NFL tops up revenue with first sports betting sponsors
American football’s National Football League has broken new ground in unveiling three companies as its first-ever sports betting partners in USA, signalling the opening of the door to a potentially lucrative sector.
On Thursday evening, the NFL unveiled Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel as sportsbook partners, with the trio to have exclusive rights to utilise league branding in the sports betting category and activate around retail and online sports betting.
The value and length of the deals has not been disclosed, but they are reported to be worth just under $1 billion combined over five years, with the NFL having exit options at the end of the third and fourth years.
As part of the agreements, Caesars has renewed its rights as the official casino sponsor of the NFL and DraftKings has extended as the official daily fantasy partner.
The new deals cap off a particularly money-spinning past month for the most popular US sports league, which has already secured upwards of $100 billion from new 11-year domestic television rights deals with its existing five partners, and secured a new data distribution agreement, covering domestic and international sportsbook operators, with Genius Sports reported to be worth $120 million over six years.
The signing up of official sports betting partners is a natural consequence of the liberalisation of sports betting in USA since the Supreme Court ruling in 2018 which repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 that had effectively banned the activity outside the state of Nevada.
A long list of states has since legalised sports betting, and, having long been resistant to the industry, leagues and teams have joined US gambling operations in rushing to capitalise on the opportunities presented.
The NFL has admittedly been slower than other leagues to fully engage with the betting industry but had signed deals with sportsbooks in Australia and Latin America, and the new agreements are expected to open the floodgates for more partnerships in the domestic market.
Through their new agreements, Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel can integrate relevant sports betting content directly into NFL Media properties such as NFL.com and the NFL App.
Meanwhile, DraftKings and FanDuel will be able to offer their customers highlights, other footage and statistics content, with Caesars to work with the NFL to integrate content into its platforms too. All three companies will have access to the NFL’s official league data feed.
As is standard in such sponsorship deals, the trio have committed to adhere to integrity standards, and support the NFL in intelligence sharing, advocacy efforts and responsible betting education.
Renie Anderson, the NFL’s chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL partnerships, said on Thursday: “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.
“Working closely with Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, we will provide fans new and different ways of interacting and engaging with the sport they love."