The Sideline Sprint logo.
Happy Friday. Today and yesterday, the MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson Day. We’re hard pressed to think of an athlete who changed the world of sports more.
- Ryan
In today's Sprint:
👑  Going for it all
🏒  Goals
🏀  Surprise retirement
Trivia: Jackie Robinson is the only athlete to ever letter in four sports at UCLA. Outside of baseball, what were the three others?
  1. Basketball, Tennis, Football
  2. Track and field, Basketball, Tennis
  3. Tennis, Football, Soccer
  4. Basketball, Football, Track and Field

King's Gambit
Back in 2015 you couldn’t do anything without seeing a DraftKings ad. Turn on the TV, open an app, drive past a billboard, and there was DraftKings, waiting for you like an old friend.
Let’s break it down: Early on, the company’s forays into sports betting seemed questionably legal at best. Now, though, CEO Jason Robins and co. look brilliant.
  • Valued at ~$23 billion
  • Stock up 357% YTD
  • Global sports betting industry valued at $200 billion+
The next move
In 2021, the name of the game is customer acquisition cost. Big tech shops like DraftKings are quickly realizing the most efficient way to get more customers isn’t through paid ads, but through acquiring media companies.
For example: Penn National invested $163 million for a 36% stake in Barstool Sports. Instead of paying for ads, Penn now has Dave Portnoy and Big Cat push its products to their passionate, massive, and young audience.
DraftKings wants in on the fun. Watching Penn’s slice of the sports betting market skyrocket, DraftKings knew it was time to make moves.
  • Acquired Vegas Sports Information Network in March
  • Hired Chief Media Officer, Brian Angiolet, this week to run the search for a “major” media acquisition
What qualifies as major? When you’re as big as DraftKings, these names get rumored:
  • The Action Network
  • Bleacher Report
  • Score Media
We know what you’re thinking and no, DraftKings has not yet contacted the Sprint.
Zoom out: With new states legalizing sports betting every month, the company that acquires these millions of unaffiliated users the cheapest and keeps them around the longest will set itself up to dominate the industry for years to come.
With the right media acquisition, DraftKings would be set up to do just that.

Acuña Matata
23-year-old Ronald Acuña Jr is establishing himself as baseball’s best player. Through thirteen games, he’s hitting .442, with 7 home runs, 23 hits, and 17 runs. The last three stats lead the league.
Prior to yesterday, he had driven in or scored 43% of Atlanta’s runs.
(5-8) Atlanta Braves 7 vs. (5-7) Miami Marlins 6
  • Pablo Sandoval hit his third pinch-hit home run of the year. To put that in perspective, the record is seven in one season. The great Pablo Sanchez would be proud.
(28-28) Golden State Warriors 119 vs. (20-35) Cleveland Cavaliers 101
  • Steph Curry (33 pts) is doing it all for the Dubs, topping 30 points for the ninth consecutive game and leading Golden State to its fourth straight win.
(30-26) Boston Celtics 121 vs. (34-22) LA Lakers 113
  • Celtics star Jaylen Brown (40 pts, 9 reb, 3 ast) only missed three shots the entire game.
Europa League - quarter finals, second leg
Manchester United 2 vs. Granada 0 - Man U 4-0 on aggregate
  • Edison Cavani scored his 50th goal in European competition.
Arsenal 4 vs. S Prague 0 - Arsenal 5-1 on aggregate
  • Arsenal scored three goals in six minutes even without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
(28-10-4) Carolina Hurricanes 4 vs. (24-20-1) Nashville Predators 1
  • Carolina scored three goals in under eight minutes to end a two-game skid and maintain a tie for the Central Division’s top spot.
ICYMI: Sydney Crosby gave his stick to a defender, raced down the ice, grabbed another stick from the bench, and scored.

⚽️  Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was hospitalized after contracting malaria while on duty for the Gabon National Team.
🏈  The NFL is partnering with DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars, making the three sportsbooks official sports betting partners of the NFL.
🏀  LaMarcus Aldridge announced his retirement from basketball after experiencing an irregular heartbeat during the Nets’ most recent game.
🏀  The Dallas Wings drafted Texas’ Charli Collier with the top overall pick in the WNBA Draft. Somehow, they also had the second pick. See a full rundown here.
🏀  The University of Southern California men’s basketball program was given two years probation, but no postseason ban, for its part in the school’s bribery scandal.
🏆  Michael Jordan will present the late Kobe Bryant as Kobe is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.

Stat: Novak Djokovic made 45 unforced errors at Monte Carlo in his loss to Dan Evans.
Quote: “Kobe!” - Jessica Corda after draining this chip for eagle during the Lotte Championship.
Highlight: WNBA draftee Michaela Onyenwere’s grandma stole the show at her draft party, dancing in excitement as her granddaughter was selected 6th overall.

LA Clippers (39-18) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (38-17) - Fri. 7:00 ET on ESPN
Utah Jazz (41-14) vs. LA Lakers (34-22) - Sat. 4:30 ET on ESPN
Golden State Warriors (28-28) vs. Boston Celtics (30-26) - Sat. 8:30 ET on ABC
Brooklyn Nets (37-18) vs. Miami Heat (28-27) - Sun. 3:30 ET on ESPN
Arizona Diamondbacks (4-8) vs. Washington Nationals (3-6) - Sat.1:05 ET on ESPN+
Atlanta Braves (5-8) vs. Chicago Cubs (5-7) - Sun. 7:00 ET on ESPN
Florida Panthers (27-12-4) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (28-12-2) - 7:00 ET on NBCS
Columbus Blue Jackets (15-20-9) vs. Dallas Stars (15-14-12) - 8:30 ET on ESPN+
EPL: (49 pts) Tottenham vs. (48 pts) Everton - Fri. 3:00 ET on NBCSN
EPL: (63 pts) Manchester United vs. (33 pts) Burnley - Sun. 11:00 AM ET on NBCSN
MLS: Inter Miami CF vs. LA Galaxy - Sun. 3:00 ET on ABC

D. Asides from baseball, Jackie Robinson also lettered in basketball, football, and track and field.

Be sure to check out some of our other recent newsletters!
Want Sideline Sprint, the best daily sports newsletter, delivered to your inbox every morning? Try it today - it's free.