The Action Network, a leading sports media company that provides in-depth betting content, tools and analytics for sports fans, announced today it has closed on $17.5 million in Series B funding led by Fertitta Capital, a leading private capital firm focused on technology-enabled media and entertainment businesses. As part of this investment, Nakisa Bidarian, CEO of Fertitta Capital, joins The Action Network’s board of directors.
“Since its inception, Fertitta Capital has focused on uncovering opportunities to leverage our unique combination of experience across sports, media and betting,” said Bidarian. “The Action Network is the ideal investment to allow us to fully leverage that experience. We are confident that the company’s best-in-class leadership team, products and content will continue to expand its position as the leading sports betting media company.”
Independent media holding company The Chernin Group, which formed The Action Network in October 2017, also re-invested in the Series B round. In addition, Mike Kerns, President of Chernin Digital, was named the chairman of the company’s board of directors.
“We are thrilled to welcome Fertitta Capital, and this exceptional group of sports, media and technology investors into the fold, as we build the next phase of The Action Network,” said Kerns. “The company’s remarkable growth this last year is a testament to our strong leadership team, and this latest financing will help us expand our audience reach and depth of product offerings for years to come.”
Also contributing to The Action Network’s Series B funding were prominent members of ownership groups of major sports organizations and strategic media investors. Among these include David Blitzer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns a stake in the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils; The Chicago Cubs; global esports investor BITKRAFT Esports Ventures; 6721 Capital and former Twitter COO Anthony Noto.
“We are elated to have the confidence and support of top investors across sports and media,” said Patrick Keane, CEO of The Action Network. “The Action Network is the benchmark for modern sports betting data, content and analytics. With sports betting now legal in eight states and more than a dozen other states considering legislation to legalize, we see an incredible opportunity as we focus on securing the necessary approvals in regulated US sports betting jurisdictions as well as those around the world.”
The Action Network launched in January of 2018, five months before the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting. Taking advantage of the rapidly evolving sports media landscape and audience demand for credible sports betting products and information, the company has hired several prominent industry personalities. These include Darren Rovell, former ESPN sports business writer; Rob Perez (aka “WorldWideWob”), former host of co-branded ESPN and Cycle Media production “Buckets”; and Jason Sobel, formerly of ESPN and the Golf Channel. The Action Network’s mobile application, available for free on iOS and Android, also allows users to track bets, receive alerts corresponding to picks and see how much money is placed on each side of every wager. As a sign of progress for The Action Network, downloads of the app increased over 700% on the day of Super Bowl 53, as compared to Super Bowl 52, with registered users also rising over 500% when measured on that same basis.