NFL Fantasy Football Partnership with DraftKings a First

NFL Fantasy Football Partnership with DraftKings a First

The NFL announced a landmark deal on Thursday to make DraftKings its official daily fantasy sports partner.

According to a press release posted on the NFL’s official website, the deal includes exclusive sponsorship opportunities related to daily fantasy sports (DFS) along with access to NFL branding for DFS products and content platforms across DraftKings’ various platforms and media channels.

"Daily fantasy football has been a tremendous vehicle for fans of all types to deepen their engagement with the NFL," Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships, said in the release. "We're thrilled to partner with DraftKings, a clear leader in the daily fantasy space, as they continue to innovate and provide our millions of fans additional ways to interact with and enjoy the NFL.”

As part of the agreement, the NFL and DraftKings will collaborate on a wide variety of content and product offerings that will be available on the DraftKings DFS app, as well as multiple integrations across the NFL’s various media channels.

The agreement also allows DraftKings access to NFL logos, official statistics, highlights and other game-related materials for use across its platforms. DraftKings claims a worldwide player base exceeding 11 million users and that nearly 90% of them have entered an NFL daily fantasy contest.

NFL DraftKings Deal Unrelated to Sports Betting

DraftKings burst onto the scene in 2012 as a fantasy sports platform, but the company has since also evolved into a full-service sportsbook. Its online platform exists in both forms, DFS app and mobile sportsbook, in New Jersey and West Virginia. A rollout to more states is likely to follow over the next few months and years.

Thirteen states have legalized sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports gambling in May 2018 and more are soon to follow. As one of the global leaders in the DFS space, DraftKings was already well-positioned to take advantage of its robust suite of technology across various states where mobile websites and apps already exist in support of the DFS community.

As sports betting continues to march toward legalization in many places across America, DraftKings is likely to have the reach and resources to form one of the leading sportsbook platforms in the ever-maturing U.S. sports betting market. While this deal isn’t directly tied to sports betting, the deal should provide DraftKings with even more ability to carve out a lion’s share of the market.

NFL Sports Betting Agreement Could Be Near

The NFL’s deal with DraftKings for DFS sponsorship is just another step in the NFL’s inevitable march toward fully embracing sports gambling. The NFL remains the only major professional sports league to not have a full-fledged sports betting partner, at least not in America. Last week, the league signed a multi-year deal with Tabcorp as a wagering partner in Australia.

The NFL signed a casino marketing agreement with Caesars Entertainment in January 2019 and several individual teams have their own marketing deals with casinos as well.

Moreover, now that the NFL has sponsorship agreements in place for similar gaming-related fields in DFS and casinos with DraftKings and Caesars, respectively, it’s likely those two entities would have the best chance to potentially score the sports betting gig when it happens.