FanDuel Canada Plans To Get More Women To Bet Sports

As Canada’s regulated sports betting industry continues to grow, FanDuel is investing in the rising demographic of female sports bettors. The company features numerous female executives, including CEO Amy Howe (l.), and is encouraging more women to jump into the male-dominated industry.

FanDuel Canada Plans To Get More Women To Bet Sports

Women not only play a large role in sports betting, but their presence is growing within the businesses that operate sportsbooks, including FanDuel.

The company’s director of content activations and brand, Alannah Della Vedova, believes much more can be done to encourage women to work and participate in Canada’s new regulated sports betting market.

“There are perceived barriers. There is a very stereotypical sports betting culture that people think exists, that it’s this back-alley thing that only happens with men. That is very much not the case, especially not in the legalized space,” she told Sports Handle. “Visibility matters. We have women on the product team, trading team, analytics. Women just aren’t in those stereotypical marketing and HR roles.

“We need to do a better job of yelling from the rooftops that women are more than welcome here in this space, and we need them, because diversity of thought is what really drives success. You can only have that with diversity of gender, culture, and race.”

FanDuel’s CEO, Amy Howe, believes there’s much more room for women to work in the business and that the market for women wagering on sports can also grow.

“Amy is a great example. She’s always bringing more women to the forefront. She talks about the roles that they play and talks about how they contribute to daily business strategy and the success at FanDuel,” Della Vedova said.

FanDuel’s active female user base in Ontario has grown by 15 to 20 percent since April’s launch. These women have shown a preference for betting on baseball during the early months of the regulated market, she said.

According to Della Vedova, the WNBA handle as a percentage of the total basketball handle at FanDuel is just over 9 percent.

“We prioritize WNBA markets. We try to go deep with our offerings with our trading team. Having that available, and upfront and center for people to interact with within our core product, is key,” she said.

The popularity of the WNBA could get a huge boost in Canada if Toronto were to be awarded a franchise. Last November, Canadian rapper and Toronto Raptors ambassador Drake posted on his Instagram account that he desperately wanted a WNBA franchise in his home city.

Basketball is booming in Canada ever since the Raptors’ 2019 championship run, and Ontario bettors love wagering on basketball.

Della Vedova believes the key to unlocking the WNBA’s wagering popularity and visibility is by having great betting markets for users, while also having a solid content plan to promote the sport.

“Let’s give it the platform and microphone that it deserves,” she said.

FanDuel expects to tap data from a third-party consumer research firm to help draw more female bettors.

“We definitely can do better in regard to pulling women into our sportsbook. I think we’re off to a great start,” Della Vedova said. “There’s this general sentiment, that for women, just make it pink and throw some glitter on it. That’s not the way the female consumer wants to be spoken to. We want to listen to our female consumers and find out what they need.”

“It worked for them, and their brand, and their value proposition. I’m super happy about what we accomplished over there [at theScore] with regards to just launching in a new industry. I think every sportsbook, FanDuel included, should be proud of what was accomplished,” she said.

Della Vedova joined FanDuel Canada in May, just after the operator scored major partnerships with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Canadian sports broadcaster TSN and the NFL.

“I think what we’re really hoping to accomplish is a sense of community. We really want our bettors and sports fans to love and interact with our brand,” Della Vedova said. “Our brand not only has a great product in the market, but we also want to elevate their fan experience. Make it more entertaining and more fun to participate in sports they already love. We have the lofty goal of being up there with the Nikes, or whatnot, in terms of brand recognition.”

FanDuel’s marketing team is now busy preparing for the NFL season that begins Sept. 8. Many operators see the start of the season as a crucial time for customer acquisition in the province. Ontario sports fans are passionate about the nearby Buffalo Bills, who are the favorites at FanDuel (+650) and elsewhere to win the next Super Bowl.

“NFL, I think, for any sportsbook, is going to be big business. It’s also going to be interesting because this is the first season we’ll have it. With the April 4 launch, there wasn’t NFL. And we all know how prominent the NFL is in the U.S. We’ll be working with the NFL and TSN to really bring some interesting integrations and value-added content. Not much I can release just yet, but there will be some interesting stuff for fans to consume during the season,” Della Vedova said.