2020 #BattleOfTheBooks Champion Revealed – Are You Not Entertained?

Posted on April 6, 2020

What a score for theScore.

After a thrilling back-and-forth, 24-hour battle with FanDuel that involved several lead changes, theScore Bet completed its Cinderella journey to become the 2020 Battle of the Books Champion.

The bracket underdog triumphed 51-49%, culminating the single-elimination tournament of New Jersey’s 16 online companies hosted by NJBetting.com in a Twitter-based competition at @PlayNJcom.

Nearly 1,000 votes were cast for the second consecutive day as Twitter users and fans loyal to their sportsbooks caught Battle of the Books fever.

The 2020 Battle of the Books Champion was crowned

The championship win completed a magical run for theScore Bet, which knocked off industry giants DraftKings, FanDuel and defending champion PointsBet along the way.

It was a nail-biting final and FanDuel did not go quietly. FanDuel, which had consistently outpolled three previous opponents, had the lead early in the second half.

But the 2020 champ took the lead for good in the wee hours of the morning and maintained the margin for several hours.

  • Less than a percentage point separated the two squads in the final minutes.
  • It was an exhilarating homestretch, with every vote magnified.

And the crowd went wild!

The final moments of the tournament had fans caught up in the frenzy of every tweet. 

The Blue Ape (@The_Blue_Ape), for instance, considered it the most exciting event since professional sports were shut down via the Coronavirus. 

2020 Battle of the Book Champion

Another big supporter was sports editor, @AlexJMoretto, who took to Twitter to celebrate the win in WWE fashion…

playnj twitter battle of the books

A roar went up from theScore group when this went final. A video from @BrockSpencer9 emerged, recalling the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team’s shocking upset of the Soviet Union – reliving the famous call of Al Michaels.

“Do you believe in Miracles? YES.”

2020 Battle of the Book Champion

If you don’t know, now you know…

john levy thescore battle of the books
John Levy: theScore Founder & CEO

While analysts viewed theScore’s tournament triumph as a major upset, the newly-crowned champs weren’t the least bit surprised.

“It went right to the wire, but a big thank-you to all our fans who pushed theScore Bet to the championship in our first appearance at Battle of the Books,” theScore Founder and CEO John Levy told PlayNJ.com.

“While others had us pegged as the underdog from the start, we never saw it that way – and neither would anyone who’s been using theScore Bet since we launched in New Jersey in September.

The unique way we’ve integrated our market-leading sports app with theScore Bet sportsbook has provided a whole new way for sports fans to bet and engage around the teams and players they love.

And if you think THIS was a Cinderella story,” he said, “Just wait until the real sports calendar gets back underway.” 

2020 Battle of the Books … is in the books

Tournament founder, content director, and PlayNJ.com executive Pete Amato was excited about the large Twitter turnout, especially on the final two days of the Battle, ending in roughly 2,000 votes cast. The tournament provided excellent visibility for the books and PlayNJ.com.

A day after the champion was crowned we caught up with Pete, and here’s what he had to say:

pete amato playnj 2020 battle of the books champion
Pete Amato – Battle of the Books Founder/Content Creator

“First I want to congratulate theScore Bet and all those passionate fans who stuck with them every step of the way. The Twitter community created excitement in this year’s Battle of the Books that will be hard to top in future tournaments, but we’ll do it anyway.”

“I also want to thank all 16 of the NJ sports betting apps who participated in the tournament, along with special shoutouts to DraftKings Sportsbook & FanDuel Sportsbook.

We wanted to help make the tournament more fun for voters by offering prizes, and both of these sportsbooks stepped up with free $25 bets to give away after each match (even after they were knocked out). Those prizes really helped kick off the excitement in a big way,” Pete added.

“And Finally, I want to thank the people, after all theScore Bet is now the people’s champ. All of you NJBetting.com and PlayNJ.com followers, as well as all the online sportsbook fans who participated. You retweeted, commented, liked, followed and posted like crazy for your favorite books, and the turnout was amazing. Thanks.”

When asked if he was satisfied with the outcome, Pete told me:

“I created Battle of the Books to give the top online sportsbooks a chance to go head-to-head with their direct competition in an industry with the tightest of margins. But in order for it to be authentic, it had to be a single-elimination tournament in which the fans were ultimately the deciding factor.

Rarely do the fans have that power, which is crazy because without them spending their hard-earned money on these sites, these books wouldn’t exist.

I wanted to give a voice to the online community/fans with no politics, no pre-conceived notions, no unfair bias reviews, and no BS. Just a clean, fair (and FUN) fight, judged by those who matter most.”

“So, am I satisfied with the outcome? Of course. The votes poured in for every matchup, and I think PlayNJ’s 2020 Battle of the Books was a success. Let’s do it again next year.”

Pete also left us with a bit of a tease about what could be coming next…

“And who knows, there might even be an online casino version in the works.”

The people have spoken…

To all those who participated in some way, shape, or form – here’s a little taste of the impression YOU made. You made sure people were paying attention to the #BattleOfTheBooks and I thank you for that:

pete amato playnj


Getting to know the 2020 Battle of the Books champion

How do you analyze this team? Officials provided the following info to us:

  • theScore is a sports media and gaming company, with its headquarters in Toronto, Canada, and another office in New York. 
  • We are primarily known for our mobile sports app ‘theScore’ which is the second most popular sports app in North America, second only to ESPN, with 4-5 million monthly active users a month and a monthly social media reach of ~100 million. 
  • In September 2019 we made history by becoming the first sports media company in North America to launch a sportsbook – theScore Bet
  • Natively built for iOS and Android devices, theScore Bet is a comprehensive mobile NJ online sportsbook offering a wide variety of bets across all major leagues and events.
  • Moreover, theScore Bet provides a distinctly unique experience when paired with theScore’s sports app, unlocking a seamlessly integrated offering of media and sports betting.
  • Users’ favorite teams, leagues, and games from theScore sports app sync automatically to show personalized betting options in theScore Bet, while any wagers placed can then be tracked in real-time on theScore.

Congratulations to all who entered and the lucky voters who won prizes. See you next year, and look for the 2021 Battle of the Books to be even bigger.

Dave Bontempo Avatar
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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a national multi-award-winning writer, and broadcaster, writes extensively on the evolving legalized sports-wagering world. Over the past four decades, he has called fights for all major networks, authored columns for the Associated Press, Atlantic City Press, and iGaming Player. He is in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and a Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence, given by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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