Tag Archives: drone racing

Drone Racing League, DraftKings Sports Betting Precedes DRL Finale

The Drone Racing League (DRL), the global, professional drone racing property, today announced a deal with DraftKings Inc. (Nasdaq: DKNG) to make the sports technology and entertainment company an Official Sports Betting Partner of DRL. Upon completion of this deal, DRL drone races became the first aerial sporting event upon which fans can wager. Mobile sports betting on DRL drone races is currently legal in Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee and West Virginia with regulatory approvals pending in additional states. DRL’s final drone races of the 2020 DRL Allianz World Championship Season will kick off this Saturday, January 9th at 4:30pm ET on NBC, Twitter and Facebook.

“The sky is now the limit for DRL fans to get skin in the game, and we’re thrilled to partner with DraftKings to transform our high-speed race competition into the ultimate sport to bet on,” said DRL President Rachel Jacobson. “The opportunity for us to elevate our engagement through all forms of gaming and gambling will only increase as mobile betting becomes more adopted across the country.”

DraftKings is a leader in the rapidly growing motorsports and esports sportsbook categories and believes DRL will bring an entirely new audience of fans to gaming. Consumer research indicates drone racing fans are three times more likely to place a bet than fans of major sports leagues and 90 percent more likely to be interested in sports betting than the average global sports fan. After initially introducing DRL drone races to customers as a free-to-play pool during the 2020 season, DraftKings saw over 30 percent more entries in its first week than the average for new sports, totaling over 150,000 entries to date.

This deal gives DraftKings exclusive marketing rights around sports betting and branding integrations, including custom gates, through the culmination of the current 2020 DRL Allianz World Championship Season. Both pre-race wagers and in-race live bets will be available for fans in approved states to engage before and during the high-flying action.

“DRL is scaling their business as fast as their drone races, and we’re excited to be flying with them given DRL’s thrilling, innovative racing events are perfect for the customized wagering offerings we can create,” said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer, DraftKings. “Our expertise in sports betting combined with DRL’s stats-packed competition will make this a fun and seamless opportunity to engage their avid audience along with tech-savvy, adrenaline-loving sports fans.”

In the lead up to DRL’s final drone races of the season, DraftKings and DRL will host “Pre-Flight Shows” ahead of the live events, including tonight at 7pm ET on Twitter, where expert sports bettors and elite drone pilots will educate fans on how to participate.

Fans can learn more and check out DraftKings’ Drone Racing League offerings by downloading DraftKings Sportsbook via iOS and Androidhere.

T-Mobile, Drone Racing League Partner To Innovate 5G Wireless Drone Tech, Reimagine Sports Entertainment

T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) and The Drone Racing League (DRL), the global, professional drone racing property, announced a broad-reaching partnership to advance 5G-powered drone technology. As part of the multi-year deal, T-Mobile has made an investment in DRL via the company’s T-Mobile Ventures fund, and the Un-carrier has signed on as the league’s exclusive U.S. 5G Wireless partner. Together, T-Mobile and DRL will innovate 5G racing drone technology to create the first integrated 5G racing drones, with the aim of authentically building them into the sport. DRL will develop first-of-its-kind, custom racing drones powered by T-Mobile 5G during the 2021 DRL Allianz World Championship Season.

DRL’s high-speed 5G racing drones, running on America’s first and largest 5G network, will enable the companies to stream DRL’s 3D racing action to fans in real-time. And the 5G racing drones will enable the companies to deliver unique, immersive experiences to fans and millions of T-Mobile customers across the country, and open up opportunities for new applications across a wide variety of industries.

“We invested in DRL to fuel innovation in two large and growing markets – drones and tech-powered sports – and we can’t wait to supercharge both with T-Mobile 5G,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “The world’s fastest drones and the nation’s largest 5G network – now that’s a fantastic combination!”

