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NFL Signs DraftKings as Official Daily Fantasy Partner

The National Football League announced on Sept. 26 that it signed DraftKings in a landmark deal to be its first-ever official Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) partner.

The deal gives DraftKings exclusive DFS rights to the NFL’s sponsorship, including access to NFL branding and more, across DraftKings’ DFS products and content platforms.

In addition, the NFL and DraftKings agreed to collaborate on a number of content and product offerings that fans can engage with on the DraftKings DFS app, as well as integration across NFL media properties.

Jason Robins, chief executive officer at DraftKings said: “This is a defining moment in the industry, and we are thrilled to become the first daily fantasy sports partner to enter into a formal relationship with the NFL. 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.”

The Boston-based DraftKings has over 11 million registered players around the world. Nearly 90 percent of its customers have taken part in an NFL daily fantasy contest.

DraftKings Sportsbook Not Included in Deal

DraftKings, although making significant strides through the rapidly expanding legal U.S. sports betting market, has not convinced the NFL to extend any of those sponsorship rights to its DraftKings Sportsbook brand.

Despite the explosive growth of legal sports wagering across the country, the NFL continues to hold the industry at an arm’s length. The NFL specifically stated that the DraftKings sponsorship deal does not include sports betting in its press release announcing the partnership.

Renie Anderson, chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL partnerships, said: “Daily fantasy football has been a tremendous vehicle for fans of all types to deepen their engagement with the NFL. 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.”

NFL and Legal Sports Betting

While the lines between the NFL and sports wagering may not be blurred quite yet, the distance between the two is growing closer.

A number of NFL team owners have stated publicly that they see a correlation between the rising value of their franchises and the passage of legal sports betting legislation.

Earlier, the NFL signed a deal with Caesars Entertainment, giving the U.S. gaming giant the right to use the NFL brand and its franchises to market its properties.

The Caesars Play for Rewards NFL promotion allows gamblers at Caesars-operated brands to collect NFL game pieces that can be exchanged for bonus gaming rewards. While the promotion isn’t specifically a sportsbook promotion, Caesars Sportsbook bettors can earn credits for the contest from their sports wagers.

In its press release, the NFL specified that the Caesars deal was “for the Casino category only,” and did not include sports betting or daily fantasy sports.

The NFL also signed an exclusive, multi-year deal with sports data company Sportradar to distribute official league data. Sportradar and the NFL have been working together for the distribution of statistics in the U.S. since 2015.

The new deal expands the partnership. Sportradar will also provide “integrity monitoring” for the NFL, tracking betting patterns to ensure that nothing out of the ordinary is happening.

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