Over the course of the past year, the daily fantasy industry has taken fairly substantial hits from seemingly all comers. Media members, many not familiar whatsoever with DFS sites and their contest offerings, have often been quick to inaccurately characterize the industry and those within it.
Avid sports fans who’ve never tried the games, often taking their cues from such inaccurate reports, have surprisingly joined the fray on social media and websites and have at times also dismissed the rapidly-growing pastime.
And attorney generals and lawmakers around the country have certainly provided their fair share of memorable—and often misinformed—sound bites about what they see as potential detrimental effects of engaging in daily fantasy games.
Industry supporters and insiders have often cited the enhanced level of engagement that daily fantasy games seem to inspire in the average sports fan, who would likely consume significantly less of the products offered by the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR and NHL, just to name a few, were they not actively playing related daily fantasy contests.
DraftKings has taken this very visceral aspect of the DFS experience one major step further with their Bucket List initiative, which provides the winners of designated contests with first-hand, VIP-level experiences at a variety of sporting events around the country. As per DraftKings’ official site, they have awarded over “500 once-in-a-lifetime experiences” to date, and continue expanding the program.
Past Bucket List experiences have included a VIP Courtside Experience for two Toronto Raptors fans, a pair of Denver Broncos VIP Experiences, a 2015 World Series Experience that included watching on-the-field batting practice, and the opportunity to play mini-golf with Rob Gronkowski. The most recent package awarded was on Sunday, July 24th (NASCAR VIP experience for the August 7th Cheez-It 355 at the Glen that includes VIP access for two and a $1200 credit for airfare accommodations).
The innovative program appears to successfully merge the best of the fantasy/digital and in-person aspects of engagement with sports. Reviews from past Bucket List winners posted on the DraftKings site extol the intangible rewards that come from first-hand experiences that qualify as dream scenarios for virtually any sports fan. As user and past winner Luke P. put it in a comment posted on the site, “It’s more than money. It’s an experience. You can’t really put a price on it. It’s once-in-a-lifetime”.
The Bucket List events are also impressively diverse and inclusive of all major sports, as evidenced by the following three experiences to be awarded.
- The Battier Take Charge Foundation Charity Golf Contest, which unfolds on Thursday, July 28th, carries a $10 entry fee, with DraftKings matching all contributions 100%. The top finisher will win a trip for two to Miami, as well as the opportunity to play golf with former NBA pro Shane Battier at the renowned Blue Monster course at Trump National Doral Miami.
- Friday, July 29th will bring the 2016 World Series Experience contest, a freeroll that will award the top winner two tickets to Game 1 of the 2016 World Series, as well as a two-night hotel stay and airfare credit of $1,000.
- The Nascar VIP Experience Contest, which is free to enter, will take place Sunday, July 31, and features a VIP experience for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race taking place on August 20 in Bristol, Tennessee. The package includes VIP access for two to the race, along with $1200 in airfare accommodations.