In a Monday press release, the Boston-based daily fantasy sports giant announced that it recently opened an office in San Francisco and “is planning to open an office in Las Vegas.”
Adding to the headline-heavy announcement, DraftKings also hired three sports betting heavy hitters, including Frank Kunovic, who will be the company’s director of retail sportsbook operations after overseeing the Caesars sportsbooks and racebooks.
All told, DraftKings said the recent moves were made to “further the momentum” of the recently launched DraftKings Sportsbook.
Building up the team
It’s interesting to look back to February, when DraftKings hinted at entering the sports betting industry by hiring Sean Hurley as the “Head of Sportsbook.”
As part of Monday’s announcements, Hurley will now serve as the head of commercial growth, “working with the company’s business development team based in New York City.” In the release, DraftKings noted the Hurley was “instrumental in forging deals that enabled the first-to-market DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey.”
Joining DraftKings is Kunovic, who previously served as the director for 20 Caesars sportsbooks and racebooks. DraftKings also brought in Jamie Shea as the head of digital sportsbook operations after she was a sportsbook and racebook director in Las Vegas for more than a decade, including at Flamingo, Venetian, Hard Rock and Station Casinos.
“The bar for hiring talent at DraftKings is set extremely high, and our success in being first to market in New Jersey with mobile sports betting is the direct result of our skilled team,” DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish said in the release. “I am excited to welcome this new group of executives, while expanding the company to San Francisco and Las Vegas.”
Speaking of locations…
Not to be ignored, DraftKings expanding its offices is just as noteworthy for the company, according to Kalish.
“Presence in these international hubs of technology and gaming, respectively, allows us access to a tremendous talent pool and strengthens our position as leaders in this dynamic industry.”
In Boston alone, DraftKings said in the release that it intends to grow its staff by 75 percent over the next year.
The expansion to San Francisco, according to the release, allows DraftKings to set up a “home to some of the company’s growth marketing executives and their team. This office will focus primarily on building out a best-in-class growth marketing organization, expanding the DraftKings digital brand and driving customer acquisition.”
Of course, the DFS giant still has plans to set up an office in Las Vegas, which would give DraftKings a physical presence in five US cities, along the aforementioned locations as well as New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey.
According to Axios, in order to fund these plans, DraftKings is reportedly seeking to raise $200 million at a $1.5 billion valuation.
DK continues to plug ahead
Just when you thought DraftKings’ news-ometer was nearing empty, the company continues to find ways to not only stay relevant but also bolster its brand.
That launch was followed by news that DraftKings was considering a marketing partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings, which came on the heels of DK Sportsbook bringing in NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley to promote the book in a series of TV ads.