Fantasy Sports Special – Part 4: Star Fantasy Leagues ponders sportsbook partnerships

Fantasy Sports Special – Part 4: Star Fantasy Leagues ponders sportsbook partnerships

Thursday, February 26, 2015 Totally Gaming

They may be new kids on the block, but with the backing of a billionaire investor, Star Fantasy Leagues (SFL) has every chance of becoming a real winner in the US fantasy sports sector.

The company announced last September that it had closed on an investment in its business from the private equity firm International Investment and Underwriting (IIU), founded by BETDAQ entrepreneur Dermot Desmond.

Now it has huge plans for the next 12 months, which could include the signing of B2B partnerships with companies that include sportsbooks and casinos.

The business has taken huge strides since it was formed by brothers Zach and Justin Stanley in Rochester, New York in August 2012, but rather than aim to follow the path laid down by giants FanDuel and DraftKings, it believes it can be successful by concentrating on its own.

Chief executive Zach Stanley told TotallyGaming.com: “Building a fantasy sports platform had been a dream of mine long before we launched. As an avid player still to this day, I feel I have a strong sense of what the player wants and what the player may not even realise it wants.

“Our goal has always been to build the best technology with a relentless focus on innovation.

“People in the industry like to look at us relative to market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings. The reality is that we are operating under a very different business model.”

He added: “Because we have arguably the leading tech in the space - as well as the highest standards on compliance - we saw an opportunity to venture into the business-to-business side of fantasy sports.

“There are several types of companies – such as casino, sportsbook and media firms - that are interested in providing their customers with a fantasy sports product and we have developed an integrated, branded solution that does just that.

“We are also the only daily fantasy site that has a season-long fantasy platform which we think significantly contributed to user engagement and retention.”

While SFL is keen to differentiate itself from industry leaders, it is certainly aiming high and it has big plans for the future.

With major investment from Desmond, it is also no surprise that the company told TotallyGaming.com that it is keen to learn from the regulated gambling industry.

Stanley added: “With the developments in our B2B ventures, we anticipate making some major partnership announcements in the coming months.

“On top of that, we will be adding new sports, such as NCAAB/NCAAF/MMA/PGA, season-long leagues for MLB and we will be launching the SFL mobile product.

“The industry is growing rapidly and the amount of money flowing into the daily fantasy space will continue to be daunting for the foreseeable future.

“We feel that we are uniquely positions to take advantage of the many opportunities that lie ahead.

He added: “There is much to learn from the regulated gambling industry and how its past and present applies to our business and industry as whole.

“Our business has benefited greatly from some of our team members having experience in that industry and we aim to educate other fantasy sports companies on those lessons whenever possible.”

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