Last spring, the National Football League (NFL) announced its first-ever U.S. sportsbook partnerships as Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel reached agreements to become Official Sports Betting Partners of the NFL.
As part of the multi-year agreements, all three partners have the exclusive ability to leverage NFL marks within the sports betting category and “activate” around retail and online sports betting. They will also engage with fans through NFL-themed free-to-play games.
Additionally, Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings will have the right to integrate relevant sports betting content directly into NFL Media properties including NFL.com and the NFL App. DraftKings and FanDuel will enhance their fan experiences with NFL highlights, footage, and Next Gen Stats content. Caesars and the NFL will collaborate on integrating NFL content into Caesars platforms as well. Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel will all use the NFL’s official League data feed.
Finally, in support of the NFL’s “commitment to protect the integrity of the game and its fans,”
all three partners agreed to “adhere to the NFL’s core integrity policies, and will collaborate with the NFL on intelligence sharing, advocacy efforts, and responsible gaming education.”
Jeff Ifrah of Ifrah Law suggested the announcement was emblematic of how the NFL views legal sports betting.
“In recent months, we have seen major new developments regarding the NFL’s involvement in US regulated sports betting,” said Ifrah. “The NFL has been granted an equity position in a major sports betting company and entered into official sponsorship deals with three Tier 1 sports betting operators. This is a new era in the evolution of the NFL’s position on sports betting.”
Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships, said the announcement was timely.
“As the sports betting landscape has continued to evolve in the United States, we have been thoughtful with our strategy and are excited to announce three partners who share the NFL’s vision and goals,” said Anderson. “Working closely with Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, we will provide fans new and different ways of interacting and engaging with the sport they love.”
Expanding its relationship with the League, Caesars Entertainment will become an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NFL while continuing as the League’s Official Casino Sponsor. As the Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL, Caesars retains its exclusive casino rights to use NFL trademarks in its marketing and provide unique experiences for NFL fans using its more than 50 casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists, and a wide range of entertainment elements onsite. As the Official Casino Sponsor, Caesars will create tentpole activations at key NFL events including, the 2022 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas. The extended agreement also encompasses Caesars online iGaming applications. In the sports betting space, Caesars will partner with the League to create content and opportunities for engagement across both its legal online sports betting operations and its expansive network of retail sportsbook locations across the country.
In addition to becoming an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NFL, DraftKings renews its exclusive relationship as the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the NFL with exclusive rights to NFL IP and marks. DraftKings will continue to collaborate with the League on a variety of content and product offerings that fans can engage with on the DraftKings Sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Sports apps. The deal also includes integrations across NFL Media properties including a continued prominent presence within the NFL RedZone channel.
FanDuel, the NFL’s newest partner, will have a series of content integrations including both in-game and post-game highlights directly available within its sportsbook and fantasy sports platforms this coming season. The company will have access to footage rights that bring the NFL’s excitement to FanDuel’s owned and produced content across its various platforms and will work with the League on pre-game integration opportunities on the NFL Network for the seven regular season games the network will air in 2021.
“The way fans consume sports years from now will look drastically different, and it will be due in part to forward-thinking collaborations like our expanded relationship with the NFL today as an Official Sports Betting and Exclusive Daily Fantasy Sports Partner,” said Jason Robins, CEO, chairman and co-founder, DraftKings. “We share the same vision as the NFL on fan engagement and believe this agreement will lead to new innovations that will ultimately enhance both the product on the field and on the screen.”
“On Super Bowl Sunday we got a glimpse at how powerful the combination of the NFL’s excitement and our platform can be in delivering an enhanced fan experience. We are delighted to make that combination official by pairing America’s market share leading sportsbook with America’s favorite sports league,” said Matt King, Chief Executive Officer at FanDuel. “This partnership provides our shared customers with a new level of innovation and unmatched premium content directly within our platform ultimately enhancing every gameday.”