- The Baltimore Ravens have announced DraftKings as an ‘Official Daily Fantasy, Sports Betting and Free-to-Play Partner’ of the NFL team.
- DraftKings was recently named as a ‘Official Sports Betting Partner’ of the National Football League.
- The Ravens previously signed a deal with BetMGM naming them an ‘Official Sports Betting Partner’.
You can’t blame NFL football teams for wanting to create as many revenue streams as possible with sportsbooks and daily fantasy sports providers. It does get confusing sometimes and even more so when teams employ very subtle semantical distinctions. Case in point–the Baltimore Ravens who have been very active in establishing partnerships as the state of Maryland heads toward becoming a very active and vibrant sports betting jurisdiction. Their most recent announcement is that they’ve agreed to a partnership with DraftKings naming them as the ‘Official Daily Fantasy, Sports Betting and Free-to-Play Partner’ of the Baltimore Ravens.
DraftKings was named one of the inaugural ‘Official Sports Betting Partners’ of the National Football League (NFL) and are the ‘Exclusive Official Daily Fantasy Partner’ of the league. They’ve also signed partnership deals with five individual NFL teams including the new one with the Ravens. Although the ‘ROI’ of partnership deals like this are not quite clear it’s definitely a good way to build a brand and particularly with casual fans and recreational bettors (or potential bettors).
Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings’ Chief Business Officer, is pleased to extend his brand’s reach into the soon-to-be booming Maryland sports betting market:
“With the start of the 2021 NFL season upon us, our latest designation with the Baltimore Ravens further exemplifies our commitment to fan engagement by way of the DraftKings experience. The newly penned relationship offers something for every kind of sports fan and will allow them to engaThe new deal will feature DraftKings branding and custom content as part of the Baltimore Ravens’ weekly podcast, “The Lounge.” Expanding further into multi-media platforms, DraftKings will also be named the title sponsor of Baltimore WBAL-1090 News Radio’s Gameday Insider pregame show and a presenting sponsor of the Ravens Wired video online content series, in addition to homepage takeovers on BaltimoreRavens.com, ahead of select games and events.ge with DraftKings’ digital content, free-to-play product, daily fantasy sports and, perhaps soon, sports betting, to ultimately bring them closer to the action alongside one of the top teams from the AFC North.”
Ravens’ chief sales officer Kevin Rochlitz gave the team’s side of the story:
“This partnership reflects our continued commitment to delivering unique engagement experiences for our fans. We’re proud to collaborate with an industry leader in DraftKings, and we look forward to seeing the innovative ways in which we’ll better connect with the Ravens fans across our many platforms.”
The new deal will feature DraftKings branding and custom content as part of the Baltimore Ravens’ weekly podcast, “The Lounge.” Expanding further into multi-media platforms, DraftKings will also be named the title sponsor of Baltimore WBAL-1090 News Radio’s Gameday Insider pregame show and a presenting sponsor of the Ravens Wired video online content series, in addition to homepage takeovers on BaltimoreRavens.com, ahead of select games and events.
As part of the collaboration, DraftKings branding will be visible throughout M&T Bank Stadium, complete with a season-long suite. Additionally, the new deal offers exclusive gameday experiences, including away game trips, autographed merchandise, a Punt, Pass & Kick (PPK) event available to DraftKings customers through in-season daily fantasy and sportsbook contests, and a DraftKings-NFL Official Free-to-Play game.
Here’s where the semantics come in–the deal apparently will not have an impact on the Ravens’ other partnerships. That includes BetMGM–the Ravens signed them on as an ‘Official Sports Betting Partner’ in May:
Although there haven’t been any official announcements of sportsbooks set to launch in Maryland you can be pretty sure that BetMGM will be among them. That’s because before the ink on Hogan’s signature had time enough to dry they had issued a press release announcing that they’re the first ‘Official Gaming Partner’ of the NFL Baltimore Ravens. By now you know the drill on relationships of this sort. BetMGM will have a hospitality suite at M&T Bank Stadium, the BetMGM app will feature Ravens specific promotions and there will be plenty of signage at M&T Bank Stadium and promotion on the Ravens’ social media channels. What hasn’t been announced as of yet is a retail sportsbook for the Ravens’ stadium. Stay tuned for that.
Generally no problem with the Ravens having both of these partnerships–you can have multiple ‘Official Sports Betting Partners’ and ‘Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partners’. You wonder if this creates any confusion among fans assuming that really matters.
Further clouding the situation–the Ravens have a multiyear deal with Esports Entertainment Group as the team’s ‘official esports tournament provider’. In addition to operating esports tournament platforms the Esports Entertainment Group is also in the sports betting business with licensing in over 150 global jurisdictions. They’re in the process of seeking licensing in New Jersey and want to operate in other states as well.
Maybe these type of promotional relationships are like ‘record books’ in pro wrestling–they’re not required to make sense. The companies get some promotional exposure, the team gets a new revenue stream and everyone is happy. There just doesn’t appear to be a cohesive process for team level sponsorships of sports betting (and anything else for that matter) and maybe there should be.