DraftKings Enters DFS Partnership with the NFL

Viktor Vangelov | Published 27 Sep 2019, 6:32 p.m.

If you know anything about UK sports, or sports betting, or both, you are probably aware that there has been an ongoing debate regarding betting shirt sponsorships. Some operators, in fact most major operators have already agreed to stop appearing on the front of football shirts, especially if the clubs in question play in the Premier League. There have been quite a few interesting events and marketing campaigns in the past several months.

In a surprising turn of events, companies even started criticising each other for giving the whole industry a bad name. For instance, GVC criticised 32Red for agreeing to sponsor Derby County. The CEO of GVC, who previously agreed to a substantial pay cut, called the sponsorship deal a compete own goal.

At a time when a lot of providers have been fined by the UK Gambling Commission, many don’t believe that GVC’s attitude and views are genuine, but be that at as it may, it is clear that this company is struggling to boost is image as a responsible provider, but that will also help boost the image of the industry as a whole. Paddy Power also made an effort and the popular operator based in Ireland launched a clever marking campaign involving their Huddersfield sponsorship deal, despite the fact that the campaign drew criticism.

US gambling landscape has changed over the years

Meanwhile, in the US, on the other side of the Atlantic, the situation is quite the opposite. Namely, DraftKings, one of the major fantasy sports providers signed a partnership deal with the American football league – the NFL.

The League, i.e. one of its official representatives said that the deal includes exclusive opportunities when it comes to sponsorship, related to daily fantasy sports. Namely, DraftKings will have a chance to market their products and services across a range of platforms and channels.

If anybody said few years ago that UK betting companies will no longer actively participate as club sponsors, whereas betting and fantasy sports providers in the US will strike partnership deals, people would’ve thought that they were crazy, but that’s exactly how it turned out to be.

UK’s legislation and the authorities’ attitude towards betting companies is getting more restrictive, whereas US betting and fantasy sports operators are moving forward and taking advantage of the changed situation. Namely, in the last few years, US states, lawmakers and other stakeholders are becoming increasingly acceptive of the possibility of legalising gambling.

Sports betting deal remains a possibility

It should be noted that even though DraftKings has shifted and from being solely a fantasy sports operator is now also providing sports betting services to citizens of New Jersey and West Virginia. As you may already know, more than a dozen states have legalised sports betting since the Supreme Court overturned the ban on sports betting that existed on a federal level.

The deal that DraftKings signed with the NFL has nothing to do with their sports betting department, the deal only concerns DraftKings as a daily fantasy sports provider. But, the idea of doing a sports betting deal with the NFL isn’t that far-fetched, the NFL has signed exclusive sports betting deals before, albeit outside of America. Namely, the NFL has a sports betting deal with Tabcorp in Australia. On top of that, the NFL also has a casino deal with Caesars Entertainment.