The intermingling of sports betting and sports media grew a little tighter Wednesday thanks to a couple announcements involving PointsBet.
The Aussie-based sports betting operator announced former NFL quarterback turned analyst Ryan Leaf would join the company as the host of a college and pro football show. The Straight Line with Ryan Leaf debuts Thursday and will be available on all podcast providers as well as PointsBet’s social media feeds and gaming app.
Leaf, who was also named a PointsBet ambassador, will discuss the latest college football and NFL news and provide betting analysis and trends. He previously served as an analyst for ESPN.
“I’m thrilled to join the PointsBet team as we work together to produce premium football content during this upcoming football season,” Leaf said. “With PointsBet’s market-leading emphasis on live betting options and their best-in-class user experience, it was an easy decision. I’m eager to use my knowledge of the game in a new and exciting way that connects me to sports fans and bettors on a regular basis.”
Joining PointsBet is the latest chapter in Leaf’s personal turnaround. He was drafted second behind Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft, but his career ended after just four seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys. He developed an addiction to painkillers and eventually was arrested on various drug and theft charges that led to him serving time in prison.
Leaf has since become a motivational speaker sharing his story of addiction and recovery.
New PointBet Studio to Open in October
In addition to announcing Leaf’s new show, PointsBet also announced it will open a new digital studio next month in Manhattan to develop premium content. The plan is to produce several shows on a weekly basis.
PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken said the company believe providing such content as The Straight Line is a critical part of operating a sportsbook.
Bettors are increasingly looking to sportsbooks to provide them with high-quality entertaining and informative content, and with the unveiling of the PointsBet Studio, we’re able to produce and curate content in house that is tailored to the PointsBet user,” Aitken said.
PointsBet isn’t the only sportsbook looking to develop more original content. Earlier this month FanDuel rebranded TVG into FanDuelTV, widening the network’s focus from just horse racing to include shows about sports betting and broadcasting live sporting events. FanDuel also launched a companion streaming service to go with the network.
Newsletter Also Debuts Thursday
Ryan Leaf’s show won’t be the only content PointsBet debuts on Thursday. The sportsbook also announced a partnership with Front Office Sports to create a thrice-weekly newsletter called Hustle that’s designed to be a “digital destination for bettors looking for an edge,” the two companies said in a release Wednesday.
The news was first reported last week by Axios.
Hustle is designed to help PointsBet capture a larger audience and increase engagement with its bettors. It will initially run on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays, but plans call for it to eventually run up to five days per week.
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide our expertise in developing and executing a custom newsletter for one of the leaders in the sports betting category,” said Front Office Sports Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Budkofsky said in a statement Wednesday. “Millions of people will now be able to enjoy a professionally produced newsletter providing incredible insight and perspective in betting.”
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