DraftKings has engaged Opta in order to enhance the customer experience of its soccer product, in anticipation of an upcoming expansion into new markets. One of the main features that has changed is the increase in the number of players that users can select in their team. Previously, users would only be able to draft a team of eight; now they can select a full 11-man squad consisting of a goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders, two forwards and two utility players.
In addition to the squad expansion, scoring categories now also include statistics on tackles and passes intercepted, adding more strategy to the daily fantasy game.
Opta will be providing live data coverage for all of the three leagues that DraftKings currently offers: Major League Soccer, English Premier League and UEFA Champions League. Not only will Opta data be used going forward, but historical statistics have also been added to significantly improve the current game. By using Opta’s granular data and creating more categories, DraftKings will have developed a more engaging product.
“DraftKings’ partnership with Opta marks one of many steps we are taking to adapt our product as we work to serve and excite new audiences around the world,” said DraftKings Vice President of Games, Mark Nerenberg. “Opta’s renowned sports data and analysis capabilities will enhance our games, making them more dynamic for our fans and further establish our offerings as the true leader in DFS.”
Angus McNab, VP Content North America at Opta parent company Perform, added: “The daily fantasy space has shown some real innovation in recent times and we are delighted to be working with DraftKings, one of the leaders in this field. I am looking forward to continuing this relationship and giving their fans the best possible experience.”
It is little wonder that DraftKings is looking at new markets. The DFS industry in the US, of which DraftKings is a major player, is in a state of flux at the moment with questions being asked whether DFS is a gambling product or not. If it is deemed a gambling product, as the State of Nevada suggests, the vibrant sector will find itself limited to the states that have passed gambling legislation.