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Jake Paul challenges sports media with gambling app Betr

In between strength training sessions at his gym in Miami, influencer-turned-boxer Jake Paul talks shit about Steven A. Smith, the ESPN commentator who carved out his Hall of Fame career. Shouted out Last year, Paul “lyed” about being a professional fighter.

“Maybe he was innovating 25 or 30 years ago, but he’s been doing the same thing for 25 years,” Paul said over the phone from Jim. “It’s a new generation. It’s a new era. I see TikTok as the north star. That’s where it all goes: TikTokification. No.” Honorably, Smith has just over one million followers on the popular Gen Z social media platform. But Paul has more than 16 million followers watching his TikTok clip of Jeff jumping off the third deck of his Bezos yacht and running over a piñata. A portrait of his rival with a lifted pickup.

The TikTokization of minds is a trend Paul believes can be used to make big bucks with new sports media and mobile betting company Betr. The plan, which was announced earlier this month after raising his $50 million in Series A funding, is a way for Paul to host a weekly flagship show to improve his business and what his partners describe as “a clever hack.” to enter the industry by driving young audiences to the app. Convert the user to real money gambling his business. Most bets on his billion-dollar apps like DraftKings and FanDuel involve betting on outcomes that take most of the time to unfold, but Betr prefers bets that settle within seconds of play. focus. Bet $10 that the next pitch will be a strike. I bet $5 that the Jets will go first here. A recreational version of the app that doesn’t require any money is coming in the next few weeks, with real gambling added at a later date in states that have legalized it.

Given the app and Paul’s fame among younger audiences with disposable income, it might be a smart bet. I’ve been guessing money. He and his friends bet literally anything. Is the FaceTime call with his mother longer or less than five minutes? Are the designer sneakers the man wore to the party worth more than $15,000? Near a shark while snorkeling? Who wants to swim? “I think the culture among our friends is definitely something we’re trying to emulate within the app,” he says. “Every hour when we’re all home, he needs at least two bets.”

Like sports betting, there are some collateral damage. In one of his videos celebrating Betr’s launch, the team bets on who will hang out the most drunk. Paul’s content manager technically loses, but the real loss is that Paul went to a rival influencer house member pinned to the ground at the club later that night, apologizing for the slight point off camera. I yelled at him if he didn’t.

If Betr can break the mobile sports gambling duopoly of DraftKings and FanDuel, it wouldn’t be the first time Paul has beaten the odds to succeed in a new industry. The aggressive class clown’s antics have grown in front of the camera, learning to monetize nearly every moment of his time and amassing millions of followers. Along with his older brother Logan, he helped set the tone for his first wave of influencers who live together in what is now known as Hype House. There have been commercially successful, if not aesthetic, forays into music and acting. Then, in 2017, West complained that his Hollywood neighbor was making his life a “living hell” by recording stunts like setting fire to mattresses on his patio and riding a dirt bike into a pool. After the leak, he was kicked out of Disney’s show on his channel.

The pole hadn’t been down for a long time. The following year, he and Logan took part in celebrity boxing, competing against British influencer KSI and his brother. Logan’s bout was a draw, but Jake won by technical knockout of him in the fifth round. While Logan currently suplexes wrestlers in WWE, Jake has found a home in the world of boxing. He drives pay-per-view sales with his DNA-level drive for self-promotion, a knack for starting feuds, and rights. The hook makes enough sense to knock out four amateurs who didn’t really know how to block a punch. (A fight with Hasim Rahman Jr. in early August was canceled because the pro was unable to slim down to the right weight. From other sports such as mixed martial arts and basketball Whatever boxing fans think of him, he’s a big influence in the professional martial arts world, earning seven-figure prize money and being the UFC president’s boss over providing fighters with lifelong health insurance. Competing with Dana White.

Paul, now 25, wants to move on to a position where he won’t get punched in the face. Last summer, he met Joey Levy, the founder of a company called Simplebet, while shopping in Miami’s new money haven for an investment in his venture, his capital firm, Anti Fund. did. Bet on reality. Paul wanted to find a business with real prospects. Levy wanted to reach consumers without spending millions on advertising. “When I met Joey, it was a moment that came full circle,” says Paul. His company led his $30 million investment round into Simplebet. Simplebet agreed to build quick turnaround bets on its app shortly after the company agreed to a multi-year deal with his DraftKings. After a year of development, Levy left his Simplebet and spun out his Betr with Celebrity Host.

DraftKings and other platforms now offer versions of microbetting. Jacob deGrom will he throw 15+ / 15+ pitches in this inning?But Levy avoids a lot of the complicated terminology by separating these short bets from the big app, making gambling We believe that we can make it more fun. +135 odds average? — it scares some new users. “This is similar to what Robinhood did to day trading,” Levy says. “Ten years ago, E-Trade, Fidelity and Charles Schwab were the main day trading apps. Robinhood has created a very simple and intuitive user experience to help people buy and sell stocks seamlessly.”

It’s an ambitious move, but there’s an obvious playbook to borrow. Over the past decade, Dave Portnoy has built a loyal audience of young men who come to Barstool Sports for his Everyman sports look, hot girl pics, and mobile his gambling. At this point in a venture currently valued at $450 million, it’s impossible to separate the celebrity founder from the company he founded. “I think we do completely separate things,” says Paul, referring to Portnoy’s main show as a podcast. “But I think there are certainly some similarities in the boldness of our attitude to the way we approach things.” (Like Portnoy, Paul denies allegations of sexual misconduct. .)

As with his foray into boxing, Paul is skeptical about Betr. Industry actuary Matt Buchalter, who runs gambling consulting firm Plus EV Analytics, points out what he calls the “churn problem.” Houses tend to win all the time, but the fast betting pace means they win faster. “Because in the game he bets 50, people don’t think he’s going to bet $50 by scaling things down in their heads,” he says. “They bet him $5 or he bet $10 and they’ll go bankrupt in no time.”

The audience Paul is sending to the Betr app tends to be a few years younger than him, a problem that has caused trouble before. He accused his children of encouraging gambling by pointing them to a site where they could pay $100 for mystery items. “We’re selling people,” says Lia Nower, director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University. Levy denies that premise, saying that the only way to build a business that “will last the next 20 to 30 years” is to “really advocate for responsible gambling.” , to be very focused on it.”

The sports media empire’s play is also a little immature.First YouTube episode of Jake Paul and BSBetr’s sports talk show began with a prayer from co-host DCut to be a “better human being.” Another co-host, Paul’s girlfriend Julia Rose, pretended to get down on him. When was it cut short. Paul explained his vision over the phone BS For Gen Z culture, in a short, condensed and easily digestible way, as a showcase for the world’s greatest athletes. Easier to consume and understand than super hardcore sports fans. . But this 30-minute pilot of him largely sticks to the sports talk template of the past. The broadcast of the complaint will be followed by feature length interviews with pros such as UFC bantamweight Sean his O’Malley and lightweight boxing his champion Devin Haney.

When Paul dials the formula, BS Show, there is reason to believe Betr could carve out market share from both ESPN and DraftKings. It aligns with two major trends in media. Fans by gambling. Raising $50 million in funding is no problem.

Paul, who claims to have turned down $40 million in sports betting approval to start Betr, sees himself as the number one reason to bet on his company. “I’m going to be this generation’s Jay-Z, and I’m pretty sure this is going to be a billion-dollar company. My first billion-dollar company,” he says. “This is what I love. I’m a Capricorn. I was made to work.”