Mario Malave has discovered a sense of community in every place he has lived thanks to the soccer community. Nothing has changed with his recent move to Nashville to launch a sports betting firm called Wagr.
Malave has always kept connected to his community through soccer and business, whether growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, attending college at New York University and Harvard Business School, or spending a brief summer as an analyst intern with Los Angeles FC in Major League Soccer. As he relocated to Nashville in October, he kept doing it.
Malave and his Harvard colleague Eliana Eskinazi co-founded Wagr, a social sports betting firm situated in the Gulch. It has since become Nashville SC’s official sports betting partner.
Recent sports betting deals have been made by MLS teams like D.C. United, Austin FC, Houston Dynamo and Columbus Crew . Wagr is the first of its sort in this market, though.
It is a social sportsbook app where football fans may gamble on point spreads that Wagr sets instead of against a casino operator or the house.
Wagr has activation rights at Nashville SC’s new soccer-specific stadium, GEODIS Park. It has set up two activation tents at the stadium for each of the 17 home games in an effort to interact with the crowd and become a part of the city’s growing soccer scene.
The main advantage for Wagr is to access to the close-knit fan base. There are people who want to be active in engaging. They attend sports together, pregame together, and travel together. Their product is designed for groups like that.
What is Wagr?
Wagr is an online marketplace where friends may record their verbal bets. Malave and Eskinazi focused on developing an accessible, non-predatorial community for passionate sports fans.
The company’s chief executive officer is Malave, while its chief product officer is Eskinazi. In the fall of 2019, they established Wagr at Harvard.
Wagr, which employs 18 people, acquired its sports betting license in September. Before releasing a viable version of the app in January, it debuted a beta version in December.
How Wagr operates
It is made simple by eliminating the middleman. Wagr retains a 5% transaction fee on the wager while the winner receives the prize.
Users can join “crews” to wager against friends in a community with a shared interest, and their wagers will be displayed on a more extensive social feed. The single-bet cap has been established by Wagr at $500.
The implementation of instant messaging between users, teams versus teams and badges for a user’s winnings are what’s coming up next.
The effect of Wagr on Nashville fans
Weeks before the start of the season, GEODIS Park expanded its effect and inclusivity by launching a social sports betting partner that targeted new soccer fans in Nashville as well as the club’s ardent supporters.
They are the core target market and but needn’t be habitual gamblers. They now have a great method to interact with one another.