ESPN announced two separate partnerships with DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment on Monday. The two deals include co-exclusive link integrations across all ESPN platforms. The tie-ups will enable ESPN’s sports fans to have access to the sportsbooks of DraftKings and William Hill, which is Caesar Entertainment’s sports betting partner.
Mike Morrison, ESPN’s Vice President of Business Development & Innovation released a statement:
“Our new agreements with Caesars and DraftKings collectively represent the next significant milestone for ESPN to diversify our exposure and deepen our commitment to the sports betting space. We began growing the experience through content, followed by odds utilizing William Hill’s sports betting data and a new state-of-the-art studio facility in Las Vegas through our deal with Caesars, and now with the addition of DraftKings, we are bringing together the sports media leader with two of the top brands and best products in the segment.”
Opportunity to Reach a Wider Audience
DraftKings Will be ESPN’s exclusive partner for daily fantasy sports and co-exclusive sportsbook link-out. Additionally, DraftKings will power integrations across all ESPN content. This will start with the production of daily fantasy sports segments in the networks’ premiere studio shows.
For DraftKings, the partnership is an opportunity to reach a wider audience given ESPN’s vast sports network. The NFL’s 2020 campaign just started last week and with the NBA, MLB, and NHL season currently ongoing, the launch of DraftKings’ alliance with ESPN couldn’t have come at a better time.
Expanding Their Existing Collaboration
Meanwhile, Caesars Sportsbook powered by William Hill will be ESPN’s sponsor for Fantasy products. ESPN’s unparalleled reach and Caesar’s link to William Hill’s technology will give sports fans to engage and wager at their fingertips using betting apps.
The deal comes shortly after ESPN and Caesars expanded further their existing collaboration by launching ESPN’s state-of-the-art studio in Las Vegas at the LINQ Hotel + Experience. The studio is expected to provide Vegas-exclusive sports betting and entertainment news to fans around the world. ESPN’s Daily Wager show has also been relocated to the LINQ studio starting this month.
DraftKings and Caesars Stocks Soar
DraftKings shares rose sharply after the announcement of Monday’s union. Its stock jumped more than 17% in the aftermath of the ESPN deal. The shares were slightly running negative at around midway but soared after the news. DraftKings shares have increased more than 170% since going public through a merger last April.
Earlier this month, the company got a boost after Michael Jordan was named as a special advisor to its Board of Directors.
Caesars’ stock also got a bump from ESPN’s announcement. It jumped more than 9% on Monday, rising to more than $54 per share in the afternoon trading. The rise comes after Caesars Entertainment shares had a 47.5% gain last month after its merger with El Dorado resorts and the re-opening of its casinos.
Joining the Gambling Bandwagon
Sports betting in the United States has taken a huge leap since the U.S Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Act in 2018. The decision paved the way for U.S. states to pass their own legislation to legalize sports betting in their jurisdiction. That ruling has also led sports media companies to join the gambling bandwagon.
Aside from ESPN, Warner Media-owned Turner Sports has joined forces with Bleacher Report for gambling-related content and has a branded studio within Caesars Palace. Fox Sports has gone as far as facilitating sports bets via its mobile app Fox Bet.
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