The NHL and FanDuel have entered into a multi-year partnership that makes FanDuel an official sports betting partner and the official daily fantasy sports partner for the national hockey league. The two giants announced their partnership earlier this week during a joint media appearance and press release in NYC.
FanDuel also revealed it has cemented a partnership with the New Jersey Devils, which will be just one of several of the team’s gambling partners.
Not an Exclusive Deal
The NHL announced a similar partnership with MGM Resorts International last week, so FanDuel won’t be the exclusive partner with the NHL when it comes to sports betting.
What the Deal Entails
According to the press release, FanDuel will have the ability to offer VIP experiences at events like the All-Star Game and the Winter Classic. When it comes to sports betting, FanDuel will be allowed to use its relationship with the NHL including “official category designations” in different ways in order to draw in sports betting customers in states where the activity is now legal.
In the press release, Matt King, CEO of FanDuel Group, said:
“Joining forces with the National Hockey League was the perfect next step for us as both our sports betting and fantasy sports businesses continue to grow. The League’s clear vision for these categories and this partnership marks an exciting time for both organizations.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said of the deal:
“Our approach to sports betting is to continue to be progressive as we work directly with the industry and focus on innovative opportunities for fan engagement. Teaming up with FanDuel furthers our strategy of aligning with leading brands that share our vision of usingnew platforms and technology to drive innovation and engage and excite hockey fans.”
Exciting Fan Engagement
To get the new partnership off to a good start, FanDuel will offer a “Skate to the NHL Winter Classic” contest. Eligible fans will be able to enter daily fantasy contests on the FanDuel app to try to win a VIP trip to the 2019 NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, which will be held at Notre Dame Stadium between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks.
FanDuel and the New Jersey Devils
In a totally separate agreement between the New Jersey Devils and FanDuel, the sportsbook will get brand exposure at all regular-season home games with a large, in-ice logo. FanDuel will also receive support from the Devils via fans and guests at the arena using digital, social, and in-game activation platforms. FanDuel will be able to highlight its “Live In-Play” gambling options on the new app, along with other messaging and branding.
Adam Davis, the Chief Revenue Officer for Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, said the following about this groundbreaking deal:
“The FanDuel Sportsbook user is an educated consumer interested in engaging with multiple sports teams and events in dynamic and interactive ways. Their emphasis on creating innovative platforms and promotions to connect with and galvanize their consumers parallels the fan first mentality at the New Jersey Devils.”
Kip Levin, COO of FanDuel Group, said:
“We will continue to be at the forefront of the action for hockey fans, whether they’re watching sports from a seat in the arena or at home on TV. Our partnership with the New Jersey Devils allows us to be on the ice during the action and in-game messaging is the perfect way to reach hockey fans during the games.”
The NJ Devils play home games in New Jersey, which is one of just six states right now with legal sports betting. The arena will not have a sportsbook, but sports betting is legal on mobile devices anywhere in the state.
New Jersey Devils
FanDuel isn’t the Devils’ first partnership; previous partnerships include those with William Hill and Caesars. Some pundits feel that New Jersey’s hockey team helped usher in a new era and some of these newfound partnerships.
National Hockey League
The NHL isn’t just partnered with FanDuel, it’s also associated with DraftKings. In fact, the NHL has an equity position in DraftKings. That makes this FanDuel deal all the more interesting.
FanDuel’s Foray into Sport Betting
These two deals are the first ones made by FanDuel as a full-fledged gambling company. FanDuel Sportsbook also has a live product in West Virginia and is also getting ready to launch in Pennsylvania. FanDuel has been actively pursuing opportunities in this growing sports betting industry.
Who Wins out of these Deals?
The obvious answer would be the sports bettors, but if you look closely then you will see that the National Hockey League comes away as a huge winner in all of this. Furthermore, hockey teams and fans will also come away as the winner.
“If teams profit, then everybody will profit. If you go by the numbers on the illegal part, it’s pretty significant. If that part ends up on the team side, I think it’s going help everyone. First of all, the [salary] cap will go up. Fans will be happy. Teams will spend more money on players. Players’ salaries will go up.”
Robitaille went on to say that the amount of money that can be generated from hockey sports betting and associated advertising, will eventually be passed on to the fans in the form of cutting ticket prices for games.
In the end, it appears that everyone comes away as a winner in this. Furthermore, it would be great if other professional sports leagues followed in the NHL’s footsteps.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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