This week we had the pleasure of sitting down (virtually, of course) with Jason Shapiro, CRO of Betcha. Betcha is a player prop style Daily Fantasy Sports app that combines winning money with social and gamification features that turn game predictions into a game of its own. Or in their own words “It’s like if sports betting, fantasy, Twitter and eSports had a baby”.
Their app sounded like an interesting concept and we decided to connect with Shapiro to get some more details. We asked him about the app and about what makes them stand out among the several sports betting apps that have entered the market in the last couple of years.
What prompted you to build Betcha?
Shapiro. The ethos of Betcha has been in our blood since childhood. We’re passionate sports fans but also gamers at heart.
There’s been a convergence over the last few years between sports, gaming and some of these platforms evolving into social networks in their own right. Fortnite and NBA2K are not just video games anymore, they are entire worlds where you can hang out with your friends, compete and make new connections. Other products like Peloton took a mundane, single player experience in at-home exercise and made it community-oriented and competitive. Public took the stock market and made it both simple and social for the casual investor.
Yet, when you look at the current ecosystem of real money sports gaming products, they remain complex and highly transactional, almost exclusively focused on whether you win or lose money. And that seems to be in direct contrast with the sports betting and fantasy experience many people have in real life: there’s a constant back and forth in group chats, on Twitter, and in sports bars about who likes who in what game and why. There’s camaraderie as people root for the same outcome and trash talk between those on opposite sides.
Season-long fantasy football leagues are never about the cash prize – they’re about the relationships with your league mates and the bragging rights for being knowledgeable.
And that was the impetus for Betcha. If the experience in real life is about so much more than winning money, why don’t any of the platforms reflect that?
How would you describe the Betcha app and what makes it unique? Who is your target audience?
Shapiro. Betcha is DFS app that’s made winning money predicting sports simpler, social and competitive. There aren’t a bunch of numbers and odds thrown in your face and no salary caps, lineups, or professionals running computer algorithms.
We’ve also taken real-life fan behavior and built it into the app in unique ways. For instance, you can earn payout boosts for making entries on the same games as friends whether you agree or completely disagree on what the right picks are, fostering that camaraderie & trash talk people gravitate to in real life.
We also have leaderboards, badges, and custom competitions like the NBA Ownership Challenge we are about to roll out, where you can compete to be the “Owner”, “President” or “GM” of your favorite team based on your success making predictions.
If the experience in real life is about so much more than winning money, why don’t any of the platforms reflect that?
Our focus is on the everyday sports fan: the person who is into season long fantasy football for the camaraderie and trash talk, or likes to put a little bit of money on a game for entertainment or when they are hanging out with friends. We’re not a platform for sharps or professionals.
The language and visual elements of your branded content is refreshingly tongue-in-cheek. How did you come up with that and what is the idea behind that?
Shapiro. We believe that there is an opportunity for a brand with the right look, feel and tone to differentiate and attract a new, younger, and more casual audience.
We want users to feel that behind Betcha are normal people you’d wanna watch a game at a bar with. That the brand is slick & cool – something people want to share. The reason there’s a saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is because a lot of people do just that. Packaging isn’t an exact science but it is underrated and underappreciated.
DTC brands across almost every industry have adopted this approach and been successful (with agencies like Gin Lane and Red Antler popularizing them), yet outside of Barstool, can we really say there’s another brand resonating on a deep level with that group?
There isn’t a ton of content on your site so how can those interested in knowing more about Betcha and future features?
Shapiro. Downloading the app would be the best bet, but we’re also active on Twitter and I’m always available to connect on LinkedIn. We’ll continue to build out the website and publish the occasional blog post as well.
What do you think lies ahead for the app in the coming years?
Shapiro. We view Betcha as a mobile game as much as we do a DFS platform. In addition to innovating around game types and core contest offerings, we’re focused on building deep layer of engagement on top of the ability to win money. You’ll see a lot of features that are community-oriented, unique competitions, and influencer / media relationships that leverage all of the above.
We’re also focused on ease of use, education, and tailoring the user experience based on their preferences. We’ll be adding a lot of stats and analytics capabilities directly in the app to make decisions easier as well as customizations based on your past behavior, team preferences, what your friends are doing, and more.
Download the Betcha app here for iPhone >>.