ESPN has ramped up its involvement in the US sports betting sector thanks to two new deals with DraftKings and Caesars/William Hill.
Caesars/Hill was named the exclusive odds provider for ESPN, while DraftKings was named the exclusive daily fantasy sports provider.
Both partners will get co-exclusive sportsbook link integrations across ESPN digital platforms.
All links under the Caesars part of the deal will direct to William Hill, since the bookmaker now handles all Caesars betting operations.
It’s understood ESPN will receive minimum revenue guarantees, as well as referral fees for each new customer sign-up.
Big step for ESPN
ESPN VP of business development and innovation Mike Morrison hailed a “significant milestone” for ESPN as it “deepened its commitment to sports betting.”
The media giant first dipped its toe sports betting back in May 2019 through a content deal with Caesars. However, the latest arrangement means the media giant is now essentially a sports betting affiliate. All betting will take place on the partner platforms.
“Sports betting is quickly becoming endemic to the overall experience of the sports fan,” said ESPN VP Mark Walker.
Walker said betting would help grow ESPN’s brand and fan engagement.
“It is an industry that we will continue to actively pursue as it grows and evolves,” Walker added.
ESPN also recently opened a studio at The LINQ Hotel to ramp up its sports betting content.
The nuts and bolts of the deals
Sportsbook links will be integrated into ESPN.com web and mobile and the ESPN Fantasy app.
Under the arrangement, DraftKings Sportsbook will also power integrations across other ESPN platforms, beginning with daily fantasy sports segments on ESPN’s premier studio shows.
“We are very excited to be expanding our relationship with ESPN to include deeper integration of both our sports betting and daily fantasy sports offerings across their platforms,” said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins.
“ESPN’s reach amongst sports fans is unparalleled, and the start of NFL is the perfect time for DraftKings to be launching this integration.”
Meanwhile, William Hill will be become a sponsor of ESPN’s fantasy products, alongside the a exclusive odds provider tag.
“ESPN is one of the pre-eminent brands in sports,” said William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson. “Tens of millions of fans will now have a direct link to our sports betting apps and odds, Giving ESPN users this access will accelerate our leadership as we continue to expand in the US.”