CEO Michael Crawford had from the very beginning seen legal sports betting as a future part of the Hall of Fame Village surrounding the NFL shrine in Canton, Ohio.
With legal wagering set to begin in the state on Jan. 1, HOFV found its mobile partner in Betr, a new site that emphasizes micro-betting and is fronted by boxer/promoter/YouTube celebrity Jake Paul and industry veteran Joey Levy. As part of the announced 10-year deal, Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment named Betr an official sports betting partner while gaining a limited equity interest in the company.
According to a press release, the companies will also cross-brand and share revenue.
“This partnership amplifies two of our key business verticals in gaming and media to further our strategic goal of continually creating new and unique sports content and experiences for our fans and guests to enjoy,” Crawford said in the release. “Betr positions our company to obtain the necessary licenses to make a dramatic impact in the mobile betting space and will drive meaningful value for our stakeholders.”
HOFV announced BetRivers as its retail sportsbook partner in December. Ohio sports betting law allows for separate licenses and operators between mobile and retail products. Rush Street Interactive, the parent company of BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse, earlier gained market access to Ohio through a deal with Penn Entertainment. HOFV previously had a mobile/online partnership with Genesis Global.
As part of the deal, Paul, who has 4.4 million Twitter followers, will host weekly sports betting-centric media.
excited to announce our Ohio partners @HOFVillage ⚡️we’re doing deals to get properly licensed & regulated throughout the US with some of the most respected organizations in US Sports — & they are taking equity in the company to become @betr shareholdershttps://t.co/hwwS4eQM21
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) August 11, 2022
Betr Out to Harness Micro-Betting Market, In-Game Plays
Betr calls itself “the first direct-to-consumer micro-betting focused sports betting company.” Micro-betting focuses on the granular moments of sporting events, such as the results of a pitch in baseball or the yardage gained during a single play in football. The company was founded in 2022.
“We are excited to partner with HOFV on launching the world’s first micro-betting focused app in Ohio,” Betr CEO Levy said. “Our differentiated product, combined with our sports media company built for the next generation of sports fans along with HOFV’s strengths and access to unique content experiences in Ohio and throughout the country makes us confident this will be a successful partnership. We are also pleased HOFV has taken an equity position in Betr as part of this agreement – enabling us to preserve cash while providing HOFV upside in Betr’s success. We are grateful for HOFV’s belief in our company’s vision and are looking forward to introducing something different to this industry with them while creating value for all of our shareholders.”
Canton-based HOFV owns the Hall of Fame Village, a multi-use sports and entertainment/media destination that envelopes the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Betr Raises $50 Million With Scores of High-Profile Investors
In a video helping to announce the launch of Betr on Aug. 8, Paul, the company president, said he hoped to make sports betting more like social media (language warning on the video below).
“I wasn’t into sports betting until I was introduced to micro-betting,” he said. “Micro-betting is the TikTok-ification of sports betting and I am excited to bring it to the masses through Betr. We are in this for the long haul and are focused on doing things the right way. We are getting licensed state-by-state, adhering to each state’s regulatory framework while advocating for important consumer protections and responsible gambling. We want to be the category defining consumer company in both sports betting and sports media by the end of the decade and are confident we will achieve that goal.”
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) August 8, 2022
The Miami-based company has already raised $50 million with a bevy of high-profile investors including, it claims, co-owners of San Francisco 49ers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Marlins, Travis Scott, Ezekiel Elliott, Richard Sherman, Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson, Braxton Berrios, the Stronach Group and Magic City Casino.