DraftKings Expanding to Irish and Australian Markets
DraftKings is planning a major expansion of its international markets to include operations in both Ireland and Australia, according to a report on Legal Sports Report. This marks the company’s first big push into foreign markets since its proposed merger with rival FanDuel collapsed earlier this year.
Company officials pointed to the large numbers of enthusiastic sports fans in both countries as its reason for selecting Australia and Ireland as its latest markets. In a statement to the media, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins described the decision saying:
“Sports fans in Europe are embracing the game inside the game through DraftKings’ contests and content. As we looked to expand our European footprint, it was an easy choice to launch in Ireland and Austria, given their renowned passion for sports.”
What makes both Ireland and Australia particularly appealing to DraftKings is the large number of sports fans who also have an appreciation for American football. DraftKings Chief International Officer Jeffrey Haas expounded on this point saying:
“Ireland’s sports culture runs deep, with hundreds of thousands of passionate fans following both ‘proper football’ and ‘gridiron football’ across European and American sports leagues.”
While DraftKings’ international expansions are certainly what the company needs to insure its long-term survival, the scope of these two markets should be kept in perspective. As Legal Sports Report points out, the combined population of the two countries is only 13 million. Furthermore, neither market has an established fantasy sports market, so DraftKings’ can expect to face a major marketing challenge while establishing itself in either country.