Poker pro and popular Twitch streamer Jason Somerville has signed a sponsorship deal with DraftKings, according to Legal Sports Report.
Somerville is a pioneer in online poker streaming and has built a huge following through his Run It Up (RIU) live broadcasts. His Twitch channel has received an impressive 7.6 million views and has been followed by 112,480 viewers since its creation.
DraftKings hopes to capture the attention of Somerville’s audience and entice them to create DFS accounts on its own site. As part of the deal, the Twitch star will promote DraftKings on future RIU broadcasts. For its part, DraftKings will send traffic back to Somerville by offering satellites which award entries into special live RIU poker events in October.
Somerville was initially skeptical about partnering with a DFS site, and confessed to only creating an account at DraftKings two months ago. He felt that, as he wasn’t a fan of mainstream sports, that promoting DraftKings would be inauthentic.
It was his interest in UFC, however, that convinced Somerville to go ahead and ink a deal with the Boston-based site. In February, DraftKings struck a partnership deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and began offering UFC contests on its site.
Somerville often comments on UFC during has broadcasts, and promoting the brand on his channel is a natural fit. The deal will give DraftKings more exposure to an audience who aren’t necessarily sports fanatics, and are less likely to play DFS.
Somerville’s and PokerStars: it’s complicated
Apart from his deal with DraftKings, Somerville has partnered with PokerStars, joining the brand’s stable of sponsored pros in February. He also struck a two-year deal with Twitch earlier this month.
His relationship with PokerStars is complex; the Isle of Man-based site recently acquired DFS site Victiv, and plans to rebrand the company and relaunch the site as its own DFS product called StarsDraft. So in effect, Somerville will be promoting poker for PokerStars on Twitch, while at the same time, bringing traffic to its DFS competitor DraftKings during RIU broadcasts.