Tuesday 22 May 2018

Irish fantasy sports company enters partnership with Formula 1

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish fantasy sports company PlayON has entered a strategic partnership with Formula 1.

The deal, which sees Formula 1 take an equity stake in PlayON, values the Irish company at almost €35m.

PlayON will now become the official ‘Daily Fantasy Partner’ of Formula 1 in a move that will include the integration of live Formula 1 grands prix, via Formual 1’s new media service F1 TV, onto the PlayON platform in key markets.

"The combination of live sport and PlayON’s daily fantasy games will provide a fully immersive entertainment experience to our customers around the world," Killian Jones, founder and chief executive at PlayON, said.

"PlayON’s goal is to deliver the ultimate digital sports entertainment experience to sports fans and we look forward to working closely with the Formula 1 team in pursuit of this goal."

Meanwhile, for Formula 1 the deal, which is the first time Formula 1 has taken an equity stake in an external company, allows the group to make an investment in fantasy sports and reach a wider and younger audience.

"Formula 1 is continuously looking for ways to engage with new audiences, particularly in the digital space," Frank Arthofer, director of digital and new business at Formula 1, said.

"We believe in PlayON, its product, leadership, and its strict approach to regulation; only operating real-money games in territories that have a clearly established regulatory framework in place. This enables F1 to enter the daily fantasy market without concern over legality," Mr Arthofer continued.

Founded in 2011 by Killian Jones, PlayOn has grown into an international sports entertainment company, with registered customers from over 100 countries. The company allows real-money game entries to customers based in the UK, Ireland and Australia.

PlayOn also used the announcement to advise that, in light of the regulatory environment around daily fantasy sports now being clearly established in multiple US states, and following the partnership with Formula 1, it will enter the US market this year.

As part of its market entry, the group will establish an office in the US to fuel its expansion efforts in North America.

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