Today, we’re continuing the dive into the world of daily fantasy sports by interviewing Lesley Eccles, co-founder of FanDuel and currently the Co-Founder and CEO of Relish.
Last week I had Albert Chen, author of Billion Dollar Fantasy: The high-stakes game between FanDuel and DraftKings that upended sports in America, on the show to walk us through the crazy story of the daily fantasy sports market but today we’re going to go behind the scenes.
Lesley Eccles was a co-founder of FanDuel and in charge of marketing, including scaling their spend from $0 to over $300 million annually. She built FanDuel from a concept to a household brand name with 80%+ brand awareness in the target demographic in 6 years, growing the user base to 3 million active paying players. She also hand built a high-performing marketing team of approximately 50 people in offices around the world.
Albert’s interview lays out the backstory in much more detail, but here are some key points:
- Hubdub launched in 2007 as a news prediction game
- In 2009, the team pivoted to the daily fantasy sports space and rebranded as FanDuel
- DraftKings entered the market in 2012
- In total, DraftKings raised $776 million while FanDuel raised $363 million
- In 2015, the two companies spent a combined $750 million on marketing and advertising
- DraftKings was the largest advertiser in the country, beating Johnson and Johnson as well as Geico
- The next month, FanDuel was the largest advertiser
- FanDuel eventually sold to Paddy Power Betfair in a deal worth $465 million
- The founders and early employees got nothing in the deal
Since leaving FanDuel, Lesley has started Relish, which is now the #1 relationship training app.
In our chat, we cover how Lesley navigated seemingly insurmountable challenges, from FBI investigations to insane ad wars, what she learned from the experience, and how she’s using those lessons in her new venture.
- The FanDuel story
- Overview of key events
- Navigating the rapidly escalating battle with DraftKings
- Handling the unique stresses of her journey
- How did Relish come into the picture?
- How has your experience at FD shaped how you’re working with investors now?
- What does success look like for the company?
- Why is this so important to you?
- What has been the most rewarding part of the process so far?
- “Rapid Fire” questions
- Where can listeners go to learn more?