In One Fell Swoop, NFL Lands Three Operators To Become League’s Official Sports Betting Partners

Written By Derek Helling on April 15, 2021
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Three sports betting operators have crossed the goal line with the country’s most popular sport.

The NFL announced Thursday that Caesars, DraftKings Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook have become official and “tri-exclusive” sports betting partners, expanding relationships the league already held with each operator.

Each operator will feature NFL content and trademarks on a greater level than their competitors if they are part of online sports betting in New York someday. They will also enjoy greater exposure in content that NFL fans regularly consume.

Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel: NFL sports betting partners

Perhaps the biggest part of this deal is the “tri-exclusive” language. That means, barring amendments of the deal in the future or renegotiations when it expires, other gambling companies like PointsBet and BetRivers won’t get the same integrations that these companies enjoy.

One sportsbook that will be part of this cooperative effort by extension could be William Hill, though. Caesars has a deal in place to acquire the bookmaking company. So, what’s in it for all these brands? More than just unlocking that exclusivity achievement.

According to a press release, all three companies will “have the exclusive ability to leverage NFL marks within the sports betting category.” That means betting markets with the NFL’s name and logo emblazoned upon them.

Additionally, the companies will have new ways to market themselves to NFL fans. These include free-to-play games with NFL themes. DraftKings will have its brand integrated into NFL Media properties like the RedZone Channel. FanDuel’s brand will become part of pre-game content on the NFL Network.

All three will also get content built around their betting markets in the NFL app and on the NFL’s website. True to cross-promotional traditions, the online platforms for all three operators will start featuring NFL footage like highlight videos and Next Gen Stats content.

Expanding existing relationships with NFL

For Caesars and DraftKings, this is really just an expansion of existing relationships.

Caesars was already the NFL’s official casino partner. And DraftKings had a deal in place that focused on NFL daily fantasy contests. FanDuel might be the new guy with the league, but it has had partnerships with NFL franchises.

This doesn’t mean you won’t still see other sports betting brands at various NFL stadiums, though. Individual franchises are still free to partner with any gambling companies they like, in accordance with league rules and regulatory approval. For example, BetMGM is a partner of the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions.

That said, it does put these NFL sports betting partners’ brands in front of millions of fans in ways that others don’t have access to. It also means that NFL content will be available on new platforms soon.

Photo by AP / Rick Osentoski
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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