DRL features the world’s top pilots flying custom racing drones through live and virtual iconic locations around the globe to create the New Playing Field, combining the adrenaline of high-speed racing with the limitless possibilities of esports. In live events, pilots race standardized FPV (First Person View) drones at nearly 100 miles per hour, wearing goggles that stream a live video feed from a camera on their drone, as they navigate complex, three-dimensional courses. Tens of millions of next generation sports fans watch DRL on premier sports networks around the world, including NBC, NBCSN, Twitter and Facebook.

“T-Mobile is one of the most innovative marketers in sports, entertainment and technology — sharing our mission to bring the most immersive experiences to millions of fans around the world. With a foundation of the best 5G wireless technology to power our racing drones, we’re excited to set the new standard for sports and create cutting-edge content and collaborations across T-Mobile’s sports, music and lifestyle properties,” said DRL President Rachel Jacobson. 

Innovating through new groundbreaking technology is part of DRL’s DNA: The league has launched four iterations of racing drones, a record-setting fastest racing drone, and the first autonomous racing drone — all designed and hand-built with proprietary technology by its in-house team of expert drone engineers. The addition of T-Mobile 5G will propel the sport forward and offer new opportunities to drive fan engagement. Data shows that DRL fans are ready, willing and able to play a part — they are 14X more likely than the U.S. population to be considered “tech-savvy” and 4X more likely to be interested in gaming.  

T-Mobile has invested in DRL through T-Mobile Ventures, a multi-year investment fund focused on early and emerging growth companies developing groundbreaking 5G products and services for the T-Mobile network. As a T-Mobile Ventures portfolio company, DRL will benefit from T-Mobile’s network and engineering expertise, go-to-market infrastructure and investment backing as the companies work together to develop the next big thing in 5G racing drones and sports technology. 

As part of the partnership, DRL will feature T-Mobile in the 2021 DRL Allianz World Championship Season through advertising spots and branded course elements in the DRL SIM, the virtual platform hosting the elite competition. T-Mobile will also support the DRL Academy, the league’s STEM program, creating educational programming around 5G and drones to inspire the next generation of technologists and digital athletes.  

T-Mobile 5G, A Platform for Innovation

T-Mobile is America’s 5G leader, delivering 5G speeds in more places with the first and largest nationwide 5G network. T-Mobile’s Extended Range 5G covers more than 270 million people across more than 1.4 million square miles – 2x more geographic coverage than AT&T and 3.5x more than Verizon. With Sprint now part of T-Mobile, the Un-carrier is quickly lighting up Ultra Capacity 5G with technology that can deliver download speeds of 300 Mbps and peak speeds up to 1 Gbps.

Now is the time for developers to build applications that take advantage of 5G’s transformational power, and drones represent one of the most exciting use cases for 5G. From the engine behind a new self-service economy, to industrial IoT, security monitoring, emergency response and so much more, autonomous 5G drones will dramatically transform industry and commerce.

With its supercharged 5G network as the foundation, T-Mobile is working to fuel this kind of 5G innovation. T-Mobile Ventures backs early and emerging growth companies building the next big thing in 5G. The Un-carrier also collaborates with universities and standards bodies to support 5G research and development. In addition, T-Mobile runs the award-winning T-Mobile Accelerator and is a co-founder of the 5G Open Innovation Lab.

For more on T-Mobile’s plans for 5G-powered drone innovation, read today’s blog from the company’s EVP of Advanced & Emerging Technologies, John Saw.

Drone Racing League, NBC Sports Network and FanDuel Launch Virtual Drone Racing Series to Benefit Direct Relief

The Drone Racing League (DRL), the world’s premier, professional circuit for drone racing, today announced that the first-ever fantasy virtual drone racing series, the 2020 FanDuel DRL SIM Racing Cup, will premiere on Saturday, May 16 at 2:30pm ET on NBCSN. The series will run for eight weekends on NBCSN and Twitter. The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, May 16th at 2:30pm
  • Sunday, May 24th at 3pm
  • Sunday, May 31st at 2pm
  • Sunday, June 7th at 2pm
  • Sunday, June 14th at 1pm
  • Saturday, June 20th at 12pm
  • Sunday, June 28 at 12pm
  • Sunday, July 5th at 12pm
    *Dates and times subject to change

