- FanDuel will begin offering real time highlights of PGA Tour events to sports bettors beginning with this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
- FanDuel became an official betting operator of the PGA Tour in August 2020.
- Golf has always been low key a big betting sport and US bookmakers and sports media outlets are starting to catch on.
What will you remember most about 2020? Well, there’s that virus thing and the election between Obama’s VP and the guy that used to host The Apprentice. Besides that I mean? Since I’m good at ignoring extraneous noise like real world current events and am hyperfocused on my job along a few other important issues (wine, cigars, travel, etc.) I’ll always remember 2020 as the year that sports betting really blew up in the United States.
Sports betting might only be available in half of the states and you can count the ones that are doing it right on your fingers and have a few left over but 2020 will go down as the year that the mainstream completely bought in. This portents great things in the future even if too many states currently look as if they’re on a mission to come up with the worst possible regulatory framework for sports betting (I’m looking at you Virginia, Tennessee and DC among a number of others). The penetration of sports betting into the mainstream zeitgeist is huge and ultimately the most important component of making the US a great sports betting destination. It’s also happened significantly quicker than I expected.
Remember just a few years back when the big US sports leagues–pro and college–acted like sports betting was an anathema to civilized society and something that only the godless people in other countries and the equally godless state of Nevada could accept? Remember when the mainstream sports media would act like every sports bettor was a sleazy degenerate and every bookmaker a crook with organized crime ties? Granted, much of that was a desire to placate the aforementioned big sports leagues but outside of Nevada you had to leave the country to find any media outlets that had even a basic understand of the realities of betting–let alone intelligent and insightful coverage.
WELCOME THE MAINSTREAM SPORTS AND MEDIA INDUSTRIES TO THE PARTY
Even as the mainstream sports media refused to even broach the topic of betting and bigtime sports organizations argued that it was morally tantamount to pornography those of us who knew the score understood that once they figured out how to monetize it–and got wind of how much potential revenue they could attract with minimal or no effort–they’d quickly do a 180. That is now playing out before our eyes.
The PGA Tour was one of the first bigtime sports organizations in the US to understand the potential benefit of betting on their sport financially and otherwise. Golf has always been a great betting sport and has long been popular among ‘wiseguys’ and sharp players. For years, they didn’t talk about it but gambling and golf have always been inextricably woven together–even among the players themselves. That’s why it’s not a huge surprise to see the PGA become a pioneer among US sports leagues and constantly on the cutting edge of positive change vis a vis betting. Their proactive and positive attitude toward embracing sports betting is one of the reasons why golf wagering has become so mainstream huge in such a relatively short time. It’s also at least part of why the entire sport is bigger than ever among recreational players and fans.
The PGA Tour signed a multiyear ‘content and marketing partnership’ with FanDuel last August and became an ‘official betting operator’ of the organization. At the time, the press release announcing the deal didn’t really sound different from any other of the hundreds of mainstream/sports betting partnership arrangements that have come since:
As part of the deal, FanDuel will gain rights in the United States to use PGA Tour marks, rights to advertise within Tour media and Tour partner platforms, plus content and video rights allowing the sports betting and daily fantasy sports operator to create pre-game and post-game betting programming, as well as distribution of highlights to users who have placed bets.
Additionally, the PGA Tour and FanDuel will collaborate to deliver odds-based content to fans via Tour digital platforms like the PGATour.com website and the PGA Tour app.
From this innocuous beginning it is downright amazing where we’re at now. The PGA’s betting blueprint is something that you’ll see every major and minor sport copy in the coming years.
THE PGA TOUR BETTING STRATEGY BECOMING THE TEMPLATE FOR SUCCESS
From a technological standpoint, the latest innovation from the PGA in conjuction with FanDuel is no big deal. In Europe, it’s been commonplace for years. In the US, however, it’s downright revolutionary. Starting with this week’s Farmers Insurance Open bettors using the FanDuel app will receive real time highlights. Thanks to the way that FanDuel is implementing it the live highlights will be even better than they sound–let’s say you’ve got a Round 1 matchup bet on John Rahm -0.5 strokes -145 over Jason Day. FanDuel will automatically push highlights related to your wager to the app. If it works as well as it sounds it’ll be downright sick:
Starting with this week’s Farmers Insurance Open, FanDuel will utilize WSC Sports’ artificial intelligence technology to deliver highlights to betting customers through FanDuel Sportsbook app notifications for each PGA Tour event in 2021.
It follows a partnership agreed in August, in which FanDuel became an official betting operator of the PGA Tour, gaining content and video rights to create pre- and postmatch betting programming, as well as distribution of highlights to users who have placed bets.
Here’s what Norb Gambuzza, PGA Tour’s senior vice president of media and gaming, had to say about the new integration:
“We’re excited to further activate our official betting operator marketing relationship with FanDuel by sharing Tour highlights with their customers.”
“Engaging new fans with PGA Tour content is a top priority of our sports betting strategy and this innovation with FanDuel is a key step in that direction.”
The media might have ‘buried the lede’ with what likely has the biggest longterm implications:
FanDuel, meanwhile, said it hopes to expand into providing video content of other league partners.
Like, say, a custom NFL RedZone-esque feed of highlights and/or live cut ins related to your bets pushed directly to your cellphone or computer? This time of deep integration is coming sooner rather than later. Now you can watch as every sports organization in the world–big or small–jumps on this gravy train.
UPDATE: That didn’t take long….