PGA, Action Network Launch

The PGA Tour and the Action Network to have launched, a betting content provider, making the golf tour the first professional organization in the country to profit from sports betting in a direct way.

PGA, Action Network Launch

You wouldn’t think golf would have the kind of action-packed thrills to enchant bettors. Think again, duffers.

In a move designed to give fans more of what they crave in the sport, the PGA Tour has partnered with the Action Network to launch, a betting content provider for the tour. The site went live March 2.

The deal, which runs through the end of the 2021 PGA Tour season, appears to make the tour the first professional organization in the U.S. to profit from sports gambling directly.

“The Action Network users have proven to be passionate golf fans, and the Tour has consistently been one of the most forward-thinking leagues and rights holders when it comes to the nascent sports betting industry,” said Ari Borod, chief commercial officer for the company.

The PGA Tour contributes rights to data, video footage, and promotional support. The Action Network also provides content for NASCAR and the new XFL. What makes this agreement different is the dedicated domain, the next step in a growing relationship between sports organizations and betting in the U.S.

“We envision GolfBet as a one-stop platform where fans can get all of the most relevant and up-to-date betting information,” Action Network CEO Patrick Keane said.

The Action Network’s golf page has been rebranded to “GolfBet presented by the PGA Tour.” The deal allows the Action Network to build upon its already expansive golf coverage. The firm will produce the majority of the golf betting-related content.

In 2019 alone, the Action Network produced over 800 pieces of golf-related content with well-known experts like Jason Sobel, Josh Perry and Peter Jennings. Almost all those pieces relate to the tour itself, but not for the tour.

What attracted the PGA Tour? “The Action Network was already producing a lot of quality content about our sport, and we liked their product-first approach, and this partnership structure offered both of us a lot of flexibility to operate our respective businesses while learning/growing together,” said Norb Gambuzza, PGA Tour’s senior vice president for media and gaming.

GolfBet will provide insights and analysis for all the major golf betting markets in legal betting states, including outright winners, match-ups and finishing position props such as Top 5, Top 10, Top 20 and so on. GolfBet also allows users to track their outright and matchup bets within The Action Network app. Last year, more than 50 million picks were tracked in the app, with golf the fastest segment growing, up more than 300 percent year-over-year.

GolfBet will also be the arm accepting any bets. “Users of GolfBet will be sent to betting operator platforms to place bets,” Gambuzza said. “We have no plans at the current time to offer retail betting at tour events, even in legal states. We believe the majority of betting will occur via mobile devices, which we are open to supporting at tournaments in legal betting states.”

According to Keane, the partners will share revenues made from affiliate marketing and advertising.

The PGA Tour said a content site would help engage and educate.

“We believe that golf fans and sports bettors alike are in search of a deeper level of information that has not existed until the launch of GolfBet,” Gambuzza said. “We are bullish that GolfBet content and the growth of sports betting will drive fan engagement and expand our overall audience.” The PGA Tour expects to hire a gaming director to oversee this effort.

The third leg of the endeavor involves the PGA Tour partnership with IMG Arena, which provides an official data feed, the exclusive licensor of official PGA Tour data for betting purposes.

“The PGA Tour will be working with IMG Arena throughout our partnership to determine the bets available for bettors based on official PGA Tour data,” Gambuzza said. “Any operator on a global basis that wants the fastest, most reliable data to offer its users can only get this data from IMG Arena.”

That partnership is complementary to GolfBet, said Borod. “We haven’t even scratched the surface of the In-Play betting opportunity for golf in the United States, and once IMG Arena’s official PGA Tour betting data is available to the U.S. market, GolfBet will be well-positioned to provide added insights and information to serve that market.”

In a statement, Max Wright, senior vice president of IMG Arena, said the three-pronged approach will be a plus for everyone. “We believe that an information hub like GolfBet, which delivers high-quality content to help to inform and educate users about golf and golf betting will be a net positive for the growing golf betting market,” he said.

Articles by Author: Bill Sokolic

Bill Sokolic is a veteran journalist who has covered gaming and tourism for more than 25 years as a staff writer and freelancer with various publications and wire services. He's also written stories for news, entertainment, features, and business. He co-authored Atlantic City Revisited, a pictorial history of the resort.