FanDuel, DraftKings In Direct Competition For Golf Before Merger
Legal Sports Report

DraftKings Rolls Out New Commercials, Pushes Daily Fantasy Golf Ahead Of The Masters

DraftKings fantasy golf
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DraftKings is looking to give an added push for its fantasy golf product ahead of The Masters, which starts in three weeks.

It comes as daily fantasy sports competitor FanDuel launched its own golf product earlier this month.

DraftKings advertising daily fantasy golf

Golf, of course, is not new at DraftKings, as it’s been around since 2014. After explosive growth for the vertical in 2015, the entire industry saw more moderate growth in 2016 during a period of legal and regulatory uncertainty.

According to DraftKings, fantasy golf on its platform has “experienced a 23x growth and more than 15 million entries” since launch.

But DraftKings seems bent on growing golf once again — or at least staving off FanDuel’s impact — with a new marketing push.

That includes a pair of new commercials that start airing in the US on Thursday:

DraftKings’ Senior VP of Brand and Creative, Don Lane, wrote about the new ad campaign via Medium:

This idea was derived from consumer insights about the love-hate relationship golfers have with the sport. Like fantasy sports, golf is a game of skill, honed over time. But even the best golfers struggle at times. Similarly, there is a misperception that fantasy golf might be hard to play.

Our creative solution humorously juxtaposes existing footage of real golfers struggling on the course vs. a product demo highlighting that while winning will take some practice playing DraftKings 1-week fantasy golf is easy and makes watching more fun.

Update to DK Live

DraftKings also remains committed to its real-time app — DK Live — which provides sports and fantasy information and updates. The app, available for iOS in the App Store, is adding golf to its functionality.

Here is what DraftKings says in the update to the app:

  • A new version of leaderboard added specific to PGA. This page will include tournament information and fantasy information in the same view and caters more specifically to the golf sweat.
  • Hole by Hole Results – Users are able to track hole-by-hole results from every golfer in every PGA tournament in real time on the Fantasy Plays page.
  • Player scorecards, cut line information and event logs in the player profile page.

Also of note: DraftKings told Legal Sports Report that Major League Baseball is coming to DK Live for this season, likely sometime in April.

FanDuel vs. DraftKings

The marketing push from DraftKings comes at a transitional time for the DFS industry.

DraftKings and FanDuel are supposed to merge sometime later this year, unless anti-trust concerns from the Federal Trade Commission trip up the tie-up.

In the interim, however, the two companies are still in competition with one another. That’s evidenced by FanDuel rolling out its own golf product and promoting it, although not to the extent DraftKings is.

The commercials, after all, came soon after DraftKings closed a new funding round, reportedly for more than $100 million.

In the end, however, whatever DraftKings and FanDuel do this spring and summer could simply help to grow the golf vertical for both of them.

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.
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