FanDuel's Mike Raffensperger on the Brand's W+K Ads and the Cultural Need for Sports
Mike Raffensperger is CMO of FanDuel, the sports betting brand. Mike is responsible for the company's strategic marketing direction including brand, media, creative, lead generation, customer acquisition, go-to-market, content, social, digital, communications, corporate social responsibility and event marketing across the company's full portfolio of brands within sports betting, daily fantasy sports, casino, advance-deposit wagering, retail and free-to-play.
Mike holds a B.B.A. in mass media from Messiah College and is a standing fellow with Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Mike is a passionate and die-hard New York Giants fan. We spoke to Mike for our Time-Out series, where we chat with folks in the sports world about their favorite athletes, teams, sports movies and shows, and their love of sports generally.
Mike, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up outside of Binghamton, New York, and I now live in New York City.
Your earliest sports memory.
A lot of heartbreak in the early '90s watching the Bills whiff on three consecutive Super Bowls.
Your favorite sports teams.
The New York Giants and The New York Knicks.
Your favorite athlete.
Eli Manning will always hold a goofy, special place in my heart.
Your favorite sports show or podcast.
I love Freakanomics Radio—no better podcast to road trip with!
Your favorite sports movie.
It's so hard to pick just one, but if I have to, I'd go with Rocky.
A recent project you're proud of.
I was really proud of the campaign we did with Wieden+Kennedy this NFL season. It resonated with fans and strengthened our position as the #1 sportsbook in America.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
I enjoyed watching Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series brought successfully to the screen by Amazon.
What sports can do that nothing else can.
I think sports are culturally necessary; human beings need to be a part of a competitive tribe with shared successes, failures, heroes and villains. Sports fandoms are a really unique and enjoyable way to express that need.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world.
I'd be somewhere else in tech and entertainment, ideally something involving movies or music.