Play Ball: DraftKings Announces Deals With 27 Major League Baseball Teams

Written By Dustin Gouker on July 31, 2015 - Last Updated on December 30, 2021

DraftKings revealed sponsorship deals with 27 Major League Baseball teams, further cementing its position as the leader in daily fantasy sports for baseball.

What the team deals consist of

What exactly DraftKings will get out of these sponsorship deals was not covered in detail in the announcement. The press release did offer the following: “Through these partnerships, DraftKings offers fans unique baseball contests and money-can’t-buy experiences with their favorite teams.”

If the deals resemble other known sponsorships in the DFS industry, DraftKings will also get in-stadium signage and promotion on the teams’ media platforms.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins had this to say in a press release on the announcement:

“Baseball is one of the fastest-growing categories in DFS and our MLB partnerships ensure that we will continue to offer the sport’s most engaging fantasy games and experiences. The excitement and tremendous user engagement surrounding our $4 Million Fantasy Baseball Championship is further proof of the value of our relationships with MLB and its teams.”

The announcement isn’t a shocking development, as DraftKings’ existing partnership with Major League Baseball included a provision that it is the only DFS site that can sign deals with individual teams. Also, a DraftKings spokesperson had confirmed in the spring that the DFS site already had “relationships” in place with many of the teams before Friday’s announcement.

The teams who have deals, and why only 27?

Here is the list of teams that have partnered with DraftKings:

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Houston Astros
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Miami Marlins
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Texas Rangers
  • Washington Nationals

There are 30 teams in MLB, however. Which teams aren’t included?

DraftKings did not partner with the teams that are in states where it does not operate, as daily fantasy sports violates laws in those jurisdictions: the Seattle Mariners (Washington) and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The other team that does not have a partnership deal with DraftKings is the Toronto Blue Jays. That team is obviously in Canada, but DraftKings and most DFS sites do operate in that country. It is not known why Toronto did not do a deal with DraftKings.

Also, more MLB integration

The release also included an interesting note that deepens the integration between MLB and DraftKings:

As part of the MLB partnership, DraftKings users will benefit from exclusive content through the iPhone app, including the integration of At Bat. The seamless integration allows Siri to send an alert when one of the DraftKings user’s selected players is coming to bat. Users then simply tap the At Bat logo on the alert and the At Bat app will open to show a live look-in of the player’s plate appearance.

The increasing relationship between MLB and DraftKings comes as some question what they view as hypocrisy of baseball’s differing treatment of sports betting and DFS.

Next on the sponsorship front

There are lots of teams in other major North American sports leagues that have not yet signed deals with DFS sites. A rundown of where teams in different leagues stand:

  • NFL: FanDuel has partnerships locked up with half of the NFL teams, and DraftKings has several deals in place, as well. That leaves less than a third of the league’s teams without a deal.
  • NBA: Again, FanDuel has the lion’s share of the team deals, with 14 in place. DraftKings has more NBA team deals in place than it does in football, and again, less than a third of the franchises have no DFS partner.
  • NHL: Of the three leagues, the NHL is the one with the fewest team sponsorship deals, as a majority of the teams are still free agents. Other DFS sites have been involved in hockey: Draft Ops with the New York Islanders and Daily MVP with the Washington Capitals.

DFS sites are also increasingly looking at deals with venues (i.e. stadiums and arenas) as potentially more valuable than deals with individual teams.

Photo by Keith Allison used under license CC BY-SA 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.

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