- The NFL New York Jets have announced a multi-year partnership with the forthcoming Fubo Sportsbook.
- Fubo Sportsbook is a sports betting platform created by the gaming subsidiary of fuboTV and set to launch in Q4 2021.
- Fubo Sportsbook has market access agreements in place for Arizona, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Indiana and New Jersey.
In January 2021, live TV streaming platform fuboTV annouced plans to get into the sports betting business. They had just acquired sportsbook technology company Vigtory and planned to leverage that for their own branded betting product called–appropriately enough–Fubo Sportsbook. A month earlier, fubo had acquired a company called Balto Sports that will provide the foundation for their free-to-play offerings. Despite these acquisitions there was considerable skepticism among the sports betting industry cognoscenti. I was less skeptical–fuboTV was essentially doing the same thing that gaming companies like Bally’s and Penn National have done with Bally Sports and Barstool Sports respectively. The only difference was that they already had the media platform and needed to launch the sports betting platform instead of the other way around. In the press release announcing the Vigtory acquisition they gave a pretty vague timeline saying only that they would plan to launch ‘by the end of the year’. fuboTV took their free-to-play games out of beta for the South American Qatar World Cup 2022 qualifying matches.
As the year progressed, they made some market access deals that will put them in Arizona, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Indiana and New Jersey at or near their launch. Throw in a few other states that should be easy to gain licensing in such as Colorado, Wyoming and Maryland and they’re off to a good start. They also made some good hires that received less attention but ultimately could prove to be just as significant such as bringing on Ali Ghanavati to serve as head of regulatory technology for Fubo Gaming. Ghanavati has spent a lot of time on the regulatory side of the industry including a stint as deputy chief of the Technical Services Bureau for the State of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, where he consulted with numerous state agencies and gaming jurisdictions regarding casino gaming regulation and standards. If you’re serious about creating a sports betting platform and getting access to as many US states as possible it would be hard to make a better hire than Ghanavati.
Fubo Gaming also tapped former Penn National Gaming executive Carl Sottosanti to join the board of the directors and to serve as chairman of the gaming compliance committee. Sottosanti is a lawyer by trade and served as executive vice president and general counsel for Penn National. His focus was primarily on M & A, gaming development opportunities, corporate governance and compliance. He led the legal component of all of the recent major deals at Penn National including he Barstool Sports and Pinnacle Entertainment acquisitions. Another excellent personnel move that gives Fubo Gaming industry experience and specialized knowledge right where they need it the most.
Earlier this week, Fubo Gaming gave notice that they’re going to be a legit player in the nascent US sports betting industry. The company has just inked a multi-year partnership with the NFL New York Jets to become an ‘Official Sports Betting partner. The most visible component of the deal will be the launch of the Fubo Sportsbook Lounge at MetLife Stadium which despite the name of the teams that play there is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In addition, Fubo Sportsbook will become the presenting partner of the Jets Mobile App and is the team’s first legal sports betting (LSB) partner to leverage the Jets’ new advertising data partnership with Sportradar. Here’s the press release description of what the lounge will look like:
At approximately 7,000 sq. ft., the Fubo Sportsbook Lounge will be open to the public for guests 21 and over and will offer Jets fans the opportunity to enjoy the look and feel of a casino-style sportsbook with betting odds integration, as well as incentives and special bonus offers provided by Fubo Sportsbook. Additionally, fans will be able to watch every game from around the NFL in the Lounge and conduct live mobile wagering via the Fubo Sportsbook app all while enjoying an incredible view of the Jets action on the field from the Lounge’s outdoor patio.
Here’s some of the other branding opportunities that Fubo Sportsbook gets in the deal:
Jets Mobile App users will receive access to special Fubo Sportsbook offers as well as game day incentives tied to the Lounge. Fubo Sportsbook customers will also be rewarded with access to unique hospitality including VIP pregame sideline experiences. In addition, Fubo Sportsbook intends to utilize the new programmatic ad network created for the Jets utilizing Sportradar’s programmatic activation platform.
Jeff Fernandez, Jets Vice President, Business Development + Ventures, knows that Fubo Sportsbook looks like a winner and is happy to get the team involved:
“This partnership with Fubo Sportsbook is another major step for the New York Jets in our journey to prioritize engagement with our fan base, including the enhancement of their overall stadium experience on game day. With Fubo Sportsbook, Jets fans will be treated to their innovative mobile viewing and wagering platform, which will be brought to life at the dynamic new Fubo Sportsbook Lounge.”
Scott Butera, president of Fubo Gaming, gave the press release quote for his company. Extra points for not saying ‘fan engagement’:
“The New York Jets are a leading sports organization with a strong base of enthusiastic and loyal fans and we strongly believe in the future success of the team. We are excited to be their partner in offering this community a truly unique sports betting and entertainment experience. The Fubo Sportsbook is designed to meet the increased demand for interactivity by integrating real-time sports streaming with personalized wagering experiences. The Fubo Sportsbook will also have the ability to leverage first-party data to understand viewing preferences and provide relevant bet recommendations.”
Fubo Sportsbook has also launched a ‘coming soon’ page at www.fubosportsbook.com:
As best I can figure, the Fubo Sportsbook Lounge will only be open for Jets’ games even though there’s another NFL team aka the New York Giants that also calls MetLife Stadium home. A little over a year ago, the Giants signed an ‘exclusive multi-year deal’ with DraftKings to be the ‘Official Sports Betting, iGaming and Daily Fantasy’ partner for the team. As part of the deal, DraftKings will offer ‘a first of its kind virtual SportsLounge’ on Giant’s game days:
Today, the New York Giants and DraftKings (Nasdaq: DKNG) announced an exclusive, multi-year arrangement, making DraftKings the Official Sports Betting, iGaming and Daily Fantasy operator of the team. This multi-faceted arrangement grants DraftKings access to official Giants marks and logos, in addition to a first of its kind virtual SportsLounge open on Giants’ game days, providing attendees with unique and innovative ways to engage on all DraftKings platforms.
Of course there’s nothing to stop you from patronizing the Fubo Sportsbook Lounge at Jets’ games but betting on your DraftKings app or any other app.
Overall, a really smart move by Fubo Sportsbook. They get to establish their brand in the NYC market but also get to offer mobile betting in the stadium since it’s located in New Jersey. I’m not at all confident that New York State won’t completely screw up mobile sports betting but if it does end up being a competitive market and not a lottery run dumpster fire this puts Fubo in a great position as well. They probably should get some consistency between the capitalization of ‘fuboTV’ (with the sylized small ‘f’ at the beginning) and ‘Fubo Sportsbook’ and ‘Fubo Gaming’ (with the normal capitalization) if for no other reason than to make life easier for me.