Legal Sports Report

The Deals Don’t Stop For DraftKings: This Time, Pepsi

Draftkings and pepsi

DraftKings’ thirst for more deals doesn’t seem to end. The latest example: A partnership with Pepsi.

The sportsbook and fantasy sports operator officially announced on Tuesday that it had struck a deal with the soda company to provide a free prediction game. The prediction game itself was already live, however.

It comes as DraftKings became the official daily fantasy partner of the NFL.

About the DraftKings, Pepsi deal

The deal creates the Pepsi Live Prediction Challenge, where fans can pick among three outcomes related to a given week’s NFL games. Here are some of the predictions you can make for this week:

The game is available via the DraftKings Sportsbook website and app. The weekly max prize is $5,000; a season-long contest related to the game will award a trip to the Super Bowl in Miami to the best predictor of the season.

“The Pepsi brand and its longstanding synergy with pro football hardly needs an introduction, making this
partnership such a special opportunity for DraftKings to team up with an organization that genuinely shares our
passion for the game,” said Ezra Kucharz, the chief business officer at DraftKings.

“Our player community cannot get enough football and collaborating to launch the Pepsi Live Prediction Challenge on DraftKings helps to both satiate this ever-growing demand and further stoke fans’ competitive flames through new innovation.”

Given all of this synergy, it will be interesting to see what DraftKings does around the Super Bowl:

  • The DraftKings’ NFL deal specifically says it does not cover sports betting.
  • Pepsi is an official sponsor of the NFL and the Super Bowl.
  • The Super Bowl is the biggest single customer acquisition point for legal sportsbooks in the US.

Anyway, it all adds up to something big likely coming from DraftKings around “the big game.”

Legal Sports Report is not aware of how Pepsi plans to promote the game and DraftKings, but LSR has reached out to the company to find out.

Free prediction games are all the rage

The deal, at its core, is (at least) twofold for DraftKings:

  • Expanding its brand.
  • Acquiring customers cheaply in states that do or will have legal sports betting.

The latter is largely why you are seeing free-to-play games around the sports and betting industries. Both the NBA and Major League Baseball have offered such games. MLB, for its part, just started a postseason prediction game, sponsored by MGM Resorts, that could award someone $250,000.

But such games are all over the place, including but not limited to:

  • The Fox Super 6 game for the NFL; that’s meant to acquire customers for Fox Bet, presumably.
  • NBC Sports runs several different prediction games based on football, golf and NASCAR.
  • The free-to-play games at sites like Clay Travis’ Outkick the Coverage, where you can win $10,000 each week on college football games.

Those emails that these sites and companies collect today could become far more valuable in the near future as online sports betting expands to more states.

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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