Colts-FanDuel Deal Covers DFS; Will Sports Betting Follow?
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The Indianapolis Colts are partnering with FanDuel for the remainder of the 2019-20 NFL football season as their official fantasy sports partner.
The FanDuel brand and logo will be linked to the Colts through advertising on multiple platforms and during in-game promotions within Lucas Oil Stadium.
“The Colts always are looking for new ways to engage with our fans, and fantasy sports have long been an avenue for fans to follow the Colts, pro football and their favorite players across the league,” Roger VanDerSnick, chief sales & marketing officer for the Colts, said in a press release.
NFL Incrementally Moves Toward Sports Betting
The Colts deal with FanDuel is likely another step in the NFL’s gradual move toward fully embracing the legal sports-betting environment that was created after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law in May 2018 that had outlawed sports betting in most states. FanDuel has become a major player in the U.S. legal sports betting market since opening its first sportsbook in New Jersey last year.
The NFL has moved relatively slowly to embrace legal sports betting in comparison to MLB and the NBA. But the recent uptick in sponsorship agreements between NFL teams and DFS partners, as well as similar agreements struck between teams and casinos, can be seen as evidence of the NFL's progress toward embracing full-scale sports betting integration.
Last month, the NFL signed its own agreement to make FanDuel the league’s official daily fantasy sports partner. While both the Colts and NFL’s agreements with FanDuel are solely dedicated to fantasy sports, it’s conceivable that the agreements could be expanded to include sports betting.
FanDuel DFS Brand Recognition Helps Sportsbook
Both FanDuel and DraftKings have aptly used the brand recognition earned through their fantasy sports offerings to position themselves as top choice sportsbooks in markets around the country where they offer those services.
FanDuel’s agreement with the Colts is another sharp move by the company to gain a marketing foothold in the Midwest where one day they might leverage their credibility as a daily fantasy sports provider into becoming the leading sportsbook in Indiana. There were $34.5 million in wagers made during September, the state’s first month of legal sports betting, and that was retail only. Indiana added its first legal mobile sports betting options last week.
“As we continue to expand our nationwide footprint, we are always looking for ways to engage sports fans throughout the country, and specifically in the Midwest,” FanDuel CEO Matt King said in announcing the partnership with the Colts. “Indianapolis is home to a loyal fan base and we’re excited to again partner with the Colts organization, allowing us to further reach these passionate fans.”
Last month, former Colts punter Pat McAfee signed a multi-year partnership with FanDuel and appears across several of its platforms.