While the NFL remains officially on the sideline when it comes to daily fantasy partnerships, more and more entities associated with the league are making deals with DFS sites.
The NFL Players Association and DraftKings announced an agreement on Tuesday that will include appearances for current NFL athletes in the company’s marketing campaigns.
“The NFL season is one of the important times of the year for DraftKings and the DFS industry, so to be able to feature NFL players as part of our marketing efforts adds a level of excitement and connectivity to the game that is a huge win for us and our community,” DraftKings VP of Business Development Jeremy Elbaum told Forbes, which first reported the agreement. “The NFLPA represents some of the most celebrated athletes in the world and we’re looking forward to collaborating with them throughout the season.”
Details regarding the terms of the deal or what it offers DraftKings have not yet been announced.
The deal could be a sign that DraftKings is staying on the promotional offensive. The company, which has been one of the nation’s biggest spenders on advertising over the last month, pulled back some in the third week of the NFL season. After outspending more than every company in the country each of the first two weekends, DraftKings was ranked sixth in the country in television expenditures between Sept. 22-29, according to ispot.tv. Conversely, FanDuel bumped up its advertising and was the biggest spender in the country during the same period.
DraftKings has previously used New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in its ads; newcomer FantasyDraft has endorsement deals with Drew Brees, T.Y. Hilton and Jordy Nelson, among others, and Tom Brady appeared in a commercial for DailyMVP last year.
Twenty-eight of the NFL’s 32 franchises are also partnered with either DraftKings or FanDuel, and seven stadiums feature fantasy sports lounges sponsored by DraftKings, FanDuel or Yahoo.
Nonetheless, while the NBA and MLB have equity stakes in FanDuel and DraftKings, respectively, the NFL appears to want to keep daily fantasy at arm’s distance—while still indirectly benefiting.
“There’s no league sponsorship agreement or investment in (FanDuel or DraftKings),” league spokesperson Brian McCarthy told Philly.com last week. “Clubs may accept traditional advertising within their controlled media properties, including TV, radio, digital, print and stadium signage, provided no club or league marks are included in such advertisements. The daily fantasy marketplace is in its infancy and we continue to follow developments.”