- FanDuel has been named a ‘co-exclusive’ Official Sports Betting Partner of Major League Baseball (MLB).
- FanDuel gets the usual ‘official partner’ rights as well as limited access to full game and highlight streaming of MLB baseball games.
- FanDuel has been an Authorized Gaming Operator of the MLB since 2019.
There’s no clear evidence about the return on investment of an ‘Official Partnership’ deal for a sportsbook with a team or league. It does come with a few perks, such as the ability to use official branding but there have been plenty of profitable sportsbooks that operated with any type of official designation. There’s no doubt that the ‘game has changed’ with regard to sports betting but at the end of the day it’s still all about taking bets.
The pace of ‘official partner’ deals has slowed somewhat, but that has to do more with companies throwing in the towel on the dysfunctional US sports betting market than with a lack of interest. The latest ‘official partner’ deal comes from FanDuel. FanDuel is now a ‘co-exclusive’ Official Sports Betting Partner of Major League Baseball (MLB). Here’s the official rundown of what that gets them:
As fans eagerly await the return of baseball, Major League Baseball (MLB) and FanDuel Group, the premier online gaming company in North America, today announced a multi-year partnership making its industry-leading sportsbook a co-exclusive Official Sports Betting Partner of MLB. FanDuel will have the right to use official MLB branding and category designations both in its products, including FanDuel’s Sportsbook, Daily Fantasy and FanDuel Faceoff platforms and in its marketing campaigns. FanDuel has worked with Major League Baseball as an Authorized Gaming Operator of the league since 2019.
Starting this season, FanDuel will bring fans’ viewing and wagering experiences closer than ever before by streaming MLB.TV’s Free Game of the Day through both FanDuel’s sportsbook app and on FanDuel’s OTT platform FanDuel+ (local blackout restrictions apply). The company will also have the right to use highlights both in product and as part of original programming on FanDuel TV. The partnership will also create new opportunities for MLB and FanDuel to collaborate on projects for other sponsor partners of both FanDuel and MLB platforms, as well as to work together to bring consumers new sports betting product innovations to drive deeper fan engagement.
Kenny Gersh, MLB Executive Vice President, Media & Business Development, is pleased to be partnering up with FanDuel–but it’s all about ‘fan engagement’ and ‘responsible gambling’:
“As one of the top sportsbooks in America, FanDuel has been an industry leader in innovative fan engagement opportunities while also reminding them of the importance of doing it responsibly. These key priorities of unique fan engagement and responsible gambling align with our focus from the league level and make FanDuel a natural partner to collaborate with as an Official Sports Betting Partner.”
Credit to Christian Genetski, President, FanDuel Group for making it through a quote without saying anything about ‘responsible gambling’ and only obliquely referring to ‘fan engagement’:
“The baseball fan is one of the most engaged in all of sports, which is why we’re delighted to be the new sports betting partner of Major League Baseball. Our team is eager to showcase FanDuel in nationally broadcast MLB games and help enhance game narratives and bring America’s Pastime directly into our mobile app and OTT platform for fans to watch and wager. We’re also very excited about the opportunity to work together with MLB on new betting product innovations that will give customers the opportunity to enhance their experience on every pitch from March until October.”
Opening day for the 2023 Major League Baseball season is March 30.