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Covers Partners With Chalkline To Expand Free-To-Play Games Offering

Covers, the Halifax-based media company with over 25 years’ experience in engaging sports betting fans, announced a partnership with Chalkline to deliver a suite of live-odds prediction games at freeplay.covers.com.

We sat down for a quick Q&A with Chalkline CEO Daniel Kustelski to discuss what the deal means to the larger North American betting market as states and provinces continue to regulate. 

Can you share the basics of the partnership between Chalkline and Covers?

Kustelski. To be clear: Covers has been running betting games for decades, and they have a massive audience of betting-inclined players. 

That said, Covers is expanding their freeplay games and launched “Covers Freeplay,” a series of live-odds, free-to-play pick’em, and prop contests that let players compete for prizes and Covers swag. 

They’re starting off with NFL, NCAA and NBA games for their fans. Over time, Covers has indicated that they’re expanding their freeplay offerings to new types of fan-driven engagement, including in-play sports betting contests.

What makes this deal different from other freeplay game launches? 

Kustelski. One, Covers is one of the longest-standing publications for trusted sports betting information. They’ve been immersed in sports betting since 1995, have over 20 million annual site visitors, and they’re adding a significant new component to their engagement offering at a time when operators are competing hard for customer acquisition. Many media companies are “getting in” to sports betting now. Covers is synonymous with sports betting.

Second, Canada is an exciting place to be in sports betting right now, and this move represents the opportunity that media companies are seeing across the provinces.

Third, Covers also has a strong US audience, and we know how valuable those customers are to sportsbooks.

What’s next for media companies looking to play in the sports betting space?

Kustelski. Data, data and more data.

Data from the leagues and teams that are using data as content as connective tissues for their fans to their product. 

Data from their audience–privacy rules are changing in real-time, and first-party data is going to become even more important for permission-based marketing success.

And, finally, data from third-parties: operators, iGaming operators, software suppliers, data management platforms. Better data connectivity will enable media companies to super-serve their fans in a way that will make them the best, most cost-effective way for operators to acquire customers.

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