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On SBC Americas: ALT Sports Data: Leveraging GoPro experience to transform sports betting

When speaking with Todd Ballard, co-founder and chief marketing officer at ALT Sports Data, his passion for “alternative sports” is evident. ALT Sports Data provides data, betting odds and marketing solutions tailored to sports like skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding. Ballard’s background, particularly his tenure at GoPro, has been instrumental in shaping the company’s approach to these niche sports.

GoPro’s influence

Ballard’s career took a pivotal turn when he met GoPro’s owner during the early days of the company. GoPro was a client of Ballard’s marketing agency before he sold it and joined the camera company permanently in 2011, helping build its reputation among enthusiasts of lifestyle sports such as mountain biking, skiing, motocross and surfing. 

Ballard recalled, “We knew we couldn’t compete with the big consumer electronic brands on traditional sports. So, our strategy was to target those rich and highly influential audiences that were being ignored by non-endemic brands.”

This strategy proved successful as GoPro became a leading electronics and global lifestyle brand by focusing on pursuits of passion surrounding sports and activities that define a global audience of over one billion people. This approach mirrors what ALT Sports Data aims to achieve in the sports betting industry. 

After a decade at GoPro, Ballard was approached by his friend, colleague and ALT Sports Data’s Founder and CEO Joe Dunnigan in 2021, who asked, “Why can’t we bet on the sports we have built our career on, raised our families around and know how to build demand for?” 

After tapping high-level executives from within the sports betting industry for advice and direction, the duo drew inspiration from their experience at GoPro that highlighted the potential of niche sports to attract dedicated audiences, which they now seek to replicate in the betting world.

Leveraging lifestyle sports in betting

ALT Sports Data is poised to be the leading provider of official sports data and odds for alternative sports, and their current portfolio of exclusive properties have a social following alone of over 70 million people. The company’s strategy is rooted in the lessons that Ballard and Dunnigan learned at GoPro, as well as the decades of brand building within these hard-to-reach consumer segments—building a community around niche sports and leveraging that passion into commercial success.

Besides the data provider services they offer, ALT Sports Data has also built a media brand, NXTbets, to serve as an authentic on-ramp for their leagues’ fans to learn how, where and what to wager on. Leveraging their league partners’ massive footprint across linear, digital and in-venue, combined with tapping iconic personalities to create exclusive content, the fast-growing affiliate business is a strong catalyst in driving demand and volume to sportsbooks. 


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