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Denver Broncos Become First NFL Team With Sports Betting Partnership

James Murphy
by in NFL on
  • The Denver Broncos have signed a deal with FanDuel for both sports betting and daily fantasy sports.
  • This is the first NFL team to have a sports betting partnership.
  • The league changed their policy in May to allow deals of this sort.

Mark this up as another event that I never thought I’d see. The Denver Broncos have signed a multi-year deal with FanDuel to serve as the team’s official sports betting and daily fantasy sports (DFS) partner. This is the first official partnership with a sportsbook since the NFL changed course in May to allow this type of relationship. You can look for many more to come.

Back in the pre-PASPA dark ages of legal sports betting outside of Nevada the National Football League was one of the most powerful forces keeping Americans from enjoying gaming freedom. The NFL even had the unmitigated gall to testify under oath that sports betting had nothing to do with the popularity of their league. The reality is that sports betting had a lot to do with the popularity of the NFL. You can trace the NFL beginning to gain traction among professional sports to the advent of the pointspread. Ultimately, it was the symbiosis of betting and television that produced the pro football juggernaut that is the NFL circa 2020.

It’s remarkable how quickly the NFL has gone ‘all in’ on sports betting. In February, we reported on several tentative moves in this direction–the NFL naming DraftKings as ‘official daily fantasy sports partner’ and expanding a gaming data relationship with Sportradar. The league quietly worked out a deal with sportsbooks in Europe and Australia to use their trademarks and logos. Around this time they started to allow teams to accept sponsorships from sportsbooks provided they were in a regulated jurisdiction. It didn’t take long for them to allow a more cozy relationship such as the Broncos have just announced.

Here’s what Broncos chief commercial officer Mac Freeman told The Denver Post about the deal:

“This is a dynamic time in this particular space and (after) the conversations with probably a dozen different partners, I think FanDuel seems to be defining itself as very innovative and forward-thinking as it relates to data and business intelligence, We’re very excited about what we’re going to learn about our fans and their behavior and we should be able to get tremendous insight.”

“We’ve always prided ourselves in being innovators and thought leaders and we’re excited to be in the front of the line stepping into the new space.”

Translation: they love the revenue potential of sports betting.

The particulars are typical of a deal of this sort:

Under the contract, FanDuel will have access to the Broncos’ logos to use across their betting options in the state of Colorado as well as displaying signage inside and outside of Empower Field at Mile High and advertising on the team’s radio, television and digital platforms.

Obviously it makes sense for FanDuel. Here’s what Chief Marketing Officer Mike Raffensperger said about how they’re planning to market:

“There are the ‘core bettors’ — people who have had a betting relationship in Vegas or off-shore books or even betting among friends. For that segment of customers, it’s really about communicating how much better legal sports betting is with (FanDuel).”

“Segment No. 2 is ‘interested non-bettors’: People interested in sports betting, are certainly sports fans and have occasionally placed a bet in Vegas or had a friendly wager, but don’t fully understand how the bets work.”

The deal is non-exclusive which is no huge surprise. Now that the NFL has gone all in on sports betting the league and it’s teams are going to milk it like a big dairy cow. While the revenue upside for the Broncos of a non-exclusive deal is obvious the team’s Freeman couldn’t just come right out and say that. Check out how deftly he dances around the subject:

“We intentionally did not do an exclusive deal because this is an evolving space and we want to be working with a couple different partners and see how different strategies and different approaches work. Obviously, our goal is serve our fans and engage our fans and this is a natural evolution we started a few years ago with mobile ticketing and other things.”

So it’s all about the fans and money isn’t even a consideration. Sounds legit…

Stay tuned for more on this topic. I’m even going to come up with some betting odds on the next team to announce a partnership deal along with the Broncos *next* official sports betting partnership.

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