DFS site Draft Ops has inked a 4-year deal with the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks, securing its second partnership with an NHL team. The deal will allow Draft Ops to display branding during Ducks events, in the team’s social media and on the Ducks Jumbotron screen at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The site will also have its own exclusive outdoor bar where Draft Ops ambassadors will interact with fans and teach patrons how to play on the site.
The SoCal market
In its attempt to break into the Southern California market, Draft Ops had originally hoped to partner with the Los Angeles Lakers. But while hashing out the deal, company execs grew concerned about restrictions which would have limited its exposure at the Staples Center.
FanDuel signed a one-year agreement with the arena in 2014 and was competing with Draft Ops to continue that partnership for the 2015-16 NBA season. Complicating matters, DraftKings signed a three-year partnership deal directly with the Staples Center, which allows it to restrict the marketing of its rivals at the venue.
“Instead, limitations will be imposed on FanDuel’s use, who will continue with the Lakers asset,” said a Draft Ops representative. “The restrictions arise from AEG’s ownership of the arena, which allows its partner DraftKings to prevent fan activation in the arena, entrance pavilions and LA Live areas.”
Draft Ops struck its first NHL team partnership in June, when it inked a deal with Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, a relationship which includes the sponsorship of the New York Islanders. As part of that deal, Draft Ops will offer a fantasy sports book inside the arena during Islanders and Brooklyn Nets games, along with boxing matches and concerts.
FanDuel announced a multiyear agreement with the Nets around the same as the Barclays deal. Not being able to secure the Nets partnership, Draft Ops demanded exclusivity in the arena. That means that FanDuel is again limited to advertising on court visible signage during Nets games, with Draft Ops having free reign to engage with fans in its lounge within the venue.