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DraftKings: Now Official Daily Fantasy Partner of NFL

DraftKings Logo

It’s been a while since anyone made mention of a Daily Fantasy Sports partnership, but as of last week, one more has made its way to the surface – and it’s a big one, too! DraftKings and the NFL issued a joint press release on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 announcing that they have partnered up in a multi-year deal that will see the online fantasy sports betting site become the official daily fantasy partner of the NFL.

The NFL and DraftKings Have Signed a Partnership Agreement

First Official Daily Fantasy Partner for NFL

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As part of the unison between the two brands, DraftKings will gain exclusive sponsorship of the daily fantasy sports category as well as access to NFL branding and much more. Not only does this stand as a crowning moment for two high-profile brands coming together, but it’s the very first time that the NFL has entered into any kind of alliance within the fantasy sports sector.

Of course, with the announcement of its partnership with the NFL, DraftKings is once again at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Alas, even though the DraftKings platform is continuing on its quest to be a big name in the US sports betting scene, the relationship between it and the NFL is strictly on a fantasy sports level. DraftKings does have a sportsbook available online in certain locations, but the NFL is not aligned with this.

NFL to Collaborate with DraftKings on Content

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So, what does the NFL get out of this deal? Well, it will integrate the DraftKings brand into its own media footprint first of all. This means that there’s the potential for exclusive DraftKings fantasy programming to take place on the NFL Network and possibly on other outlets associated with the league.

Speaking of the partnership, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said that it was quite the "defining moment" within the industry. He went on to say:

Throughout our discussions with the League, it was evident we share a common vision around the future of fan engagement, and we are excited to continue on this unique journey with the NFL as our Official Daily Fantasy Partner."

Jason RobinsDraftKings CEO Jason Robins

Yet, this isn’t the first time that DraftKings has entered into a deal with an official sports league. As it happens, the NFL is the very last free agent to give in and complete a partnership deal with the brand.

NFL Becomes Part of DraftKings Triad of Partnerships

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With the inclusion of the NFL as one of the DraftKings partners now, the daily fantasy sports platform has managed to secure itself a triad of big-league sporting organizations. Having already managed to enter into similar deals with both the MLB and NHL, it can’t be denied that DraftKings has put itself in quite the admirable position.

As it happens, it was only in July that DraftKings expanded its partnership with Major League Baseball, becoming an authorized gaming operator for the league. No doubt DraftKings will be looking to proceed forward in a similar vein with the NFL.

As far as the NHL is concerned, it was on Nov. 10, 2014 that the hockey league announced its partnership with DraftKings. As with the recent NFL deal, DraftKings began serving as the official daily fantasy game site of the NHL, receiving prominent brand placement across NHL’s online platforms in the process. The multi-year deal was one of the first signed by the DraftKings platform.

NFL, MLB, NHL LogosThe Major Sports Organizations With Which DraftKings Has Active Partnerships

The one major US league that DraftKings couldn’t secure was the NBA, which chose to sign into a deal with the primary competitor of the brand, FanDuel.

NFL Tries Distancing Itself from Online Sports Betting

The NFL, like many other pro league sports, has historically worked against gambling, generally opting to steer clear of any association with it. The only league that really warmed to the potential of sports betting being legalized in the United States was the NBA. That was all great for the basketball league when the Supreme Court made its decision on the sports betting industry last year.

This saw the Supreme Court overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which came into effect in 1992 and served as the main factor in prohibiting sports betting across the United States with the exception of just a few states. Following the overturning of this Act though, individual states were provided with the freedom to legalize real money sports betting as they saw fit. However, Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell has expressed various concerns over that outcome.

Supreme Court Justices in 2018With Its Murphy Decision, SCOTUS Paved the Way for Significant Expansion in Sports Wagering

Regardless of the commissioner’s feelings towards gambling, the NFL must realize that it can’t really escape the industry. It already has a sports betting data partner in Sportradar and an official casino partner in Caesars although the deal with Caesars is qualified to not include any kind of sports betting activity. Of course, with regard to fantasy sports, this remains as a much less controversial option than all-out sports betting for the league to be tied to whilst also boosting consumer interest in the NFL.

Clearly though, there’s only so long that the football league can deny involving itself in sports betting of some kind. The three other competing US sports leagues have secured themselves deals with at least one US gambling brand with MGM being partners with all of them.

DraftKings to Improve Its Own Position

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The DraftKings platform currently has a player base that is made up of more than 11 million people from around the world. Around 90% of all customers to the DraftKings site have chosen to participate in daily fantasy sports events involving the NFL, which speaks volumes about its popularity.

Speaking of the popularity of fantasy football, the league's Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships Renie Anderson said that it "has been a tremendous vehicle for fans of all types" to be able to become much more engaged with the NFL. She went on to state that the football league is "thrilled” at the fact that it is entering into the partnership with DraftKings, which she labeled as "a clear leader in the daily fantasy space."

Renie AndersonRenie Anderson, Executive Vice President for Partnerships at the NFL

DraftKings has relied heavily on such partnerships in the past – not just with entire leagues but also individual teams – which have been extremely helpful in advancing its own brand. While some of the deals that it has signed into previously have now expired, the company still has multiple active partnerships with teams that extend across various sports.

This new deal will no doubt place more focus on both the NFL and DraftKings although the football league will have to potentially resign itself to the fact that sports betting is building up its stamina in the US. State after state has been passing sportsbook-enabling laws, like Iowa did in May this year, followed by Illinois just a couple of weeks later.

You Don't Have to Wait on DraftKings to Bet

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If you're in a state that's not yet served by DraftKings or any other US-regulated sportsbook, this doesn't mean that you can't bet online. There are plenty of offshore bookmakers who are happy to welcome Americans as customers, and you face no legal penalties for choosing to partake in their services. In fact, even if  you do reside in an area with licensed sportsbooks, you might find their offerings underwhelming, and so you have recourse to offshore bookies for a broader array of bets and promotions.

Why not learn more about participating in online sports betting by visiting one of our recommended bookmakers?