- FanDuel is now an ‘official betting partner’ and the ‘official daily fantasy partner’ of the Memphis Grizzlies.
- FanDuel is one of a handful of companies that has moved into Tennessee since their November 1 sports betting launch.
- Tennessee has some of the least ‘player friendly’ regulations in the country including a requirement that sportsbooks hold at least 10%.
With deservedly little fanfare Tennessee’s ‘everybody wins except the player’ sports betting ecosystem launched on November 1 with a handful of companies willing to pay the ridiculous $750,000 per year licensing fee, the 20% tax rate and deal with the utterly absurd 10% hold requirement. So far a few big players with deep pockets have gone live in Tennessee. In addition to FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM have gone live along with something called Tennessee Action 24/7 which markets itself as a ‘local’ option. Good luck with that. Apparently William Hill and Wynn Sports are looking to get into the act as well.
Seriously, you couldn’t come up with a worse regulatory framework for sports betting if you had set out with that goal. No surprise that the Tennessee Education Lottery is behind this grease fire. Whenever lottery commissions get their filthy hands on sports betting they screw it up like they did in Oregon, Delaware and Montana. While states like Colorado and Iowa have set up decent sports betting infrastructures that benefit the entire state–bettors included–states like Tennessee have relegated what *should* be a massive cash cow for the state and a boost to the broader economy to just another gimmick game for the lottery targeted at suckers.
But as long as there are suckers willing to bet into a 10% mandatory hold there will no doubt be companies that will gladly take their money. As a stockholder of all three of the companies that are currently in Tennessee I can’t blame them. From a philosophical standpoint I’d like to have seen them slam the door in Tennessee’s face but it’ll likely be profitable for them. As long as Tennessee can churn through new suckers who don’t understand sports betting and/or math there should be a decent flow of revenue for the state.
The state lottery has the Memphis Grizzlies at the ready helping them to rope in suckers. The Grizz and Fan Duel Group have announced one of those ‘strategic partnerships’ that allow the sportsbook advertising entree to the arena and other team properties in exchange for ‘financial consideration’. Interestingly, it is FanDuel’s first partnership with a NBA team for sports betting. Since the Grizzlies were #26 in average attendance in the 2018-2019 NBA season along with #25 in percentage of capacity (86%) hopefully they got a good deal. Here’s what the deal gives FanDuel:
FanDuel will have access to official Grizzlies marks and logos to use across FanDuel’s #1 online sports betting offering and daily fantasy sports product, as well as robust marketing assets ranging from in-arena signage at FedExForum to radio, television and digital advertising to promote its sports betting offerings directly to fans. FanDuel will present the team’s home and away television broadcast with multiple integrations to enhance the experience for those fans that choose to watch the Grizzlies from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, FanDuel and the Grizzlies plan to offer several once-in-a-lifetime experiences to FanDuel customers.
Mike Raffenspberger, CMO, FanDuel Group, is happy to be partnering with the Memphis Grizzlies as his company looks to extract money out of Tennessee’s miserable sports betting setup:
“As we expand our market-leading sportsbook into Tennessee, partnering with the Grizzlies was a no-brainer given the team’s popularity and long-standing success, as well as their shared mindset of being absurdly fan-focused. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with the Grizzlies as we bring unique promotions, product innovation, and engaging online experiences to Grizzlies fans and Tennessee sports fans alike.”
Jason Wexler, President of the Memphis Grizzlies, is pleased to have a sponsor that won’t be bouncing checks:
“We are thrilled to have FanDuel as our first sports betting marketing partner and as our exclusive daily fantasy partner. Grizzlies fans are among the most passionate in the NBA, and we are looking forward to helping them find new ways to access their sports fandom. FanDuel has been an excellent partner in building a program that will showcase why they are one of the best sportsbooks for Grizzlies fans.”
Tennessee has four cities on the ‘Murder Map’ of Deadliest US Cities with Memphis checking in at #6. That’s down from #2 in 2018 so congratulations I guess….Memphis is still on the Best Places list of ‘Worst Cities for Crime’. The Grizzlies will likely be moving to Seattle or Las Vegas before long anyway…
Enjoy that 10% mandatory hold.