With The US Market Soaring, Sportsbook Brands Signal Boost With National Media, Sports Team Partnerships

Sports betting in the US is on a rapid growth trajectory. New sportsbooks are popping up by the day while markets that previously shunned gambling are embracing the possibilities of online and digital betting. This has sparked a huge wave of partnerships and deals with major sports betting operators. 

Media companies and storied sports franchises are champing at the bit to get in on the action. The result? A veritable treasure trove of unique sports betting partnerships. Right now, it’s a mad dash to partner with major media companies and sports teams, and some operators have a head start. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest partnerships in the industry. 

DraftKings

DraftKings is an undeniable leader in the sports betting industry, and it has plenty of partnerships to show for it. DraftKings’ long list of partners includes:

  • ESPN
  • NFL
  • MLB
  • PGA Tour
  • Sportradar
  • Wrigley Field 
  • New York Giants
  • Denver Broncos

This impressive slate is to be expected from such a huge competitor. One highlight on DraftKings’ partner list is the recently announced ESPN deal. The partnership lets DraftKings integrate its various sports betting services into ESPN’s digital platforms. DraftKings will also have exclusive promotional segments, become a co-exclusive sportsbook link-out provider, and much more. 

Speaking about the deal, DraftKings Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer Jason Robins said: “ESPN helped revolutionize the 24/7 sports news cycle and continues to be the go-to source for many fans today on the latest and largest sports stories. We look forward to this collaboration to exclusively showcase DraftKings’ daily fantasy content and offerings while also advancing further visibility and mainstream adoption of our regulated sports betting products.”

In New York, DraftKings just penned a deal with the Giants franchise, adding the NY team to its list of partners alongside the Denver Broncos and the NFL as a whole. 

DraftKings has also been quick to steal the hearts of Chicago sports fans with an exclusive Wrigley Field deal and the addition of Chicago legend Michael Jordan to its board as a special advisor. 

FanDuel

It’s common to hear FanDuel and DraftKings mentioned in any discussion about leading sportsbook providers. So it comes as no surprise that FanDuel has a large list of partners, many of which are shared with DraftKings. However, FanDuel does have a few league partnerships that set it apart. 

  • PGA Tour
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • NBA
  • XFL
  • Denver Broncos
  • DRL
  • MTN Dew (limited run)

Perhaps the most “out of left field” partnership for FanDuel is the company’s work with MTN Dew. The pairing was created for the NBA Playoffs and ended on September 4. During the playoffs, FanDuel and MTN Dew ran free to play contests featuring a plethora of NBA themed prizes. Temporary partnerships could become standard fare in the industry as operators become more attuned to what players in specific markets look for. 

FanDuel also teamed up with the Drone Racing League (DRL) in another unique partnership outside of the “typical” sports realm.  

BetMGM

Roar Digital and GVC Holdings’ joint venture, BetMGM, has snagged its own fair share of prime sports betting partnerships. There are a number of partnerships you’ll also find on lists from DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet. But BetMGM rounds out its slate with some unique deals. 

  • Denver Broncos
  • Detroit Lions
  • PGA Tour
  • NASCAR
  • VSiN
  • theCHIVE

Of these, theChive is a particularly intriguing partnership that shows BetMGM’s desire to connect with up-and-coming young bettors. Together, BetMGM and theChive launched Chive Bets. Through the integrated partnership, theChive viewers and readers (sometimes called Chivers) now have access to sports betting odds and custom promotions. 

BetMGM also has a NASCAR partnership. It’s a multi-year deal that gives BetMGM access to the NASCAR logo and marks for its betting platforms, while NASCAR will integrate BetMGM offerings into its various online platforms. 

PointsBet

PointsBet started as a small Australian operator, but it has quickly grown into a massive competitor and disruptor in the US sports betting market. Not to be outdone by the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings, PointsBet has racked up a strong platter of partnerships:

  • NBC Sports/NBC Universal
  • PGA Tour
  • NBA
  • Kroenke Sports, includes:
    • Denver Nuggets
    • Colorado Avalanche
    • Colorado Mammoth
    • Pepsi Center
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Detroit Tigers

PointsBet’s Kroenke Sports deal is the latest in a string of moves by the company to amp up its Colorado presence. In addition to the multi-year Kroenke partnership, PointsBet is building its US headquarters in Denver. 

The NBCUniversal deal puts PointsBet in a perfect position to compete with DraftKings and its ESPN partnership. PointsBet will receive plenty of branding opportunities on NBC platforms across TV and digital. 

FOX Bet

FOX Bet exists as a partnership between FOX and The Stars Group, giving it unhindered access to an existing media channel. This means there’s no need for a deal like DraftKings/ESPN or PointsBet/NBC. Instead, FOX Bet seems focused on league partnerships:

  • MLB
  • XFL
  • Philadelphia 76ers

FOX Bet has been relatively quiet on the partnership front, with only a few announced over the past year. Still, there are some important milestones on the company’s list. The 76ers deal was the very first NBA sports betting deal, though now there are many others. The XFL and MLB round out FOX Bet’s current partnership slate. 

TheScore Bet

TheScore is another unique case in that it comes from theScore, a site that offers analysis and insights into the sporting industry. Users who engage with that content may also be inclined to use theScore Bet to place their wagers. The company’s two partnerships are:

  • MLB
  • NBA

There doesn’t appear to be anything exclusive about these partnerships, but they could go a long way for a smaller operator. theScore Bet is currently live in New Jersey and Colorado.

The Power Of Partnerships

Sports betting is still very new to many in the US. Though it’s been popular overseas for years, sports betting is still in its infancy in the States. These partnerships help reputable sportsbook operators garner exposure in new markets and build trust with players. On top of that, they also add a new layer of fun to sports fans who are interested in betting. Partnerships between sporting leagues and sports betting providers ramp up the entire experience and give players a whole new entertainment channel. 

For this reason, it’s safe to expect new partnerships to pop up as sports betting grows in the US. 

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. Cole writes for a number of online and print publications, including The Quill To Live, a book review site.