Monthly Archives: April 2021

Captain Morgan, Fanduel Announce Exclusive Soccer Contest Partnership

Captain Morgan and FanDuel have announced today the launch of the Captain Morgan Soccer Pick ‘Em contest series as one of the most highly anticipated seasons in the history of the United States and Canada’s top-flight professional soccer league gets underway. Fans across the country have been waiting months to settle back into their gameday routines, and this season, they’ll be able to play for a chance to win cash prizes as they cheer on their teams each week.

On Saturdays (and other designated days) throughout the 2021 regular season and postseason, the Captain Morgan Soccer Pick ‘Em contest series will offer fans 21 and up the chance to win cash prizes† by making quick predictions about the day’s matches and earning points for each correct pick. Prizes will be awarded each week, and even if you don’t score with all of your picks, you could still take home a share‡ of up to $3,000 in total winnings!†

“Enthusiasm for the game of soccer in America is at an all-time high, and we’re so excited to be working with Captain Morgan as our first soccer partner ahead of what will undoubtedly be a season to remember,” said Alyssa Zeleznik, VP of Sponsorship & Advertising Sales, FanDuel. “We are fully aligned with Captain Morgan in that we both strive to give fans a fun and engaging way to enhance their viewing experience, and we can’t wait to get this season going with the Captain Morgan Soccer Pick ‘Em.”

“All of us at Captain Morgan have been looking forward to this season for several months now, and we know there are millions of soccer fans out there who are as eager as we are to see teams back in action at their home stadiums once again,” said Sam Salameh, Vice President Captain Morgan. “We know soccer fans are some of the most passionate in all of sports, and we can’t wait to help fuel that passion. We’re so thrilled to have found a partner in FanDuel that will help us offer fans new ways to consume and engage with the game we all love this season.”

In addition to the Captain Morgan Soccer Pick ‘Em contest series, Captain Morgan will also be activating across various platforms throughout the season to remind soccer fans to Sub in the Captain for any monotonous, bland or just plain boring elements of their gameday routines that may be in need of a refresh. As soccer fans know best, substitutions are a key part of any match – managers must make the decision to bring on the right players at the right times, whether it be for tactical reasons or to give the team a necessary spark.

This season, Captain Morgan encourages fans to take the same approach when managing their drink choices. When your gameday routine becomes flat and sluggish, introduce some variety and spice things up by subbing in a Captain Morgan cocktail that’s fun and delicious. With a new season comes an opportunity for new traditions, new experiences and making new memories, so no matter what team you’re rooting for this year, be sure to Sub in the Captain and make it one to remember with Captain Morgan.

Dedication to Community launches partnership with South Carolina State University Athletics

Dedication to Community (D2C), a national non-profit that educates and empowers communities on diversity, belonging, and equity, today announced a historic partnership with South Carolina State University (SCSU) to create and implement an extensive awareness and action strategy for all of SCSU’s 270 student-athletes, staff and coaches.

The Edwin R. Woodriffe Partnership, an interactive program scheduled to begin this summer, will include on-site training, and customized interactive sessions and speakers. D2C’s growing college presence has included dozens of institutions of higher education, including Boston College, Harvard University, University of Maryland College Park, Seton Hall University, University of North Carolina Charlotte, St. John’s University School of Law and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“These on-campus programs to educate and listen beautifully to student-athletes will be vital to the process of bringing communities together and developing life skills that will resonate well beyond the field of play,” said M. Quentin Williams, D2C founder and CEO. “SCSU is a key starting point for us, especially given our powerful bond with Pro Football Hall of Famer and SC State Trustee Donnie Shell. Mr. Shell believes in D2C’s mission and we are excited about initiating our heightened focus on HBCU’s with the brilliant students, faculty and staff at SCSU.

“Additionally, the D2C family is honored to support the legacy of Agent Edwin R. Woodriffe, the only black FBI Agent to be killed in the line of duty, as an integral part of this initiative,” Williams said.

SC State President James E. Clark said D2C’s commitment to diversity and social justice is in keeping with the university’s mission and ideals.

“The actions of Mr. Williams will make a difference for student-athletes across the nation,” Clark said, “and we are tremendously grateful that the SC State campus community will be on the forefront of this crucial endeavor.

“We also are indebted to Trustee Shell for his role in this partnership, which is just one example of his steadfast and comprehensive dedication to SC State and our student-athletes,” the SC State president said.

The Edwin R. Woodriffe Partnership model will contain four sessions for the fall and four sessions for the spring with all student-athletes, campus student leaders and coaches attending in the semester when they are not actively playing and training. The sessions will include training on cultural awareness and shifting perspectives related to social justice with an emphasis on empowerment through voting, interacting with law enforcement at traffic stops, the power of social media and D2C’s “Recipe for Reconciliation.”

