The biggest fish in the pond that is the legal US sports betting industry is the National Football League. Legal betting on weekly NFL games accounts for the lion’s share of the entire sports betting handle when in season.
After reversing its stance against legal sports betting in the US, the NFL has now decided to make the most of this opportunity. One easy way to do that is by forming strategic marketing partnerships with legal sports betting operators.
These multi-year partnerships are as equally beneficial for both sides. The NFL generates another steady source of revenue. The sportsbook gets to be an official gaming partner of one of the biggest pro sports betting leagues in the world.
In turn, the sportsbooks use their affiliation with the NFL to attract more active betting customers. This pertains to retail venues, online betting sites, and mobile sportsbook apps.
The structure of these NFL deals is on two distinct levels. The three main marketing partners are FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars. These three legal US operators have a certain level of exclusivity with the league.
Along with FanDuel and DraftKings, BetMGM is part of the big three. This group controls 80% of the legal US sports betting market in terms of the overall share.
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Caesars is expanding its industry presence by rebranding the William Hill brand under its corporate umbrella. Caesars Entertainment acquired the UK sports betting giant earlier this year.
Operators such as FOX Bet, PointsBet, and WynnBET are also making positive inroads into the legal sports betting market.
At the same time, a handful of launches such as Arizona online sportsbooks, Maryland online sportsbooks, and Louisiana online sportsbooks are busy making plans to launch within their respective borders.
Interestingly enough, the target date for most new markets has always been Sept. 9. This would time the launch with the start of the 2021 NFL regular season.
As part of that second tier of official gaming partners, the sponsorship centers mainly on advertising. They would be permitted to run ads in conjunction with NFL games. The actual use of NFL team logos was not mentioned in the league’s recent press release.
Another important aspect of these new partnerships is official league data. These US operators will be able to purchase this official league data directly from Genius Sports. This sports data and technology company is another official NFL partner.
The NFL’s earlier deals with FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars could add up to $1 billion in added revenue. This would be spread out over the next five years.
Genius Sports signed an exclusive deal with the NFL as part of a cash and equity partnership. This involves the sale of league data packages to official gaming operators. Genius will also control advertising on any NFL-owned media channels. This includes the league’s website and mobile app.
Many of these official gaming operators have already struck independent strategic partnerships with individual NFL teams. BetMGM has agreements in place with more than half a dozen teams.