NFLPA Goes Deep For Its Fantasy Play
Less than six months ago, any mention of the NFL and official partnerships with any DFS company was brought with a deafening silence. Little to no official capacity existed with the bigger players, DraftKings and FanDuel, and no teams were actively engaged (albeit Kraft Sports group did have a stake in Boston-based DK). The response from the NFL continued to be wait and see.
Now as we head toward the fourth week of the NFL season, the field has changed, with big dollars flowing for all NFL properties, from teams and broadcast, now to players. As reported on numerous sites Tuesday, NFL Players Inc., the NFLPA’s marketing and licensing arm, has signed a group licensing partnership with DraftKings, which will allow some high-profile players to participate in the daily fantasy site’s marketing efforts. The agreement will allow DraftKings the right to employ active NFL players for in-product and promotional campaigns across print, social media, digital and mobile.
DraftKings VP/Business Development Jeremy Elbaum in a statement said, “To feature NFL players as part of our marketing efforts adds a level of excitement and connectivity to the game that is a huge win for us and our community.”
While neither side could point to an exact dollar amount, the deal is a landmark change in stance, another one, that will put added revenue directly to players who can be in uniform and be referenced in the promotions. The Patriots Ron Gronkowski is the first player on board, and certainly won’t be the last. The deal also shows the larger marketing spend now available to the NFLPA, as they left their previous partnership with smaller service DailyMVP to join DraftKings.
The deal also represents a continued football yin and yang, as a majority of the teams in the NFL have one year marketing deals with FanDuel, something which will may create even more confusion in the consumer marketplace as teams can be marketing one deal while players engage in a competitors product. It also will be an interesting test to see if the other Player’s Associations will also come on board, although at this point the NBAPA does not yet control player licensing rights like the NFLPA and the MLBPA has.
What is not confusing is that DFS and the NFL is front and center, and those one year” look and see” deals the NFL have imposed will be escalating as long as the dollars remain flowing.