The interactive discussions will embrace a reflection on the Derek Chauvin trial, the plight of people of color, including African American civilians, who have lost their lives during encounters with law enforcement and the real-life experiences of the attendees. Additionally, there will be a transition program entitled, “When the Cheering Stops and Lights Go Out,” to help prepare the students athletes for their inevitable move from college athletics to their life’s next chapter, encompassing self-identity and positive reinforcement in their post-athletic career.

D2C’s next step with HBCUs starting at SCSU is a natural fit given Shell’s work with both organizations. A SCSU graduate and member of the school’s Board of Trustees, Shell is also an executive advisor for D2C, a role that he embraced in the Fall of 2020 and brings significant experience as a legendary athlete, professional mentor, and spiritual and civic leader.

A member of both the Pro Football and College Football Halls of Fame, Shell won four Super Bowl championships with the Pittsburgh Steelers among other highlights in his 14-year playing career. From 1994 to 2009, he directed player development for the Carolina Panthers, ensuring financial education, family assistance, internships and continuing education for players. After the NFL, Donnie served as director of the Spiritual Life Center at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., where he focused on programs to inspire change while enriching the religious, spiritual and intellectual lives of students.

“It brings me great pleasure to see two organizations, my alma mater South Carolina State and Dedication to Community, commit to working together to do good,” Shell said. “There is a great need today to unite, listen, and learn from each other, and that’s what SCSU and D2C are all about; cooperative relationships, progressive thought and helping us all move forward with the challenges we continue to face.”

Shell established the Donnie Shell Scholarship Foundation, and along with the D2C Sports Division head Lamonte Winston, at one time was the namesake for the NFL’s Winston/Shell Award recognizing the League’s Most Outstanding Player Development Director/Program. In September 2020, D2C expanded its reach to involve professional, collegiate, and K-12 athletes, having Shell join Winston (former director of player engagement and Development, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders) to further expand the foundation’s capabilities.

Shortly thereafter, Williams announced a historic partnership with the Miami HEAT and the City of Miami Police Department and, in February 2021, launched a partnership with veteran PGA TOUR golfer Kirk Triplett.

Additional D2C partnerships tied to athletes, universities and teams are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. To date, D2C has continued to expand its work with law enforcement agencies in several states across the U.S., including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, the Carolinas, and at the FBI National Academy in Virginia, where Williams has been an instructor.

Messier, Frazier, Bird, Boone Lead Off Steiner’s New ‘Athlete Direct’ Marketplace

A plethora of champion players and coaches – from New York Rangers Stanley Cup icons Mark Messier and Mike Richter to Football Giants Super Bowl legends Tom Coughlin and Mark Bavaro to women’s basketball greats Sue Bird and Nancy Lieberman to Yankees World Series champs Aaron Boone and Willie Randolph to college coaches Lou Holtz and Jim Boeheim – have all lined up to partner with Brandon Steiner’s brand new “Athlete Direct.” “Athlete Direct” is just another Steiner brainchild. He launched the new sports marketplace CollectibleXchange.com just over a year ago.

Steiner, who revolutionized the sports memorabilia and collectibles industry during 32 years as founder of Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia, has transitioned from that company to transform the industry once again with the launches of “Athlete Direct” and (earlier) CollectibleXchange.com (in 2019); AD gives the players and coaches a “one-stop-shop” to sell memorabilia – autographed, game-used and commemorative items – as well as new product lines – directly to their fans.

In addition, collector’s will be able to have their own photos, jerseys, balls and other items personally-signed by the athletes. And that’s not to mention fan experiences for zoom one-on-ones to such video greetings as birthday messages, and specialize products.

“This was always the big picture I had in my mind,” says Steiner. “I found that over the years, there was too much of the same thing, hundreds, thousands of balls and jerseys signed by the same player. People bring collections to us, and are disappointed in their value because players just signed so much. Now we are away from the volume and give propriety to high end exclusive stuff; those ‘hard to get,’ cool, pieces. We’re trying to work on not only collectibles but also private items – from exercise machines to skin care products to healthy snacks.”

NFL Announces Official Sports Betting Partners

The National Football League (NFL) today announced their first-ever U.S. sportsbook partnerships naming three exclusive partners. As part of the multi-year agreement, FanDuel becomes an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NFL and will have the ability to leverage NFL marks within the sports betting category and activate around retail and online sports betting. The company will also engage with fans through NFL-themed free-to-play games.

FanDuel, becomes the NFL’s newest partner and 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.

“On Superbowl 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 #1 sportsbook with America’s #1 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.”

Additionally, FanDuel will have the right to integrate relevant sports betting content directly into NFL Media properties including NFL.com and the NFL App. FanDuel will enhance fan experiences with NFL highlights, footage and Next Gen Stats content.

“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 Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships.

