The NBA and FanDuel have reached an official agreement where FanDuel will be the “Official One-Day Fantasy Basketball Game” approved by the NBA. This is historic news for the daily fantasy sports industry.
In a deal first speculated by SportsBusinessDaily two days ago, The NBA and Fanduel have partnered up in a strategic agreement that will see the NBA add FanDuel promotions and other links across its many websites and platforms. ESPN officially broke the story earlier this afternoon. Nigel Eccles took time to talk with ESPN about the deal and provided some interesting insight below.
“The special status helps legitimize us, but we wanted to do this deal because the NBA, more than any other league, they understood the upside to them as well. More than half of people who start playing daily fantasy basketball with us are playing fantasy basketball for the first time,” Eccles said. “We hope we can convert half the fans who came to our site to play daily fantasy football and get them to like playing daily fantasy basketball.
TechCrunch also provided some interesting comments for the deal that was announced today.
As part of a strategic agreement, the basketball league will be linking to and promoting FanDuel’s one-day fantasy games across its digital properties, including NBA.com, NBA TV, and its mobile apps. Meanwhile, FanDuel will run a series of free daily contests throughout basketball season, through which players can sign up to win non-cash prizes, including regular-season tickets, unique NBA experiences, NBA merchandise and memorabilia.
The agreement between the NBA and FanDuel means the NBA now has an ownership stake in FanDuel. As reported by BizJournals the NBA gained an equity stake in FanDuel and will be promoting FanDuel as the “Official One-Day Fantasy Basketball Game”
The consumer-facing side of the deal centers on driving new customers to market-leading FanDuel, which remains locked in a pitched battle for supremacy with No. 2 competitor DraftKings. Both the NBA and FanDuel will promote a jointly branded “Official One-Day Fantasy Basketball Game of the NBA.”
This is a very interesting deal for the daily fantasy sports industry. Although deals between the major sports and daily fantasy sites have happened in the past, this is the first time that a major sports league has taken an investment interest in a daily fantasy sports operation. This is big news for the industry and shows how much the industry has been embraced by professional sports leagues. If they are willing to invest into a daily fantasy sports site then they see this as a continuing force and opportunity to capitalize on this new and growing industry. This also means that most legal reservations that have been persisted should be all but put to rest. The strategic partnership should mean we begin to see FanDuel tournaments offering unique NBA trip packages and other NBA memorabilia to winners.