The team at USBettingReport.com was introduced to PickUp earlier this year and we were intrigued by its USP and the concept of interactive sports betting content and wanted to know more. PickUp went through its first seed funding round last year and has Noah Szubski, former CEO of The Action Network on its board, so this is one to watch closely.
This week we sat down with Dan Healy who co-founded the company with Chris Meisner, to ask him about their background and future plans.
What is Pickup and how did you come up with the idea?
Healy. PickUp introduces the casual fan to the mechanics of betting by turning sports moments and headlines into playable questions and distributes them via our community across editorial, television/OTT, social, and SMS.
We came up with the idea when we recognized that the conversation that used to take place in bars or at work was more commonly taking place in subreddit groups, slack channels, and text chains, but there was no way to track your opinions or get credit for being right. We realized we can use technology to make sports headlines and storylines playable.
That shift, paired with the recently introduced and rapidly growing sports betting market, shifting sports media landscape, and interactive fan engagement ecosystem presented a clear opportunity to build tech that supported the evolving market while adding value to the fan experience.
How is your app different from the many other sports and sports betting apps that have launched since sports betting became legal in 2018?
Healy. PickUp is not an app, but instead is a platform of conversational props that any publisher, media company, developer, or fan can access and share with their community. While most of the Free to Play products on the market require you to download a mobile app, PickUp can live anywhere the fan conversation is taking place.
Who is your target audience and have you seen any difference in what users are interested in depending on demographic and sports?
Our target audience is the 80% of sports fans that don’t always bet on sports but have an opinion and want to follow the players, teams, or sports they love with something on the line. PickUp gives them the opportunity to do that before they become a sports bettor, or before the state they live in allows sports betting.
We have noticed a few key trends. First, people are following athletes as well as teams. This is common knowledge now, and as athletes become brands it’s becoming more common.
Second, football, specifically the NFL gets as much or more engagement than you would think (roughly 75% of our engagement).
Finally, MMA and combat sports have one of the most engaged audiences, actively sharing and engaging with our props at a higher percentage of audience than any other group.
How many users do you have today and what’s your Goal? What is your monetization model of these users?
Healy. We have hundreds of publishers using the platform and tens of thousands of users. We have commercial relationships with large publishers and media companies as well as affiliate relationships with sportsbooks and eCommerce companies.
What do you think about the sports betting content that is published today on the major networks? What gap are you trying to fill with playpickups.com?
The majority of sports betting content is targeting the bottom of the funnel, people that are used to betting. PickUp turns headlines and trending topics into playable props. We cater to the majority of sports fans that have moderate to minimal betting experience, but still want to participate.
Finally, what are your plans for this year?
Healy. We’re expanding our publisher relationships, building out our marketplace, enhancing our affiliate presence, and bringing more value to the fan. This year, as we open our API, you’ll see the PickUp platform become accessible to all sports fans, allowing anyone to bring the props to their conversations in Slack, Whatsapp, SMS, Discord, etc. making the fan conversations count.