US fantasy sports games company FanDuel has secured a major presence in American football by signing multi-year sponsorship agreements with 15 NFL teams.
FanDuel entered into a marketing agreement with Washington Redskins last November and they are included in the new wide-ranging deal alongside Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams, Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans. The USA Today newspaper said that Chicago Bears are set to become the 16th franchise affiliated with FanDuel.
FanDuel is set to enjoy a range of promotional benefits in association with the teams, from in-stadium, digital and radio advertising to promotion of its free games to the teams’ fan bases. It will also benefit from the naming sponsorship of an executive seating section at the Redskins’ FedEx Field.
It continues the rapid expansion of daily fantasy sports properties within America’s major sporting leagues. DraftKings, FanDuel’s main competitor became the National Hockey League’s official daily fantasy game last year and extended a similar agreement with Major League Baseball earlier this month. FanDuel is in the first-year of a four-year partnership with the National Basketball Association, where itself and DraftKings have several tie-ups with individual teams.
Concerns over similarities between daily fantasy sports games and sports betting – a long-time taboo in terms of sports sponsorship in the US – led to initial reticence over allowing companies from the former sector to strike sponsorship deals.
But the NFL, having opened up advertising for daily fantasy sports companies midway through last season, is allowing multi-year deals for the first time and FanDuel has taken advantage.
USA Today said restrictions on fantasy sports sponsorships remain, broadly in line with NFL rules surrounding teams partnering with casinos. NFL team logos are not allowed to be used in FanDuel advertising campaigns, while the group will not be able to identify itself as an official NFL or team sponsor.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: “The daily fantasy marketplace is in its infancy. A team sponsor is a company that can use the team logo or say, 'we are the official (company) of the team. That is not the case here. These companies are not team sponsors. Officially or unofficially. They do not have any designations. Teams have advertising arrangements from a variety of companies, but that doesn't make every one of them a team sponsor.”