SportsLock, a fantasy sports site specializing in fantasy sports brackets, has secured $5 million in financing, according to an article from Forbes.
The round of funding comes just 2 months after SportsLock released its mobile applicable in the iOS store. According to the report, the funds were closed in early May. It hopes to raise over $10 million in additional finding in a Series B round funding to accelerate the company’s growth.
Support for SportsLock Comes in High Places
The Series A funding involved several participants including a former Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball, Robert Dupuy. “From my time at MLB and after, I saw a massive number of pitches blending technology and sports. When I saw SportsLock in Chicago at a tech fair, I knew immediately that they had a unique product that would have universal appeal.”
SportsLock, a New Niche in Fantasy Sports
“I’m not a daily provider. I’ll argue I’m not even a competitor of daily fantasy”
Co-founder Todd Heydon isn’t concerned about competition from daily fantasy sports websites. In fact, he maintains SportsLock is unique and can coexist with the likes of daily fantasy sports providers such as FanDuel and DraftKings.
“[SportsLock] is a very different product in the fantasy space. I don’t love the definition of fantasy. It doesn’t have to be time consuming, complex. I want to change the way people think about fantasy. I think people who play March Madness brackets should be involved… We were able to see what FanDuel and DraftKings and all these other fantasy companies were doing that wasn’t entertaining for sports fans. I studied FanDuel and DraftKings to make sure we do nothing that they do.”
SportsLock Origins and Target Market
Chicago-based SportsLock explained their origins in a sit down with Meetadvisors.com last month. Heyton stated that they were not satisfied with where the fantasy sports market was at and desired to bring something new to the industry.
Heydon thinks that the daily fantasy sports market falls short in a couple of key areas: that they are not social enough, that the product isn’t great and they have not converted a large enough percentage of players who play traditional more social fantasy sports. “Our job is to cross that bridge,” Heydon says.
He also wants to create a brand people can identify with, suggesting there is also no brand loyalty in either one of the two major fantasy sports markets. SportsLock targets any type of fan, including the casual office pool type of fan, but their core market is a 18-34 male who is social and has disposal income.
SportsLock are currently available in 46 states and in Canada. Due to current laws, players can not currently play at SportsLock in Arizona, Louisiana, Montana and Washington. A participant must be at least 18 to enter SportsLock contests.
How SportsLock Contests Work
Unlike daily fantasy sports contests, which of course are daily and require participants to draft their roster before a predetermined time when games start, Sportslock contests are available in daily, weekly and seasonal varieties and require participants to draft their roster in real time.
The main difference between SportsLock and daily fantasy sports contests is the bracket-based nature of the games. Each one of the participants will select their roster in real time and compete against a new opponent in each round of the bracket. When drafting a roster, a participant will select players expected to play during each round of the contest. The participant who wins the final bracket will receive the top prize.
Players are given a choice of either Challenge their Friends or Joining a Public Bracket. Match-ups are available in heads-up or a multi-player bracket format (currently in 4 and 8 man contests).
Because of the current season, SportsLock only currently offers MLB action. NBA, NFL and NCAA basketball will each be available in the fall when their respective seasons begin. The company is also reportedly working on support for NHL and PGA, with the latter being one of the best market opportunities for the industry, according to Heydon.