DFS Partnerships and Sponsorships
As the popularity of daily fantasy sports has spread, industry leaders like FanDuel and DraftKings have been in a sprint to lock up partnerships with leagues, franchises, and their stars. On this timeline, we track every industry alliance forged in the constantly evolving DFS market.
DraftKings was a pioneer in creating partnerships with both leagues and individual players. In March 2014, the site hooked up with MLB to become the league’s Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com. Later that month, it would ink a deal with WSOP.com to become the official fantasy partner of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Three months later, “Global fantasy sports platform” Mondogoal struck a deal with the soccer club Liverpool FC to become the team’s official fantasy partner. Market leader FanDuel soon got to the game with a partnership deal with sports publication SB Nation.
In July, Mondogoal added another two soccer clubs to their roster after cutting a deal with Manchester City and Italian club A.S. Roma.
In August, FanDuel linked up with the Orlando Magic, one of the first partnerships forged with an NBA team.
In an effort to tap into the horse racing market, DraftKings linked up with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and enjoyed prominent placement as the daily fantasy sponsor of the $1 million DraftKings Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
In October, Mondogoal was back at it, locking up another big-name soccer club in an agreement with West Ham United.
Blazing a trail into the NFL in October, DraftKings became the official DFS sponsor of the New England Patriots. Competitor Draftster also got involved in the league, adding NFL superstar Terrel Owens as a celebrity endorser.
Later that month, FanDuel inked its second agreement with an NBA team, signing an exclusive contract with the Brooklyn Nets. October also saw DailyMVP score a major coup with the signing of Patriots legend Tom Brady. The superstar quarterback, along with NBA champ Steve Nash, would go on to appear in a series of humorous TV spots for the company.
On November 10, DraftKings announced a sweeping partnership with the NHL, along with the Bruins, Blackhawks, Avalanche, Red Wings, Kings, Blues and Rangers. Two days later, FanDuel would enter into a league-wide partnership of its own with the NBA. The site soon struck deals with several teams as well, adding the Knicks, Mavericks and Bulls.
Also announced was a sponsorship agreement with Seahawks quarterback Richard Sherman and a deal with the Washington Redskins. DraftKings picked up an NFL team of its own after partnering with the Denver Broncos.
During this frenzy of industry dealmaking, FantasyDraft signed on NFL stars TY Hilton and Jordy Nelson.
Rounding out November, FanDuel locked up a deal with the LA Lakers to become one of the team’s official sponsors. DraftKings picked up the last three sponsorships of the year, signing on as an official partner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets, while also sponsoring MMA fighter Jon Jones.
Kicking off the new year, FanDuel partnered with the Cleveland Cavaliers, DraftKings with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mondogoal with soccer club FC Barcelona.
In mid-January, newcomer DFS site Draft Ops struck a deal with fighting organization Bellator MMA. Mondogoal continued making deals with soccer clubs, this time striking an agreement with the London-based soccer club Chelsea FC.
Between the end of January and February, DraftKings announced a host of new partnerships. The site locked up a deal with the Detroit Red Wings, Golden State Warriors, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Sacramento Kings.
DraftKings finished February on a high note, adding the Ultimate Fighting Championship to its portfolio of partners.
In the race for more deals with professional sports organizations, FanDuel announced a deal in March with the Baltimore Ravens and the St. Louis Rams.
In April, DraftKings made two huge announcements: One was league wide deal with MLB, and the other a partnership with Disney. The network pledged to invest $250 million into the company with DraftKings promising to spend a whopping $500 million on advertisements on Disney properties, like ESPN, over the next three years.