The 2020 FanDuel DRL SIM Racing Cup will feature 12 elite DRL pilots battling it out on the DRL SIM, the true-to-life drone racing simulator, for the chance to be crowned the series’ Champion. Fans tuning in will feel as if they are in the drone’s cockpit as the pros fly digital versions of custom DRL drones through historic DRL maps and never-seen-before tracks, all from their homes around the globe including the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Switzerland.

“DRL authentically merges the digital with the real, so we’re thrilled to highlight the virtual side of drone racing on NBCSN and Twitter starting this Saturday. The high-speed, futuristic racing combined with daily fantasy is great for the whole family — and it’s all for an amazing charity supporting frontline workers,” said DRL President Rachel Jacobson.

All pilots have committed to donate their winnings to Direct Relief, the largest charitable provider of protective gear and medical essentials to health facilities in response to Covid-19. The funds donated will help Direct Relief continue to get protective gear to frontline workers during the pandemic.

“Direct Relief is so deeply grateful for the leadership and commitment reflected by the Drone Racing League and its players,” said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief. “This support translates into immediate, practical help, and is such a wonderful example of everyone pulling together and doing whatever we can to protect those who are most vulnerable.”

DRL, FanDuel Announce First-Ever Fantasy Sports Partnership

The Drone Racing League (DRL), the global, professional drone racing circuit, and FanDuel today announced a fantasy partnership for the 2020 DRL SIM Tryouts Finals, the world’s only player-to-pilot esports tournament. As DRL’s first-ever partnership with a fantasy sports provider, FanDuel will have access to official DRL SIM data, along with league marks and logos to create official daily fantasy contests for the 2020 DRL SIM Tryouts Finals.

The virtual drone racing showdown live-streams tonight at 9pm ET on DRL’sTwitter,Twitch andYouTube. Thousands of FPV (First Person View) pilot hopefuls from 75 countries entered the fourth annual DRL SIM Tryouts, battling it out across more than 136,000 heats during twelve qualifying tournaments on the DRL Simulator, the true-to-life drone racing sim on Steam — all for the chance to compete tonight and go pro. Tryouts participation skyrocketed by 90% since last year and nearly 2 million fans have already watched the online competitions.

Fans tuning into the 2020 DRL SIM Tryouts Finals can enter a free contest on FanDuel for the chance to win a share of $3,000 in FanDuel site credit. The contest follows FanDuel’s standard daily fantasy format, and racers will earn points for winning, finishing second or finishing third in each heat as they navigate virtual DRL drones on a supercharged, 3D track. The champion will earn a professional contract in the league and fly as the DRL SIM Pilot in the 2020 DRL Allianz World Championship Season, as watched by tens of millions of fans on NBC, Twitter, Sky and other leading sports networks around the world.

“At a time when fans want access to sports competition more than ever, we’re thrilled to live stream the 2020 DRL SIM Tryouts, a unique esport that transforms gamers into pro drone pilots overnight, and reward fans with prizes through our exciting new partnership with FanDuel,” said DRL CEO and Founder, Nicholas Horbaczewski.

“We remain as committed as ever to our fans and we’re currently working to develop new and entertaining games for them to engage with,” said Kip Levin, President, FanDuel. “Partnering up with The Drone Racing League allows us to collaborate with an innovative league as we give our fantasy customers more ways to play.”

Merging the virtual with the real, the Tryouts winner will race against the most elite pilots on earth during the 2020 Season, flying custom-built DRL Racer4 drones at 90 MPH through complex courses in iconic venues around the world. Last year, Minnesota native, Christopher “Phluxy” Spangler, was crowned the Tryouts winner and flew in DRL; he made podium three times and even won a level event, showcasing how DRL bridges the digital with the real.