While DraftKings relationship with MLB and their enhancements in golf have given them great buzz this early summer, FanDuel continues its focus on the winter and its two core sports, says its chief executive.
CEO Nigel Eccles said football and basketball remain its focus, taking the opportunity with the NBA Draft Thursday to announced an expansion of its NBA partnerships for the fall at Tuesday’s FSTA Conference in New York,
FanDuel locked in exclusive multi-year partnerships with 13 league franchises – the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz.
The deal hands FanDuel marketing assets from in-arena digital signage and in-game promotions to digital, TV and radio advertising, among other branding initiatives. FanDuel will also collaborate with the individual organizations to continue to bring unique experiences to fans, including exclusive player meet-and-greets and VIP road trips to events.
“Partnering with these NBA organizations has been an incredible asset to FanDuel’s growth and business. NBA fans comprise a younger, mobile-centric demographic, looking for new ways to engage with their favorite sport, teams and athletes throughout the duration of the season, which is exactly what they get on FanDuel,” said Nigel Eccles, CEO and co-founder, in a release. “We’re going to keep partnering with franchises that recognize FanDuel’s ability to keep fans in their seat with their eyes glued to every game because they have a player on their fantasy team that night.”
During the conference the value of pay fantasy was again backed up by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum in an interview with Eric Fisher of The Sports Business Journal.
“We have made our stance clear that we do not see pay fantasy as gambling, and it is a prime way for us to engage deeper with our fans,” Tatum said. “Our fans and our teams have made it clear that this is a growing engagement platform and we are excited about continuing to work to enhance our relationship.”
While not exclusive with the NBA, FanDuel has made it clear that their key business objectives and their growth strategy is revolving around the activation and engagement with the NBA, as well as their recently announced partnerships with a majority of the NFL teams. The NFL remains the least engaged league in an official capacity in pay fantasy, with MLB having taken up an equity position with DraftKings and Fan Duel with the NBA. Several NBA teams, including the New York Knicks, have chosen to partner with DraftKings as part of a wider cross-promotional strategy, but Eccles remains bullish on the overall basketball relationship as the core of Fan Duel’s platform in 2015 and beyond.