Interview with Joseph Dunnigan, CEO of ALT Sports Data

I’m 4th generation in gambling going back to my Great Grandfather who passed legislation in the late 30’s to legalize pari mutuel wagering in NY

My grandfather Jim Dunnigan Sr. ran and owned racetracks including Buffalo Raceway and the ill-fated Phoenix Trotting Park (see link for a lot of background on my family in gaming –

My uncle Jim Dunnigan Jr was a senior track exec

My father Edward Dunnigan trained and raced harness horses internationally for some 50 years

I graduated from the racetrack management program at the U of A in 1990 and worked as an intern for the Société de Sport de France –one of two French Horse Racing Governing Bodies at the time.

Spent first part of my career working for Delaware North Cos and Northfield Park/Milstein Entertainment as Marketing Director for two of the largest sports and entertainment cos in the US (one is now MGM Northfield Park)

In the mid 90’s I co-founded the first action sports e-commerce provider – as well as co-founding Cowtown Skateboards.

We started with $2000 on a credit card and built it to the top 1% of all websites online over 7 years with no outside capital. We sold a minority stake in to a fortune 100 company and ultimately ceased operations after the .com implosion.

I sold my stake in Cowtown to our partners and it remains one of the most respected specialty retailers in skateboarding some 30 years later.

I went on to be the CEO for SITE Design Co, a leading global designer and developer of action sports facilities before positioning and selling it to California Skateparks.

Spent a couple of decades building and running businesses in and around action sports with a few exceptions in real estate, finance, CPG, healthcare as well as social ventures and non-profits, before coming to GoPro to work with Todd as Head of Global Brand Strategy.

With a somewhat unique combo of action/alternative sports and gaming, I could never make sense of why we could not bet on action sports so in 2021 I sought to solve it and founded ALT sports in early 2021. I leveraged my own capital resources and equity initially to get the businesses off the ground and spent the better part of a year convincing a lot of people it may be viable, including Todd, who I originally approached as an investor.  I’ve known Todd and been friends with and/or worked with for 20+ years. He’s among the most creative and capable minds in sports marketing. Todd had recently left GoPro and he joined me as co-founder/CMO in late 2021 and we launched together officially in Jan of 2022 and have partnered in its growth since.

The growth so far has been fun, challenging and exciting and the opportunity is far larger than we had ever imagined. We are doing something very new in a lot of ways so there is truly no playbook to follow. We are just lucky enough to have built an incredibly talented team of experts in gaming, data, media, marketing, sports, trading and sports and we’ve been fortunate to attract capital during a massively tough capital market from some of the leading tech investors in the world. Our potential to truly help expand the TAM for the globally sports betting industry by introducing dozens of currently underrepresented sports is becoming more real by the day. We are efficiently building the supply side of the industry by bringing an innovation pipeline while also impacting the demand side to more cost effectively acquire and retain new customers by partnering with official league partners to unlock the value of their audiences. It is proving highly valuable to the industry. In the process, we believe that we are ultimately playing a role in effectively helping to democratize sports by providing fans and followers globally new ways to engage in the sports we and they love. As action/alternative sports participants and professionals ourselves, this is very personal and highly motivating to us.

We are super grateful for the support and guidance we’ve gotten from our investors. They are all Tier 1 on every level. They see what we see as a wide-open space in a fast-growing market and that we have a 3 year head start on capitalizing on it. We have really de risked the opportunity significantly for them through our investments and efforts over the past 3 years

Seed funding will go to growing our team, improving, and expanding our tech infrastructure and scaling up early revenues on 3 fronts – data revenue, demand generation revenue and league services by commercializing and growing in number our existing commercial relationships with leading global operators.

Our phase 1 goal was to define the concept and find a technical co-founder. – Michael Jordan. Michael built two data companies in surfing. One was a daily fantasy surfing product that he sold the World Surf League

Phase 2 was about proving our model. We secured top ties commercial contracts with many tier 1 operators and began to drive early revenue.

Phase 3 will be about scaling up revenue and improving and expanding our products and services.

While we still have much to prove and a lot of hard work ahead of us. We are becoming increasingly convinced that the opportunity that we have identified is far greater than originally anticipated. The $200+ billion-dollar global sports betting industry was our original TAM target and remains our core focus. However, in developing the first of its kind platform for addressing the fundamental supply and demand challenges faced by sports betting, we have also illuminated a robust demand from literally dozens, if not hundreds, of global sports leagues that are currently underrepresented in sports betting. Our ability to assist these leagues to access sports has the very real potential to help them to expand their TAM and deepen fan engagement helping them to allow all participants, fans and followers to have a stake in the outcome of their events.

Challenges have been many. Regulatory approvals, long sales cycles, acquiring talent, managing a remote global team, learning the complexities of sports betting industry after years away and convincing people we are not insane! Ha.

Connect with Joe on LinkedIn

Interview Questions:

Introduction | Can you provide an introduction to ALT Sports Data and your vision for the company?

Technology | Please explain the technology and how it drives revenue.

Customers | Who are your primary customers? Can you explain the league rights acquisitions and partnerships?

Milestones | You started ALT Sports Data in March 2021. What are some of the key milestones since the launch,

Funding | According to Crunchbase, ALT Sports Data recently closed a $4.5 million seed round. Who are the primary investors?

NuFund Venture Group | NuFund Venture Group is a group of angel investors. What role did they play in the seed round?

Growth | What is your growth strategy?

ALT Sports Data ASD is at the forefront of utilizing proprietary data to activate a growing wave of new sports enthusiasts. Our mission revolves around building the most extensive database and league portfolio in alternative sports, offering a gateway for sports book operators to tap into an audience of over 83 million potential bettors in the United States alone, with a global reach exceeding 1 billion.

The central challenge we address is the supply and demand dilemma that significantly affects the profitability of sportsbook operators globally. In today’s landscape, operators struggle to acquire and retain high-value customers cost-effectively, as well as to deliver innovative and relevant new betting options. We tackle these industry pain points through a proven business model and by leveraging our expanding collection of league rights, proprietary software, data resources, regulatory infrastructure, and an in-house trading team. This approach enables us to introduce fresh and appealing betting opportunities, thereby impacting the supply side.

On the demand side, we collaborate closely with our partner leagues, unlocking the potential of a collective and growing fanbase of over 200 million today. We empower these efforts with our owned media platform ( Our goal is to engage these fans and responsibly educate/ guide them towards our sportsbook operator partners.

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