NFL cashes in on US sports betting boom with $1bn sponsorship deal
US sports league reneges on previous opposition to regulated wagering as DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars come aboard in three-way deal
The National Football League (NFL) has agreed its first ever sports betting partnership in a three-way deal with US operators DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars Entertainment.
Under the terms of the exclusive deal, each operator can utilise the NFL trademark and branding within their respective retail and online sports betting operations.
DraftKings, Caesars and FanDuel will also have the opportunity to integrate sports betting content into NFL Media properties, including NFL.com and the NFL app.
DraftKings and FanDuel will feature NFL highlights, footage and stats content, while Caesars and the NFL will collaborate on integrating NFL content into Caesars platforms.
The trio will further collaborate with the league on the development of NFL-themed free-to-play (F2P) games and will all use the NFL’s official data feed.
In addition, the operators have agreed to adhere to the NFL’s core integrity policies and will collaborate with the league on data intelligence sharing, advocacy and responsible gambling.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t undisclosed, although ESPN suggests it could be worth a combined $1bn. With all three deals signed on a five-year basis, this equates to combined $200m a year.
“As the sports betting landscape has continued to evolve in the US, we have been thoughtful with our strategy and are excited to announce three partners who share the NFL’s vision and goals,” NFL chief revenue officer and executive VP of partnerships Renie Anderson said.
“Working closely with Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, we will provide fans with new and different ways of interacting and engaging with the sport they love,” Anderson added.
The deals marks a major shift in attitude from the NFL in regards to sports betting. The league previously resisted embracing legal sports betting prior to PASPA’s appeal in May 2018, with Commissioner Roger Goddell saying that “you don’t want to do anything that’s going to impact negatively the integrity of our game”.
The NFL previously suggested legalised sports betting would encourage corruption and match-fixing in the sport, adding its voice to similar calls made by the NCAA and other US sports leagues.
Caesars is currently the official casino sponsor of the NFL, having signed a $30m deal in January 2019.
FanDuel, the NFL’s newest partner, will be able to integrate in-game and post-game highlights directly into its sportsbook and DFS platforms as part of the deal.
DraftKings has renewed its official DFS partnership with the NFL and retains exclusive rights to use NFL IP in its respective apps.
“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 partner and the exclusive daily fantasy sports partner,” DraftKings CEO and co-founder Jason Robins said.
“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,” Robins added.