Date: 03.06.2024

by Mateusz Mazur

“Playmaker’s audience is ideal for Better Collective”

iGamingExpress spoke with Jordan Gnat, Chair of the Americas Advisory Board at Better Collective, about Playmaker’s Capital background of success, Better Collective acquisition, and much more.

Congratulations on being recognized by iGamingExpress as one of the most important people in the iGaming industry. What do you believe has been the key to your influence and success in this field?

I have been in the gambling industry for over 20 years. During that time, I have literally been involved in virtually every aspect of gambling from bingo to lottery to slots, to online gaming and finally to sports gambling and sports media. I have been both and operator and a supplier. I have been lucky to be able to do this at scale across the world.

Playmaker Capital has seen growth under your leadership. Can you share some of the key strategies that have driven this success and how the recent acquisition by Better Collective will shape Playmaker’s future?

I started Playmaker in January 2021. The company’s strategy from the beginning was to roll up small and medium sized sports specific media assets across the Americas, the newly regulating online gambling region. Our strategy was to acquire companies that were led by strong leaders who were very passionate about the business but disciplined in how they operate. Our focus from day one was to be profitable.

Playmaker has been very focused on deeply integrating the key operational elements of the business to maximize the synergies between all the businesses in the group. The acquisition by Better Collective was the natural next step for our roll up strategy. We knew that if we focused on building a great business, we would be the target of a company focused on rolling up high quality assets.

Better Collective is the perfect fit. The culture fit is string, their monetization expertise is where Playmaker lacked, and Playmaker’s audience is ideal for Better Collective.

Better Collective’s acquisition of Playmaker Capital marks a major milestone. What excites you most about this new chapter, and what synergies do you see between the two companies?

Several things excite me. First and foremost, and not to sound cliché, are the people. Culture is so important, and the two companies share a very consistent culture, and you can see that as the teams have been working through integration already. The revenue synergies are very powerful.

Playmaker’s owned and operated media properties matched up with Better Collective’s monetization strength. Latin America is a geography that Playmaker has been strong in and an area of growth focus for Better Collective

Playmaker Capital focuses on the intersection of sports, media, gambling, and technology. How do you see these sectors evolving together over the next years, and what role will Playmaker Capital play in this evolution?

Playmaker Capital is no more. We are all part of the Better Collective family. The core brands in each geography will continue to follow their strategies of high-quality engaging content with a focus on continuous audience growth. Better Collective’s mission to become the leading digital sports media company is getting closer to a reality with the assets that were acquired and integrated.

Your career spans several high-profile roles, including your time at The Stars Group and FOX Bet. What have been the most significant lessons you’ve learned from these experiences, and how have they influenced your approach at Playmaker Capital?

I have learned so much over my career…so far…still lots of room to grow and learn. Again, not to sound cliché, it is about the people on the team and the culture that you build. The other is that you need to really listen, not just to people but to what is happening, where are the trends. As Wayne Gretzky said, you have to skate to where the puck is going.

You have a strong background in strategic business development. How do you identify and evaluate new opportunities for growth and expansion in such a rapidly evolving industry?

I think everyone looks at things a bit differently. Playmaker was the third roll up that I have done in my business career. I personally like looking at business that are fragmented where there are clear value opportunities in aggregating. This is not just a recipe for the gaming or media sectors, this can be applied to any business or marketplace.