• The partnership between the NFL and DraftKings does not include any features aimed towards DraftKings Sportsbook.
  • Daily fantasy sports are expected to decline in future market growth.
  • The NFL now has partnerships with DraftKings, Caesars, and Sportradar, but no sports betting specific operators.

BOSTON – In a historic multi-year deal, the NFL has announced its first-ever daily fantasy sports partner – DraftKings. While DraftKings Sportsbook has steadily grown in prominence over the past year, the deal is specific to the company’s daily fantasy sports operations.

“This distinctive deal includes exclusive sponsorship of the daily fantasy sports (DFS) category with access to NFL branding and more across DraftKings’ suite of DFS products and content platforms,” the NFL announced in a press release.

The NFL went on to note that with the agreement, “the NFL and DraftKings will collaborate on a variety of content and product offerings that fans can engage with on the DraftKings DFS app, as well as integrations across NFL Media properties.”

This could mean that DraftKings-branded fantasy sports programs could appear on the NFL Network in the near future.

“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 Daily Fantasy Partner,” said Jason Robins, chief executive officer of DraftKings.

The NFL now has three partnerships that are closely, but not directly, tied to the sports betting industry. The NFL previously announced Caesars Entertainment as it’s official casino partner, Sportradar as it’s official data distributor (* https://www.legalsportsbetting.com/news/nfl-now-allows-sportradar-to-distribute-data-to-us-sportsbooks/ ?*), and now DraftKings as its DFS partner.

Why DraftKings and Why Now?

For DraftKings, partnering with the NFL seems only natural to the flow of their business, with “nearly 90 percent of all DraftKings customers having played in an NFL Daily Fantasy contest,” according to the company.

Similar to the NFL, DraftKings also has a partnership with Caesars Entertainment. However, it is unclear whether or not this mutual relationship helped aid in the negotiation process.

The timing of the deal is strange though, given where the DFS industry is currently at.

Last year, sports business daily reported that research from Eilers & Krejcik projected the annual entry fees for DFS companies to only reach $4 billion in 2020. That projection was $3 billion dollars less than the same projection made a year prior.

A big reason for the decline in DFS users is due to the rise of traditional sports betting in states all across the country. Since PASPA was repealed, more than a quarter of all U.S. states have legalized sports betting.

The most popular sport to bet on in any of these states is, in fact, the NFL. According to a survey conducted by the American Gaming Association, 38.1 million Americans say they will bet on the NFL this season.

The NFL, throughout its history, has long opposed legal sports gambling. But, the League has softened its stance in recent years. Their newest partnership with DraftKings could work to convert DFS players into sports bettors once the NFL fully embraces the inevitably growing sports betting industry.

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