If you worked for 18 years at the worldwide leader in sports, evolving to the point of becoming the editor in chief of the whole website and magazine, do you think you would give it away and join a start-up?
Perhaps that kind of fortitude is exactly what’s needed to become a success in the burgeoning sports betting world. It’s certainly the gamble that Chad Millman took two years ago when he left ESPN to head up the Action Network, at a time when it was unclear if the Supreme Court would indeed overturn PASPA and help to expand the sports betting landscape.
The site and app he and his team have started has gotten a head start on a sports media market that is quickly starting to fill up. Fox, ESPN, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report just to name a few have all announced their coming plans to start offering sports betting shows from Las Vegas to capture the sports betting market.
Action Network currently offers bet tracking, live odds, betting trends and news stories that dive deeper into the culture and business of the sports wagering world.
For Millman, the way Action Network will differentiate itself is simple, even if it’s a massive undertaking. That is, to fulfill a mission to make sports gambling accessible to the masses. Or as Millman explains it, “Every sports fan wants to be the smartest person in the room. Sports betting is one of those topics that can be confusing. We want our readers to be able to understand it at the highest level.”
The way Action Network is putting that mission into action is by offering content that helps bettors go beyond the odds. They are creating stories that helps novice gamblers understand why the experienced bettors make the choices they do. They are peeling back the curtain on why the oddsmakers set the odds that they do and sharing the in-depth news stories of how legalization is progressing across the country.
They also understand the value of hiring engaging personalities to share their features as the sports betting culture takes on its own personality.
Millman has hired a crew of veterans from traditional media to be part of the new venture including Jason Sobel, a senior writer from the Golf Network and Matt Moore an NBA analyst from CBS. They are also partnering with some established media entities, including Sirius XM and ESPN+ to create a radio show together.
He was able to bet on himself because while he was at ESPN he got to write about and learn about the sports betting world. That includes getting to know famed sportsbook operator Joe Lupo who was the subject of his second book The Odds.
“The book sort of got me into the industry and into the field. It got me sourced and helped me understand the psychology,” says Millman.
And sports bettors are going to be the beneficiaries of the great content and education a seasoned pro with his pulse long on the button is going to provide.