Paddy Power will launch a new fantasy sports betting company called ‘American SportZ Exchange’ (ASX). The startup, which will allow users to buy or sell ‘shares’ based on how they believe a player or team will perform, is being described as “the world’s first sports stock exchange”.
It will offer live ‘stock prices’ to individual players and teams based on expected performance. With its website ASX.ai currently accepting requests from beta users, the company will be managed in Ireland, but will primarily target the US market.
‘Mr. Power ’, who works separately as a Paddy Power Betfair brand ambassador, says he has already started negotiations to close exclusive partnerships with professional sports teams and broadcasters in the United States.
This includes the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays baseball teams, the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, the DAZN subscription sports video streaming service, and the United States radio and TV group, Sinclair Media. Canadian media company Rogers Media is also talking to the startup.
Paddy Power says it is currently the main investor in the business and does not expect to have to promote a round of financing for at least a year. However, he is launching a € 500,000 crowdfunding campaign, based on a € 4.5 million valuation, on the Dublin-based Spark Crowdfunding platform, to support the start of operations.
“It is like a virtual stock market for players and teams. Basically, we are allowing sports fans to speculate about the performance of players or teams, ”Power said in an interview with Irish Independent.
Paddy Power wants to focus on the US market, but do not rule out expanding operations
Paddy Power stated that ASX is evaluating several operating models, including an autonomous exchange for fans and a differentiated solution for large sports teams or media operators.
He added: “There are opportunities for teams and clubs to recognize the involvement of their fans in this type of activity. They would like to keep [fans] on their own website, instead of watching them go elsewhere to do any kind of online activity. ”
Mr. Power recruited the Racing Post’s commercial director, Mike Griffin, to be the CEO of the new company. Former Banco Santander electronic exchange technology manager, Conall Flood, also joined the group. Other early contributors include former employees and executives of JP Morgan and Paddy Power.
“I have been working on this myself for the past two years, but now it has reached the stage where I must hand over the keys to the adults,” he said of his new executive team.
However, Power assured that he will continue to act as ‘brand ambassador’ Paddy Power Betfair, traded on the Stock Exchange as a Flutter. Asked if he thought the two roles could conflict, he stressed that ASX is currently a “miniscule” brand compared to the giant bookmaker.
“The size of the gaming market is crazy and it’s getting bigger and bigger. But while it is primarily a sporting vision for the US at the moment, there is no reason why it should not work in other sports and markets, ”he projected.
Finally, he acknowledged that his name has been an asset for “opening doors” in the betting market worldwide.