SharpLink Gaming Ltd. (Nasdaq: SBET) (“SharpLink” or the “Company”), a pioneer of targeted, data-driven user engagement and conversion solutions for the U.S. sports betting and iGaming industries, today announced that it has entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger pursuant to which it will acquire 100% of SportsHub Games Network, Inc. (“SportsHub”), an industry leading fantasy and sports game provider, in an all-stock transaction. Closing of the acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, including shareholder approval by SharpLink’s shareholders.

Founded in 2015 by a team of veteran fantasy sports industry insiders, SportsHub operates a variety of real-money fantasy sports and sports simulation games on its fully-licensed platform. The platform reaches more than 2 million fantasy sports fans who spend almost $40 million annually on its portfolio of games and contests, helping the Company generate nearly $6 million in annual revenues in 2021.

“This acquisition gives SharpLink access to a large and loyal base of fantasy sports fans who we know are also sports bettors, or would likely become sports bettors when legalized in states where they reside,” said Rob Phythian, Co-Founder and CEO of SharpLink. “With a thriving ecosystem of cash players, many of whom have money in their user accounts, we have a tremendous opportunity to seamlessly integrate compelling sportsbook offers within all aspects of the user experience.”

Continuing, Phythian noted, “While many of SportsHub’s fantasy players currently reside in states where sports betting has yet to be legalized; these players are primed to convert to bettors if these states become legal. In addition, the SportsHub platform is expected to serve as an invaluable proving ground for expanding our C4 technological capabilities to provide users with highly localized, single-point access to products and services beyond embedded personalized sports betting content, including direct access to fan merchandise, ticketing outlets, local business discounts and giveaways and other fan-centric goods and services available within each user’s personal fandom ecosystem.”

SportsHub’s platform currently includes:

  • National Fantasy Championships, the premier operator of high stakes fantasy football, baseball and basketball contests with grand prize payouts as high as $250,000 and featuring the industry’s premier live draft experience in Las Vegas and New York;
  • Bestball10s, the hugely popular season-long best ball league format;
  • Fanball, one of the top daily fantasy sports destinations where users compete against similarly skilled players in draft, auction and salary cap style daily fantasy sports contests;
  • Fantasy National Golf Club, a provider of world class data analysis and research tools for fantasy golf players and sports bettors;
  • WhatIfSports, one of the leading sports simulation sites featuring online simulation games and predictions for MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, NCAA sports and more; and
  • LeagueSafe, an online platform for private fantasy leagues to collect entry fees, provide transparency into league transactions, secure funds throughout the season, encourage timely payment of entry fees, and facilitate end-of-season payouts. LeagueSafe is the trusted source for collecting and protecting private fantasy league dues since 2008 and attracts over 150,000 paying users each year.

The proposed acquisition of SportsHub is key to SharpLink’s plan to accelerate and amplify its audience growth initiatives. By leveraging the SportsHub platform, the acquisition would enable SharpLink to have a proven “plug and play” solution to easily onboard potential future acquisitions in an efficient and scalable way.

“This accretive acquisition of SportsHub would serve to solidify the foundation on which SharpLink will continue to build demonstrable value of its game-changing C4 engine’s conversion capabilities for all sports media operators, leagues, teams and sportsbooks,” stated Phythian. “With a goal of significantly increasing the size and scope of the audience of sports fans we serve through our owned and operated network of gaming sites, coupled with the millions of fans we’re reaching through our customers’ online sports properties – including NASCAR, PGA Tour, NBA, Turner Sports and other major sports media sites – SharpLink expects to earn distinction as the industry’s preferred and proven source for high-performing conversion technology that delivers its customers with meaningful new revenue channels and greatly enhanced user experience and engagement.”

John Lettmann, Chairman of the Board of SportsHub, added, “We are excited about the combination of SportsHub and SharpLink. It represents a merger that we believe will create a significant opportunity for our companies as the U.S. sports betting industry evolves and matures. SharpLink’s leadership and expertise will help accelerate growth within our core fantasy sports and gaming products and allow us to become an industry leader in how sports media and gaming operators interface with sportsbooks to deliver value for all stakeholders.”

SportsHub is currently SharpLink’s largest shareholder, holding approximately 8.9 million shares of SharpLink’s Ordinary Shares. Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the merger agreement, SBET will be required to distribute such shares to its stockholders effective as of immediately prior to the closing of the merger. Upon the closing of the merger, the stockholders of SportsHub will receive an aggregate of 3.67 million ordinary shares of SharpLink in exchange for all outstanding capital stock of SportsHub. All of the approximately 12.6 million SharpLink Ordinary Shares to be distributed or issued to the stockholders of SportsHub pursuant to the share distribution and the merger, as applicable, will be subject to a six-month lock-up period; thereafter, a percentage of the holder’s shares may be eligible for resale each month until no restriction exists. For more detailed information relating to the definitive merger agreement, please refer to the Form 6-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and found at www.sec.gov.

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Hunor is a Content Editor at Hipther Agency and studies biomedical engineering at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Electrical Engineering. He is an open-minded person, always willing to try new things and give back something to the community through his work. He has participated in several volunteering activities and is currently working in event organization of the Hungarian Students Union of Cluj (HSUC), the Hungarian Students’ Union of Romania (HSUR), and ÉRTED, a Transylvanian Hungarian student initiative working in the fields of culture, science, economy, and environment. You can reach Hunor at [email protected]

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