Partnership Creates Another 'Fantasy Lounge' In A Sports Arena
Legal Sports Report

The King of L.A.: DraftKings Deal With Los Angeles’ Staples Center Includes ‘Fantasy Lounge’

DraftKings has signed a deal with Staples Center in Los Angeles, giving the daily fantasy sports site a relationship with one of the biggest arenas in the U.S.

DraftKings takes L.A.

Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal broke the news (paywall). Fisher related some of the details via Twitter:

The deal makes DraftKings the official “Daily Fantasy Sports Partner” of the arena and creates the “DraftKings Fantasy Sports Bar and Lounge.”

Staples Center has a wide array of professional sports team tenants; its biggest include the Lakers and the Clippers of the NBA, the Kings of the NHL and the Sparks of the WNBA. The venue also hosts numerous other events throughout the course of the year, such as the Grammys and concerts.

For last season, the Lakers had a relationship with FanDuel, while the Clippers and Kings had deals in place with DraftKings. Staples Center’s owner, Anschutz Entertainment Group, has interest in the Lakers and the Kings. The announcement was made in tandem with an extension of DraftKings’ deal with the Kings.

DraftKings now has sponsorship deals in place with the two most desirable sports arenas in the United States, after a deal with Madison Square Garden in New York City last month.

Another DraftKings lounge

The largest piece of the partnership is the 4,400 square-foot DraftKings lounge, which is set to open in September.

We got perhaps the clearest picture yet of what a DraftKings in-arena fantasy lounge will look like and how it will operate. From a press release on the deal from DraftKings:

Guests can follow their favorite players and teams and all of the live action of the event taking place inside STAPLES Center and other venues around the world on more than 35 Toshiba smart televisions, 6 Toshiba Virtuoso Screens, 15 Microsoft Surface Tablets and 4 iMacs, while ordering from an exclusive menu featuring signature food and drink choices. The DraftKings Fantasy Sports Bar and Lounge will also be equipped with technology to enable the origination of live broadcasts of Fantasy Sports content. Guests providing their DraftKings ID will receive discounts on food, beverages and other exclusive opportunities, and throughout each event, lucky fans will be randomly chosen to receive prizes, special offers and even the opportunity to go inside STAPLES Center to watch the action from VIP seats provided by DraftKings.

Like other deals DFS sites sign with teams and venues, the relationship also includes signage in the arena and promotion of DraftKings online and via social media.

“With the opening of our first DraftKings Fantasy Sports Bar & Lounge of its kind, we are creating the premier destination for Los Angeles sports fans to watch games, play daily fantasy and socialize over great food and drink,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in the press release. “We will bring DraftKings players closer to the action each day with live broadcasts, VIP experiences, special guests, and ticket giveaways.”

The latest arena domino to fall

The deal comes in the wake of the deal between DraftKings and MSG and a reported relationship between Draft Ops and Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

As we speculated last week, DFS sites are starting to target arenas and stadiums for marketing dealsSuch deals give sites increased exposure — at least compared to “team-only” deals — and the ability to create a physical location for fan engagement.

Staples Center is arguably as big of a prize for the DraftKings portfolio as the MSG deal, and in some ways Staples Center might be even more desirable. Both arenas are located in huge cities with have busy schedules of events. Staples Center hosts twice the number of NBA games as MSG, with two NBA teams calling it home.

Some of the other arenas that have multiple pro teams as tenants that are presumably still available for DFS partnerships include Verizon Center in Washington D.C, Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and United Center in Chicago.

Of those, Verizon Center most closely follows the model of the Staples Center deal. Ted Leonsis has majority interests in both the arena and the teams — the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics — that play home games there.

Photo by David Jones used under license CC BY 2.0.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.