North American single player fantasy (SPF) operator PrizePicks on Thursday said it had “explosive” growth in 2021.
Last year the company hit several positive metrics, including onboarding more than 300,000 new members to its platform while maintaining its lifetime value/customer acquisition cost ratios. It said it grew its gaming handle nearly 10-fold compared to 2020, while “efficiently” managing costs and operating the business at near break-even levels throughout the year.
In addition, PrizePicks curated 40-plus different markets for customer play, ranging from core markets such as NFL, NBA and MLB to more niche offerings such as esports, college sports and the 2021 Summer Olympics. It paid more than $130m in winnings on some 8m entries made, and set both week-over-week and month-over-month records for member engagement and retention rates to end the year.
PrizePicks now is available to play in 29 US states, including Top 10 markets Georgia, Florida, Texas and California, representing more than two-thirds of the adult population. The company said its employee base has more than doubled in the last year to more than 100 people as it prepares for more growth.
On Thursday PrizePicks revealed three strategic additions to its leadership team in the areas of product development, fraud prevention and government affairs. Chris Stango is the new Vice President of Product, Josh Kirschner is Vice President, Legal and Government Affairs, and Josh Slaff is Vice President of Compliance and Fraud.
All three joined PrizePicks at various points in late 2021.
Stango joins the company following his tenure in the same role at Barstool Sports, not long before that group entered into its partnership with Penn National Gaming. At PrizePicks, Stango was credited with establishing the product roadmap, executing the product vision, and ensuring that product enhancements and technology updates were completed in a timely fashion, while improving business performance across all departments. Prior to Barstool Sports, Stango worked on the Digital Products team at WWE and on the Optimization team at DailyBurn.
Slaff comes to PrizePicks from Morgan Stanley, where he served as a vice president in the firm’s Global Financial Crimes Group, responsible for advising his business colleagues on BSA/AML, sanctions and other financial crime-related issues. As the organization continues to grow and scale, PrizePicks said Slaff will help safeguard the company and its users and ensure its DFS offering is conducted in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
Kirschner previously was at Morris, Manning, & Martin, LLP, an AmLaw 200 Atlanta-based law firm, where he focused his white-collar practice on providing comprehensive legal guidance to companies in the vice and hospitality spaces. He specialized in advising gaming and cannabis enterprises. Early in his career, Kirschner worked in the Sands Rewards Club Strategy and Promotion Division for Sands China in Macao, where he gained an affinity for the gaming industry. At PrizePicks, Kirschner serves as the company’s lead in-house counsel and will lead all regulatory, licensure and government affairs efforts, with particular emphasis on expansion into new states.
“Infusing our organization with top talent, both from within our industry and also in adjacent business lines, is a top priority for an emerging operator,” PrizePicks CEO Adam Wexler said in a statement. “Our needs are changing every day as our business, and our industry, becomes larger and more complex. We will lean on all three of these individuals to tackle new challenges and opportunities.”
Dylan Cooper, vice president of revenue, PrizePicks, added: “Our sustained growth is being driven by innovation both in terms of technology and the product that we are offering our members. Our retention and organic buzz have grown significantly stronger with the creation of our Discord community and our referral engine has become our number one customer acquisition source, helping drive down acquisition costs to fractions of the industry averages.”
Stango said he has been lucky to work with smart, hungry, entrepreneurial people who genuinely want to build great products at his previous stops, “and that is what I have found with the team at PrizePicks. I was impressed by the tech and the buy-in from the entire organization to let data drive our decisions, which will allow for the scalability necessary for the incredible growth opportunities in front of us.”
PrizePicks is the largest independently-owned daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator in North America, covering a variety of sports leagues from the NFL and NBA to League of Legends and Counter-Strike. Centered around over/under predictions of single statistic projections, PrizePicks allows sports fans to play against the numbers rather than each other. PrizePicks describes itself as the closest legal alternative to legal mobile sports betting in the majority of the United States.