NBA Adds FanDuel as Sports Betting Partner

Dec 18, 2018 10:29 AM EST
  • The NBA announced on Tuesday its plans to form a sports betting partnership with FanDuel.
  • This marks the league's third such deal with a North American-based operator. The NBA also has deals with MGM and The Stars Group.

The NBA has struck a sports betting data and sponsorship deal with FanDuel, making it the third such partnership the league has done.

As part of the deal, FanDuel becomes an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA. It will receive the official data from the league and can use the league marks on its app, available in New Jersey and at its sportsbook in the state at the Meadowlands on the same property as MetLife Stadium, where the Jets and Giants play.

FanDuel will continue its relationship with the NBA as the official daily fantasy partner. The four-year deal the two struck in 2014 gave the NBA a stake in the business.

The league dissolved its equity stake in FanDuel earlier this year, when the company made its plans clear that it would enter the sports betting space.

During the 2017-18 season, there were more than 104 million total entries for NBA daily fantasy games on FanDuel.

“When people enter a contest on FanDuel or place a wager on the FanDuel Sportsbook, they’re accustomed to a best-in-class experience,” FanDuel CEO Matt King told The Action Network. “Having team logos is a big part of that. This partnership also allows us to continue offering our customers incredible experiences as prizing, which is something they have come to expect due to our long relationship with the NBA like the VIP experiences at the NBA All-Star Game and NBA Finals.”

The NBA was the first major North American sports league to strike a deal with a gambling partner. In July, the league signed MGM as its official gaming partner. Last week, the league agreed to sell a sponsorship and data to The Stars Group, a Canadian-based sports betting outfit.

“We now have a casino partner in MGM, an international partner in The Stars Group and a daily fantasy partner in FanDuel,” Scott Kaufman-Ross, the NBA’s head of fantasy and gaming, told The Action Network. “All three major stakeholders see value in us working together.”

When asked if the data and sponsorship value decreases with more deals signed, Kaufman-Ross said “it actually becomes more valuable, because as more companies use official data, more companies will feel compelled to be authenticated by the relationship.”

Some have questioned whether the price to buy the data is worth paying for when third parties might be sufficient at providing the exact play-by-play.

Kaufman-Ross said the official data will be more important when most sportsbooks are offering an in-play product.

“That’s when latency (delays) comes into play,” he said. “Using data off a delayed broadcast feed is going to be a significant disadvantage with our game especially because the changes in momentum are so quick.”

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