This week we had a chance to chat with one entrepreneur who is looking at gaming opportunities from a different angle. Marc Saulino is the Founder & CEO of StatementGames, a Free-to-play sports gaming platform that has invented a new form of Fantasy Sports.
We sent over a few questions to Saulino, asking about StatmentGames and how they plan on competing in an exceedingly competitive space.
What is StatementGames?
Saulino. At a high level, StatmentGames is just a game. My father originally came up with the concept in the early 90’s as a way to get his family to watch sports. The game created has now been played within my family for decades. I transitioned the game into a digital platform in 2018.
The concept is straightforward. We create games around individual sporting events – For example Kansas City Chiefs Vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For those who wish to play, we present you with a list of Game & Player props.
Of the 60 or so “Statements” that we present, it is the user’s job to pick 10 of them and rank them in order of confidence from 10 through 1. (10 = most confident, 1 = least confident):
As the sporting event plays out, should your #10 pick become correct you will receive 10 points. If #9 through #1 are incorrect, you will now only have 10 points. You will play in leagues of 8-12 other players and the person with the most points from correct picks WINS.
What prevents traditional providers from building out a similar product to StatementGames?
Saulino. Although the concept is simple, the engine that powers the platform is complex and the “System & Process” we have built has been patented.
Our patent was awarded in August of 2020 and it details how a front-end system, database and back end-admin tool work together to produce our game. We always keep an eye out for similar products but do have a healthy innovation plan.
Your B2C Model is FREE 2 Play – don’t fans want to bet with real money
Saulino. Large pockets of fans want to gamble, and they will naturally gravitate towards casinos and sports books. They will do so in-person and online.
However, about 88M people in North America are not ready to fund real money gaming accounts. COVID-19, economic unrest, political uncertainty, etc. All these factors affect consumers spend discretionary income.
Just because a fan does not have the means to gamble does not mean they do not like or want to compete in various forms of sports gaming and/or Daily Fantasy Sports. StatementGames is a solution to a market that is being dramatically underserved.
What is the incentive for player to try StatementGames?
Saulino. We do give the community to compete for cash REWARDS. Players win coins by finishing in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in any contest that they compete in. Ultimately, our community members will want to exchange their coin balances for a cash gift card of their choice.
The StatementGames REWARDS feature is powered by over 80 merchants. (Amazon, Google Play, Nike, NFL Shop, Starbucks, etc.)
What is your revenue model?
Saulino. We have a hybrid model that has implemented aspects of sponsorships, digital subscriptions, big data, and licensing into our business. We continue to prove how a viable sports gaming business can be built without real money gambling features.
In 2021 we are excited to dive deeper into licensing and white-labeling opportunities. Opportunities in which the StatementGames licenses its technology to sports leagues, teams, brands looking for creative ways to address fan engagement and retention. Sporting events will continue to be held with limited in-person fan attendance. Teams are active in looking at solutions to engage fans digitally. We have solutions that can help them do this.
DraftKings, FanDuel, Penn Gaming, etc. all have large marketing budgets. How does a Start-Up like StatementGames compete?
Saulino. We have a different product compared to mainstream providers. These companies will mainly compete in the real money place, which is a huge undertaking for smaller businesses. They will not deviate too much from their core competencies of servicing real money gamers.
From a B2C perspective, StatmentGames views mainstream providers as potential partners. We have the ability to educate casual fans on prop betting in a low-risk, user-friendly environment. Our systems capture and segment data and with a certain trigger – we can introduce the user to a real-money gaming service.
We also see B2B opportunities with the bigger platforms through our licensing program. As a result of legal challenges and bandwidth, there will always be challenges in reaching casual sports fans and cultivating them into real money accounts. We can assist with this challenge.
You mentioned how your product assists with the gaming education process. Do you feel sports fans need more education around gaming?
Saulino. Absolutely, if the industry aims to maximize revenue potential then it needs to do a better job in educating casual fans on how to wager. It will need to do a better job in educating and introducing fans to “Prop” wagering.
Look at the Horse Racing industry and how they still find new ways to educate casual fans on their product. StatementGames has built a platform that can assist in cultivating and educating the market.