According to estimates from the American Gaming Association, 59% of NFL bettors place casual bets, such as bets with friends or as part of a fantasy contest.
With that statistic in mind, peer-to-peer real money gaming platform Splash Sports launched Commissioner Economy to create a new revenue stream for influencers. Splash Sports was founded by the makers of RunYourPool (RYP) and Office Football Pool (OFP) and is helping creators use their influence to earn through NFL betting via fantasy football contests.
What Sets Splash Sports Apart in the Fantasy Sports Space?
Splash Sports takes the tedious admin work out of running fantasy contests. For example, someone running an NFL survivor pool would previously need to chase down payments and keep detailed spreadsheets with everyone’s picks. Now, an individual can set the group up on a platform like Splash Sports and let the app chase down payments and handle tracking.
One distinction between Splash Sports’ business model and many real-money gaming companies is that it doesn’t rely on users winning or losing.
Kyle Christensen, Chief Marketing Officer at Splash Sports, shares, “We consider ourselves a marketplace for competition that ultimately creates a community. We don’t care who wins. Whereas in my previous life at PointsBet, where I served as CMO, we cared about the bottom line of winning and margins and ultimately cornering and isolating the individual to squeeze as much as you can get out of them. At the end of the day, sports betting operators have to win 57 percent of the time or more to cover expenses and be a profitable business.”
The Commissioner Economy: A Creator Rewards Program
Splash Sports launched The Commissioner Economy to reward casual game makers and creators for driving new users to the website and growing their contests.
Creators who join the program go through a brief initiation period to learn about the platform and complete a basic assignment: host three contests with a $20 entry fee and a minimum $500 handle.
After completing this period, the creator begins receiving rewards. The bigger the contest, the bigger the rewards.
Splash Sports offers four reward tiers, where creators can earn money for every new user that joins, a bonus for driving more users to your contest (new or not), contest features, eligibility for outside sponsorships, and even a $1k bonus deposited to your account when you hit tier three.
Kyle shares, “We have a couple of great examples of people who did season-long Survivor games for us on the platform and made upwards of $25,000 by doing that. That was simply bringing their game over, emailing and messaging out to their user base that they’ve spoken with and communicated with before, and brought on.”
Down the line, Splash Sports is looking to add rewards for commissioners who create content and put it on the platform.
Splash Creator Success Stories
One creator, ForTheFans, is set to earn up to $25,000 and had 2,100 entrants with 5,500 entries.
Kyle shares about another creator with a very successful day job who started running NFL sports betting contests to reconnect with college friends. The initial game was around 30 people, but it tripled by year two and continued growing to thousands of entrants.
Kyle explains, “It was becoming too much because he had a lot of money sitting in a Venmo account and was checking it every day. We took all that clerical work out… All of that stuff is run on Splash Sports, so he’s really just promoting it anyway. He’s not like an influencer or creator per se, with a big following, but he has an email list of around 5,000 people that look forward to his stuff every year.”
Now, he is running weekly contests with his email list. He has earned upwards of $20,000 from hosting and promoting contests on Splash Sports.
One of the reasons these creators and Splash Sports are so successful is the app’s open communication. Kyle frequently listens to feedback from hosts and creates real, rather than transactional relationships with them to help him and his team continually improve the app.
Acquiring and Retaining Users
One of the ways that Splash Sports acquires and retains users is through its simple interface, which makes betting easy for anyone, even if you’ve never played before.
As Kyle puts it, you can be a serious NFL fan and put a lot of time and effort into your picks, or you could come in and choose players or teams at random.
He adds, “That’s what is so great about our business model, too. The commissioner and the people in the community ultimately drive the retention because they’re playing the game, but they’re also in the chats and uploading videos and talking smack to each other, but also checking on the family. It is cool to witness and experience, and you don’t get that in sports betting.”
Staying Responsible with Promotion
The Splash Sports team stays ethical with promotion with its responsible gaming team and a system of checks and balances.
Splash’s focus on the community side of sports betting makes this type of betting much more of a social experience that holds you to certain standards rather than an isolated experience.
This focus also impacts Splash’s approach to attracting creators from different niches.
Kyle shares, “We treat our games as content. Having them create the best content and giving them the playbook – we have a playbook if they want to read it about how to make the best contests – and then we reach out to them. We’re sliding into DMs, going to conferences, and trying to spread the word.”
Bolstering the Creator Economy
As a newer company, Splash’s team is currently focused on helping creators see the power of running contests as it gives them new ways to connect with followers, build community, and monetize their influence.
In addition, Splash is exploring brand partnerships for the future. For example, a sponsor could offer a prize for the contest winner, such as free products.
Kyle adds, “Our main focus is getting those commissioners over and making them feel at home, and then we’ll start to expand further and further.”
As for the overall creator economy, Kyle shares that the sky’s the limit for creators. The creator economy continues to balloon, and people are constantly finding new ways to build and monetize their followings.
His advice for aspiring creators interested in expanding into fantasy sports and the real-money gaming industry is to find your niche.
He shares, “You’re not going to figure it out on day one. Nobody does with anything, let alone being a creator. Try and find stuff you enjoy doing that you wouldn’t care if you got paid or not, and do it well. Test it and learn. I promise before you know if you’re going to have some quality things that people want to consume on a consistent basis.”