Chicago Fire FC Becomes First MLS Club to Launch Gambling Awareness Session

Chicago Fire FC, entering into their 24th season in Major League Soccer, have become the first football club in the United States to deliver problem gambling and gaming awareness sessions to teams throughout their organization through a partnership with EPIC Risk Management and Entain Foundation US, Entain plc’s unique non-profit subsidiary that is dedicated to promoting responsible gambling and sports integrity.

Epic Risk Management will lead sessions with the Chicago Fire’s U-13’s through U-19’s, plus the first team. Each session will be appropriately tailored for the varied audience and age groups through the Club’s roster, covering issues such as problem gaming, disordered gambling and sports betting integrity.

Delivery of these sessions will begin in May and continue throughout 2021, aiming to provide continued support across Chicago Fire’s P.A.S.S. program. Due to COVID-19, sessions will take place via videoconference and move to in-person sessions when safely allowed.

“We know that young athletes are at greater risk of being effected by problematic gaming and gambling, and we recognize the need to take a proactive approach to educating our players and parents on these risks,.” sSays Brian Roberts, Director of Performance, Advisory and Support Services (P.A.S.S.) at Chicago Fire FC. “The real-life stories that EPIC Risk Management use in their educational sessions brings focus to gambling in a way that will have a true impact and will provide our Academy players with the understanding needed to make informed decisions. We are excited to work with an organization open to customizing an approach to educating our Academy players.”

“We are delighted to be able to work closely with Chicago Fire and their Performance, Advisory, and Support Services (PASS) staff to customize our program to integrate into their existing PASS Education,.” says John Millington, VP of US Operations at EPIC Risk Management. “Our collaboration with the Entain Foundation US represents a key strategic piece of our prevention pillar. It is essential that professional sports teams and leagues recognize a collective responsibility to educate their players, staff, and their fan base, and we are delighted Chicago Fire have proactively embraced the importance of integrating this market leading education into their existing programs. I hope many more teams will follow their lead.”

Martin Lycka, Entain plc’s Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling, and trustee of the Entain Foundation US, noted, “This new partnership among Chicago Fire FC, EPIC Risk Management and the Entain Foundation US is another important milestone in promoting player protection and responsible gambling—a top priority of our Foundation. I am proud to affiliate our Foundation in the US with these two outstanding partners.”

To date, EPIC Risk Management and the Entain Foundation US have launched collaborations with the NFLPA Professional Athletes Foundation, colleges across the U.S., and the Division on Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, on research into elite athletes’ relationships with problematic gambling behavior.

cover image: credit Michael Barera

FanDuel Group Collaborates with MotorCity Casino As Official Gaming Partner Of Tigers, Red Wings

FanDuel Group today announced a new collaboration with MotorCity Casino that provides FanDuel Sportsbook with official gaming partner status with the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, two of Detroit’s most iconic professional sports franchises. 

FanDuel Sportsbook will be prominently featured on static and digital signage at both Comerica Park and Little Caesars Arena – including the outfield wall and on dasher boards – and be featured on the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings Radio Networks, which reach fans across the state of Michigan.

In collaboration with MotorCity Casino, FanDuel Group recently launched a fully integrated, real money online gaming experience for residents and visitors to the state of Michigan. The FanDuel Sportsbook & Casino app and the standalone FanDuel Casino app are both available for iOS and Android.  

“After a very successful launch in Michigan, we are excited to continue our momentum by partnering in this way with two of the most iconic sports organizations in the country,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group. “To celebrate, we are offering a $25 registration bonus for all eligible Red Wings and Tigers fans that use the code DETROIT after registering for a FanDuel Sportsbook account.”  

This partnership with the Tigers is part of FanDuel Group’s continued strategy of aligning with Major League Baseball teams in markets where mobile gaming is permitted. FanDuel is recognized by Major League Baseball as one of roughly fifteen MLB Authorized Gaming Operators. FanDuel is also an official sports betting partner of the National Hockey League. 

The Tigers and Red Wings are also marketing partners with MotorCity Casino. MotorCity Casino is FanDuel Group’s sports betting and casino collaborator in Michigan, and the home of the state-of-the-art FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino in Detroit that opened in March 2020.  Little Caesars Arena, home of the Red Wings, features the MotorCity Casino Club where fans in select seating locations will, when safe to do so, be able to enjoy a lively VIP experience with gourmet food and beverage options.  For select Red Wings road games, MotorCity Casino, when safe to do so, will be hosting viewing parties featuring food, drink, giveaways, and the occasional appearance by a Detroit sports legend.  Comerica Park features the MotorCity Casino Tiger Club.  Baseball fans will also be able to grab a cold drink at the MotorCity Casino Hotel “Off Ramp Bar” located inside Comerica Park.     

For more information on the FanDuel Sportsbook and sports betting content, follow @FDSportsbook on Twitter.  All core services affecting wagering for online gaming and sports betting will be administered by FanDuel, in compliance with gaming law and sports league rules.  

cover image: Pixabay/bk_advtravlr