The NBA’s Charlotte Hornets announced the details of their deal with daily fantasy sports site FanDuel on Thursday, giving perhaps the best insight yet into exactly what a DFS site is getting out of a team sponsorship in the current climate.
What do sites receive in a sponsorship deal?
What exactly DFS sites like FanDuel and DraftKings are getting out of their sponsorship packages is sometimes a mystery.
Generally, we know that the deals include signage, promotion on a team’s media platforms and the chance to offer VIP experiences, and sometimes a physical “fantasy sports lounge” sponsored by the site.
But teams don’t universally offer the nitty-gritty of what these deals entail.
For example, DraftKings is a team sponsor of a vast majority of the teams in Major League Baseball, but those deals, when signed, weren’t really publicized, nor do we know much about what they consist of.
A lot of NFL teams have deals with DraftKings or FanDuel, as well, but only and a handful of those have publicly offered much in the way of details.
What FanDuel gets from the Hornets
The Hornets, for their part, gave very specific details on its deal with FanDuel:
From the press release on the FanDuel deal, here is what the VIP experiences FanDuel can give away will include:
The partnership provides Hornets fans the opportunity to play free FanDuel games online with the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime VIP experiences. These unique experiences – approximately one per month during the 2015-16 NBA season – will include the following: a General Manager for a Day experience; a trip with the Hornets for one of the team’s road games; a chance to be honorary team captains for a game; a Court of Dreams experience to play on the Hornets main court prior to a game; and autographed merchandise.
Other parts of the deal include:
- “Activations” at all Hornets watch parties during the upcoming season.
- Sponsorship of the “Fantasy Outlook of the Week” segment on hornets.com.
- Courtside and LED signage within Time Warner Cable Arena.
- In-arena scoreboard features during games.
- Advertising on hornets.com.
- FanDuel can use Hornets logos and marks.
Of course, we still don’t know what the going rate for these deals are, and it likely varies widely from team to team. Re/code reported that DFS partnerships with teams are usually 3 to 5 years in length and cost between $500,000 and $1.5 million a year.
Somewhat quiet on the team front
FanDuel had publicized its deals with 13 NBA franchises — including the Hornets — last month. The disposition of FanDuel’s relationship with a 14th team — the Los Angeles Lakers — is unknown after FanDuel and the Lakers agreed to what was likely a one-year deal in 2014.
In recent weeks, deals have not been coming fast and furious on the team sponsorship front for the DFS industry. Mondogoal signed a deal with the English Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
Other than that, deals with teams have been tied to larger agreements. For instance:
- Earlier this month, Draft Ops signed a deal with the NHL’s New York Islanders, although that was tied to a deal with Barclays Center, the team’s home.
- DraftKings signed an agreement with Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
- DraftKings entered into a partnership with Major League Soccer, with specific team deals reportedly coming down the road.
DFS sites are increasingly looking for greater interaction with fans, and deals with stadiums and arenas offer that ability. Legal Sports Report believes there are currently seven “lounges” in sporting venues that are sponsored by sites offering DFS, with two other fantasy lounges that do not have a fantasy sponsor.
But there is still a lot of value in partnering with teams, as well. With the NFL season a little more than a month away, and with the NBA and NHL seasons following shortly after, it seems safe to assume sites will be aggressive in trying to lock up more deals with the teams that don’t currently have DFS dance partners.