Wexler Makes Fantasy Sports Real with PrizePicks

Wexler Makes Fantasy Sports Real with PrizePicks

Adam Wexler has made a name for himself with a popular alternative to legal sports betting. The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently named him to their ‘40 Under 40’ list.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

Adam Wexler, CEO of PrizePicks, shares a laugh with Magic Johnson.
Adam Wexler, CEO of PrizePicks, shares a laugh with Magic Johnson.

Adam Wexler, CEO of PrizePicks, has been named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” list. The prestigious list shines a light on the next generation of Atlanta’s business leaders “who are making significant career achievements and demonstrating social responsibility, scaling the ranks, while making a mark.”

Wexler, 36, is a graduate of the Epstein School and Riverwood High School. He received a BBA degree in real estate from the University of Georgia, and now employs 90 people out of Buckhead’s Atlanta Tech Village, where he has been touted for his execution of a well-honed business model. He told the AJT, “We have the closest legal alternative to mobile sports betting throughout the majority of North America. Our category is growing quickly, but we were one of the first two operators to hit any meaningful level of scale. We offer the widest breadth of sports league coverage for any fantasy sports operator, and our game is a simple over/under real-money prediction format.”

When he started college, Wexler imagined he’d become a commercial real estate broker, as that was where his first two internships had led him. “Then I noticed that Mark Zuckerberg was in AEPi at Harvard one year above me,” he recalled, “and Facebook was rapidly scaling up. I said, ‘What’s to stop me from leveraging the internet to build a big business as well?’”

Adam Wexler, CEO of PrizePicks.

Before graduating, Wexler had already started new ventures. His original idea was to link emerging musical artists and emerging restaurant chains out of Athens, Ga. Then, he came up with a music discovery concept that was based on the web. That venture would fail financially over the next couple of years, but Wexler took the creative marketing tactics he had learned and created a social media marketing software company, InsightPool. That company was ultimately acquired by Trendkite, which became the catalyst for another sale, to the software firm Cision. And then, just as he was getting into the fantasy sports space, Wexler was recruited by Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin to consult on digital strategy with the team during their record-breaking 2014-2015 season.

Koonin told the AJT, “Adam defines the word ‘entrepreneur.’ He is intellectually inquisitive and is powered by pure optimism. Every conversation we have, I find myself learning more from him than I do teaching him. There is a business investing axiom that I believe: you bet on the jockey, not the horse. I will bet on Adam every opportunity that I can.”

PrizePicks was born just when Wexler was phasing out his last venture and planting seeds for the next ones. He said, “With one of them, I scratched my own itch as a fantasy sports consumer. I knew no one sought out the job of collecting money from their friends to raise the stakes, so I thought there must be a way for software to make that person’s life easier. That was in late 2014, and we quickly pivoted the digital treasurer concept to handling side bets amongst friends when I realized skill-based contests were legal across the country.”

Wexler realized that fantasy sports contests were not required to be peer-to-peer, and this revelation opened up possibilities for what would become Prize-Picks. He said, “We now have around 90 people getting paychecks. About half are full-time and about a third are based in Atlanta at HQ. In order to serve our customers 24/7/365, PrizePicks starts with our linesmakers/risk managers, but other teams include product, customer support, marketing, retention and more.”

A vision for mission-driven projects is one of Wexler’s particular talents. “I’m good at monitoring consumer perception and activities, which in turn lends good judgment to what type of products we may use in the future,” he said. “With every product I’ve conceptualized, I would have been one of the original users. I also enjoy building and leading teams that rally around a common mission.”

When he’s not working, Adam plays basketball, exercises, and aims to create memorable experiences with friends. Traveling around the world, he says, lends itself to “creative thinking as an entrepreneur.” He also greatly admires his father Alan Wexler’s commitment to community activism and hopes to have more time to devote to that arena in the near future.

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