Three Years in the Making: Underdog Sportsbook Makes its Long-Awaited Debut in North Carolina

The self-proclaimed people's sportsbook launched in NC on March 11. This is the first U.S. state to get access to Underdog sports betting.
Underdog Sportsbook launched with a player-forward design and focus on simplicity.
Underdog Sportsbook launched with a player-forward design and focus on simplicity.

Underdog Sportsbook has officially launched in the Tar Heel State, marking the arrival of Underdog Fantasy into the legal online sports betting space. The sports betting debut comes after years of anticipation and is set to reshape the way American sports fans bet on sports.

Underdog will hope that its innovative design and massive database of fantasy players will allow them to quickly carve out a market share in North Carolina.

Underdog’s Journey to Innovation

Three years in the making, Underdog Sportsbook is the finished product of building a proprietary technology platform.

As Underdog founder and co-CEO Jeremy Levine notes, the sportsbook was created with the modern American sports fan in mind, and its simple, intuitive interface is designed to make it easy for fans to talk about, and bet on, sports.

Key Features of Underdog Sportsbook

If you looking for insights into the Underdog sports betting playbook, look no further than the widely popular fantasy app. Here is what new players can expect from the sportsbook:

Ease of Use: An easy registration process that allows users to tie their fantasy credentials to their sportsbook account for a smooth, one-time flow for new users.

Innovative Design: A player-forward user interface that’s designed around simplicity and ease of use.

Upcoming Enhancements: Future enhancements to include additional ways to bet, expanded deposit and withdrawal methods, and an entire suite of new, original games, with an emphasis on creating the most engaging experience around betting.

For now, the sportsbook is only available to iPhone users, however an Android app should be available soon.

Underdog Sportsbook launched in NC with its own technology and a familiar commitment to design.
Underdog Sportsbook launched in NC with its own technology and a familiar commitment to design.

Can Underdog Carve Out a Market Share in the Competitive NC Landscape?

In North Carolina, Underdog Sportsbook faces stiff competition from industry titans DraftKings and FanDuel, among others. But for Levine, it’s not about market share — it’s about building a fresh product that resonates with the average American sports fan.

The sportsbook will continue to evolve beyond its initial launch, with a focus on building the most engaging games around sports betting. Underdog believes it has several differentiators and advantages in the sports betting marketplace:

  • In-House Technology: By building their own technology and tech team from scratch, Underdog can introduce new features and games, incredibly rapidly.

  • Agility: The sportsbook interface was truly built from the ground up, and his team is incredibly nimble and will be able to adapt to whatever new trends or consumer tastes they encounter.

  • New Feature Set: The sportsbook will evolve incredibly rapidly, and Levine expects that within months, it will look and feel incredibly different from the product currently available in North Carolina.

Underdog’s Long-Term Vision

The North Carolina launch marks the first step for Underdog toward a much broader goal. With a large and devoted customer base from those DFS games, Underdog believes it is well-positioned to be able to convert a significant percentage of those DFS players to sportsbook signups.

The relative youth of the U.S. sports betting market means that relative newcomers like Underdog will have their shot to compete in the coming years.

Strategic Positioning

Leveraging DFS Database: The company is able to use those DFS-to-sports betting signups to acquire customers at an incredibly high rate — a rate significantly skewed above the standard conversion rate for that traffic.

Understanding the Landscape: The U.S. sports betting market is still evolving, and unlike DFS, legal sports betting is a whole different animal — and a much larger market.

Anticipated Growth: With the recent growth of sports betting, and his company’s position within the marketplace, Levine sees this as the opportunity to create not just a better product, but rather, “the best product in this space.”

Unlike recent launches from brands like ESPN Bet and Fanatics, the primary focus for Underdog is creating the best product on the market. However, if we have learned anything from previous sportsbook launches, competing in this space is an expensive, uphill battle.

Does Underdog have the vision to make them a player in the space? Only time will tell, but we wouldn't bet against them.

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