Daily Fantasy Sports with Kellie McSweeney & Zachary Maybury
In our newest DraftKings Life podcast miniseries, we chat with members across our different verticals to discuss what makes our individual products and offerings unique. In this episode, our hosts, Michael Rizzi and Meghan Powers, sit down with Kellie McSweeney and Zachary Maybury, Director of CRM and Vice President of Engineering, respectively, on the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) vertical.
Whether you’ve been with DraftKings since our launch, are a newer user, or are unfamiliar with our products, it might be helpful to know that DFS is the product that started it all. To provide more context, DFS allows users to participate in fantasy sports every day, in any major sport. Users can compete with the public or a closed group for a big prize, up to a million dollars. From there on, things naturally get a bit competitive. The idea may seem simple, but the execution was far from that.
As with most things here at DraftKings, there’s more than meets the eye, and our world-class tech products are a culmination of hard work and dedication from countless team members. Like our other verticals, Daily Fantasy Sports is the result of many hours and collaboration across many teams at DraftKings.
When we started building the DFS product, we quickly realized it’s one giant, ever-evolving puzzle to solve. Aside from the technological challenges and strictly following compliance and regulatory rules, traffic to the site can vary significantly from the game and user engagement. Our team of engineers has prediction models mapped to prevent any traffic jams or user problems.
In DFS, we work with real-time events, and the sports equations can quickly get complicated. For example, a touchdown in football can get called back, disrupting the traffic and changing scores. Or, if a popular player scores or makes a big play, we anticipate a significant uptick in site traffic.
As a leading tech company, we continually solve problems before they arise. We always strive to provide the best product to our users and ensure all these factors flow smoothly. This attention to detail requires multiple teams working together, including engineering, data science, and marketing teams. Many parts move in unison to create an outstanding product such as DFS.
What makes the DFS vertical unique and fun is that it's a social platform at its core. Customers can play publicly or keep the game in a closed network, but a social element is always present. It’s a magical blend of competitiveness, skill, and strategy that keeps our customers entertained. In the same vein, our team members are motivated to continuously improve and scale the product. As the first product of DraftKings, the DFS vertical mirrors many of the DraftKings work values: ambitious drive, data-centric, and seamless execution.
"It is really exciting and invigorating to know the stuff that I’m working on, will be seen by so many people and will have an impact on their lives." - Zach
"I think what I like the most is that we have been around for a while now, but there are still so many new things that we are coming up with and new product features." - Kellie
The Daily Fantasy Sports vertical is just one of four verticals we’ll cover in this miniseries. If you want to dive in and learn more about the technology and pillars of DFS, please listen to this podcast episode to learn more. We’re only scratching the surface, and we’ll be back with another episode soon!
Listen to the full podcast episode here!