Playmaker Capital expands Brazil footprint with acquisition and new brand

The digital sports media business Playmaker Capital Inc. has announced the acquisition of Fanáticos Por Futebol and the launch of Somos Fanáticos, its second brand in Brazil.

Thanks to its wholly-owned subsidiary Futbol Sites, Playmaker is cited as the largest international digital sports media operator in Brazil.

Playmaker announces acquisition and brand launch

According to the announcement, Playmaker has acquired Fanáticos Por Futebol and launched its second major brand in Brazil, Somos Fanáticos.

Playmaker’s acquisition of Fanáticos  took place on 11 June 2021.

Federico Grinberg, CEO of Futbol Sites and Executive Vice President of Playmaker said: “With sports betting soon to be regulated in Brazil, growing our loyal fan base is very important and will allow us to remain a key partner to sports betting companies in Brazil.”

Bolavip Brazil, which was Playmaker’s first major brand in the region, attracted a record 15.4m unique visitors in May 2021, making it the highest-ranking sports website in Brazil. 

After launching in Brazil 18 months ago, Brazil has become the largest audience market for Playmaker in all of Latin America.

In the announcement, Playmaker outlined that in order to remain consistent with its focus on fans, Futbol Sites will launch the Somos Fanáticos brand in Brazil. 

The media firm hopes the look and feel of the site, which will include “hundreds of articles per week” will continue to help build fan loyalty and engagement opportunities with advertisers and sports betting operators.

Playmaker CEO Jordan Gnat added: “This acquisition is immediately accretive to Playmaker. Fanáticos adds over 4.5 million new social media followers with nearly one million on Instagram alone, altogether generating more than 33 million interactions every month, with market leading interaction rates. They are profitable and our team is passionate about Fanáticos and their fans. We are very excited to have them join the Playmaker family.”

What is happening with sports betting in Brazil?

Brazil legalised sports betting back in December 2018,  with the passage of Law No. 13756/2018. 

However, Brazil must finalize its sports betting rules and regulations before the vertical can go live.

In January 2021, Waldir Eustáquio Marques Jr., an undersecretary with the Ministry of Economy, said that the rules to govern the sports betting market will be finalized by the end of July 2021.

Licence applications will then be reviewed and issued as appropriate with the first legal sports bets expected to be placed in early 2022.

In January, Marques explained: “Sports betting has some peculiarities, different from traditional lotteries, and includes much stronger technology requirements.

“[Sports betting] must be studied quite a bit, such as the integrity of the sport, the prevention of money laundering, the prevention of pathologies among vulnerable players. The administration technicians have studied this a lot, participated in various events, and have been trained to regulate this activity.”

Lawmakers in the country are still considering rules and regulations for the activity and have been making changes to the law.

Changes to the law

In early June, changes to Law No. 13,756/2018 regarding the allocation of funds, were approved by the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil.

The changes to the law would alter how much institutions would receive from sports betting gross gaming revenue. Under the changes, money taken from operators will go to social security, health, and education, while 95% of the proceeds will cover the costs and expenses of the state.

Furthermore, 0.82% of revenue will go to schools, 2.55% will go to the National Public Security Force (FNSP) and 1.63% of revenue will go to Brazilian sports bodies that give the rights to the use of their names, brands, and symbols.

Deputy Moses Rodrigues said: “Experience in Europe shows that it is better to adopt the operator’s gross profit as a basis, providing stable flows of public revenue and prizes and making bettors use the services of local operators.”