WynnBet is at the center of Wynn Resorts’ $3.5 million equity investment into Blue Wire, a sports podcasting company.
The three-year partnership includes a rent-free studio in the Wynn lobby in Las Vegas. The studio will debut this summer with Blue Wire hiring national “sports and pop culture talent to create daily content,” according to Kevin Jones, Blue Wire founder and CEO.
As part of the deal, WynnBet is the exclusive sports betting partner of Blue Wire. WynnBet purchased sponsorship inventory across the podcast network’s more than 140 shows. The two companies will also roll out a WynnBet-branded podcast.
A new Blue Wire revenue stream
When Bettor Capital made an angel investment in Blue Wire, its founder, David Van Egmond, began advising Jones. With that advisement, he recognized the sports media platform was missing sports betting as a revenue stream.
“I looked at Blue Wire and said there’s a nice underlying business,” Van Egmond said. “They’ve got a nice network, bringing in bigger and more personalities into the network and have some highly successful shows and series. But they’re not making money from sports betting industry – there’s probably something missing there.”
Van Egmond said there were conversations with several sports betting operators.
A refreshed WynnBet push
In November, Wynn invested $80 million into a joint venture Wynn Interactive to ramp up its sports betting ambitions.
On its most recent quarterly earnings call, Wynn executives said the fruits of that investment should start appearing in the second half of 2021.
“As we build our strength and build our brand campaign and roll out in these states, we think we’re going to be in a very good position by the back half of this year is the NFL season kicks off again,” Wynn CEO Matt Maddox said on the call. “So Wynn Interactive is a big focus of ours and we’re seeing all the right things that we were hoping that we would see right now in particular with the revenues growing almost 50% over the last three months.”
WynnBet is currently live in Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey and expects to launch soon in Tennessee. It also has market access in several more states.
Earlier this month, it announced a partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Blue Wire growth trajectory
In December 2020, Blue Wire closed a $5 million Series A investment round.
The company generated $1.5 million in 2020 revenue with partners like Chevy and Visa. The advertising revenue is spread throughout its network.
Many of its shows are in local markets covering sports teams. It also has partnerships with:
- Teams like the Baltimore Ravens
- Companies like the Las Vegas Review-Journal
- Athletes like retired NFL player Greg Olsen and MLB player Ian Happ
Recently, it began to expand narrative storytelling. Last fall, former Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl partnered for a narrative series called “American Prodigy,” which detailed the story of soccer phenom Freddy Adu.
Elevating WynnBet and Blue Wire
A studio at a Strip property could help raise Blue Wire’s national sports profile. An increase in sports betting shows is expected, but Jones said it won’t turn into a sports betting network.
Aligning with a growing sports media entity could also help boost WynnBet’s place in consumer minds.
There are plans to host events centered around the studio during marquee sports events like March Madness and NFL kickoff.
“There were a combination of factors that made it a good match,” Van Egmond said. “If [Blue Wire] continues to grow, it can be a real catalyst for customer acquisition. For Blue Wire, it provides a strong revenue with significant upside. There’s a lot of interesting ways it can grow with Wynn as a shareholder and vested partner.”