Fiona Power: “I want to break barriers and challenge stereotypes”

In this interview with Fiona Power, we shed light on her commitment to fostering inclusivity for women in the industry.

How do you become successful in the sports betting industry? We asked Fiona Power of FanDuel to walk us through her skyrocketing career, which led her to be recognized as a “Game Changer” by Global Gaming Women and climb the ladder in one of the most powerful sportsbook in the country.

About: With a gaming career that kickstarted in 2007, I made a pivotal move to New Jersey in 2018 to lead the commercial strategy for FanDuel’s retail business. At the forefront, I orchestrated the construction of our inaugural 10 Sportsbooks. Celebrating a decade-long association with Flutter, my journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. My passion extends beyond the gaming realm to encompass sports, with a particular fervor for Irish Football, especially the thrilling world of “GAA.” My dedication goes to the extent of flying back to Dublin to fervently support my team during the All Ireland Final. Fueling my adventurous spirit, I find joy in traversing the globe, discovering and immersing myself in diverse cultures and landscapes.

First off, congratulations on a very impressive career at FanDuel! What can you tell me about your role as Senior Director of Strategic Partnership? What are your main objectives, and what are the types of partnerships you focus on creating?

Fiona Power

Fiona: Thank you! My role is dynamic and multifaceted. The primary objectives revolve around cultivating and nurturing strategic partnerships that contribute to the overall growth and success of the company. My focus primarily surrounds Market Access Partnerships in new and existing states.

Before joining FanDuel you already had an incredible career in the sports betting industry, working for some of the leading betting companies,  including Ladbrokes and PaddyPower. What was it about the sports betting field that interested you early on in your career and what has kept you working within this space?

Fiona: I ventured into the gaming industry working for Ladbrokes Ireland as a Manager’s Training Assistant or MTA as a part time job while attending University. This role immersed me into the dynamic world of gaming and I quickly advanced to the position of Racecourse Assistant Manager, where I took on more responsibilities and further honed my skills. Throughout university, I worked part-time during the academic calendar and transitioned to full-time during holidays.

After earning my degree in Accounting and Finance at Dublin City University, I embarked on a different career path by joining KPMG to pursue my professional Chartered Accountancy exams, which I was successful in obtaining in 2012. However, my heart remained firmly attached to the gaming industry, and I couldn’t resist staying involved. I commenced a unique journey working two jobs for four years, balancing responsibilities at KPMG with evenings and weekends in the gaming industry. Over these seven years, I advanced my career in gaming alongside my academic pursuits.

After four years with KPMG, I sought a new challenge. Given my passion for gaming, I joined Paddy Power (Flutter) as a Financial Accountant. While I had opportunities with large firms like Pfizer and Icon, my heart was set in pursuing my career within gaming. The operational experience gained during my time with Ladbrokes definitely stood out to me and still does to this day!

Joining Flutter marked a pivotal moment in my career, and I was fortunate to hold a diverse number of roles, including Financial Business Partner and Head of Loss Prevention/Security. With the repeal of PASPA, I took the leap in 2018 to move to the U.S. to join the team setting up the Retail Sportsbook business with FanDuel and what a wild ride that has been! FanDuel continues to be one of the most transformative experiences in my career to date.

I am deeply passionate about the dynamic and fast-paced nature of the gaming industry. It’s a realm where each day unfolds with new challenges and opportunities, demanding agility in thought and decision-making. The ever-changing landscape ensures that no two days are alike, injecting a constant sense of excitement and freshness into the work.

The joy derived from the excitement and entertainment that the gaming industry offers is unparalleled. It’s not just a job; it’s a source of genuine enthusiasm for me. The vast array of opportunities within the industry creates the perfect Venn diagram, aligning seamlessly with my professional aspirations. This alignment is the driving force behind my continuous commitment to working and growing within this dynamic space.

You have also been featured as one of the rising women by Global Gaming Women, and you were recently recognized by FanDuel as a “game changer” for your mentorship of other women at FanDuel. From where do you get your drive and what sort of mentorship style do you adapt?

Fiona: My drive stems from a profound passion for the gaming industry and a commitment to fostering an inclusive environment for women within it. Being recognized as one of the rising women by Global Gaming Women and acknowledged as a ‘game changer’ by FanDuel has been incredibly humbling and motivating.

My drive is fueled by a desire to break barriers, challenge stereotypes, and contribute to a more diverse and supportive industry. Witnessing the positive impact of mentorship on other women at FanDuel has become a driving force in my career. My mentorship style is built on the principles of empowerment, collaboration, and personalized support.

I believe in tailoring mentorship to the individual needs and goals of each mentee. It’s not a one-size- fits-all approach. I encourage open communication, active listening, and providing guidance that aligns with the unique strengths and aspirations of those I mentor. Creating a space for open dialogue allows for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and challenges, fostering a supportive community.

In essence, my mentorship style is about empowering women to navigate their professional journeys with confidence, providing both strategic guidance and emotional support. I am dedicated to creating a ripple effect of positive change within the industry by uplifting and mentoring the next generation of women leaders.

What advice do you have for women who want to start a career in sports tech and sports betting?

Fiona: Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Reach out to your network and ask for advice, connections and seek mentorship from those who have experience in this field male or female. Their guidance can be instrumental in navigating the industry, offering advice, and helping you make informed decisions.
Many companies offer internships, providing a wonderful way to gain practical experience and exposure to the industry. Finally, say ‘yes’ to opportunities that are outside your comfort zone. You won’t regret it; there are only lessons to learn!

Betting has only been legal here since May 2018 but has grown fast in that short time. How do you see the US sports betting market evolve in the coming years?

Fiona: The continued innovation of products and market offerings is non-negotiable for the ongoing evolution of the sports betting market. Specifically, the growth of live betting and the continuous innovation of live markets, along with the accompanying parlay experience, will significantly drive the evolution forward.

FanDuel has recently introduced ‘The Pulse,’ a curated experience that follows the biggest storylines in sports and offers live bets on the moments that matter most. As the action unfolds, new bets are added to the feed in a narrative-driven format, providing fans with a simple and streamlined path to discover what is happening in a game in real-time.

From your POV, are there any specific aspects of the industry that you would like to see more/less of? What does the industry get right and where is there room for improvement?

Fiona: I am keen on witnessing continued innovation in the industry. Much has been achieved and enhanced since the repeal of PASPA, and there is so much more to come. For instance, FanDuel was the first U.S. Sportsbook Operator to offer Same Game Parlay, which has been instrumental for the industry. I am excited to see how sports betting evolves over the next five years.

I also hope for sustained growth in viewership, involvement, and support for women’s sports, as this would contribute to the expansion of these markets. It was wonderful to observe that WNBA betting more than doubled in 2023 compared to 2022, shedding additional light on these incredible athletes. I am passionate about the idea of offering more markets on women’s sports.

Finally, what do women want in sports betting?

Fiona: I believe women’s priorities revolve around equal opportunities in the sports betting world, both from a customer perspective and when seeking a career in this industry. An inclusive and supportive environment that values diversity and fosters a sense of belonging is important to me and many of my female peers and friends.

LATEST ARTICLES

FanDuel

Bet $5 Get $150

Place your first $5 bet to get $150 in Bonus Bets if your first bet wins!