS space.
“Some legacy DFS companies have gotten comfortable with a lack of competition. As a result, there have been attempts to label our contests inaccurately,” Kerstein said. “From our perspective, the entire fantasy sports industry owes thanks to these companies because they paved the path starting in 2009 and rightfully proved that daily fantasy sports are legal contests of skill.”
Kerstein highlights that one of the main drawbacks to legacy DFS platforms is the level of competition — essentially, a handful of professional fantasy players who rake in the bulk of the winnings.
“In the eyes of consumers, those large tournament-style DFS formats are consistently dominated by professionals and continuously produce the same small group of winners,” Kerstein argues. “There was a gap in the DFS industry for the majority of fantasy sports players to successfully apply knowledge and research of their favorite athletes on a daily, weekly, and seasonal basis.
That’s why PrizePicks structured its skill-based game firmly within the confines of widely-accepted fantasy sports laws and guidelines to create a DFS product that modern, stat-centric sports fans could play and have a real opportunity to win.”
PrizePicks forges partnerships with Atlanta franchises
PrizePicks’ twist on the standard Daily Fantasy format–allowing players to project single player stats instead of drafting a fantasy team of players to pit against another fantasy player’s lineup–has contributed to its ascension, especially in the Atlanta area. The company recently inked a deal to become the official DFS partner with Atlanta United, the MLS team’s first Daily Fantasy partnership.
“We’ve been fans of Atlanta United since they arrived in 2017, right around the time PrizePicks was founded. In addition to our mutual success since then, consumers associate both brands with a fun and friendly customer experience. United has been a phenomenon, winning the MLS Cup in just their second season and consistently leading MLS in attendance.
Given the club’s popularity, its similar emphasis on southern hospitality, and the emergence of our own fantasy soccer product – particularly after last year’s World Cup – it was about time these hometown brands formed a partnership. We are thrilled to be part of the in-venue experience at Mercedes Benz Stadium and look forward to cheering on our hometown professional soccer team.”PrizePicks Head of Company Relations & Market Intelligence, Steven Kerstein
Joining forces with United means another Atlanta franchise is in the fold, as PrizePicks has also re-upped its partnership with the Braves. The initial partnership was forged during the 2020 season.
Major sports teams a stellar resource for Georgia legislators
With sports betting legislation once again dying in the Georgia Legislature, Kerstein sees major league sports organizations like the Braves and United as important influencers in the political wrangling to eventually make sports betting a reality in the state.
“All of Georgia’s major sports teams can be a great resource to the Legislature as they are at the center of sports betting and fantasy sports. Their insights can help legislators better understand the differences between those arenas. A better-informed Legislature can pass well-informed legislation,” Kerstein said.
All of Atlanta’s major sports franchises have actively lobbied for legal sports betting in the state, which so far has proven unsuccessful.
Photo by PlayGeorgia