“This Week In Daily” is ODFReport’s weekly wrap of key facts, happenings and miscellany from the daily fantasy sports industry.
Stories of note
UFC, DraftKings make it official
After weeks of speculation, daily fantasy sports site DraftKings and the UFC, the mixed martial arts organization, finally announced a partnership this week. It’s reportedly a one-year sponsorship deal, and it makes DraftKings the Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner of the UFC.
It’s a big move for DraftKings, as it tries to take ownership of a market from which FanDuel is absent. Kountermove co-owner Aaron Ard talked about how the deal affects his site — the first fantasy sports site for MMA — and the industry in general.
It’s not clear whether we’ll see signs of the new partnership at UFC 184 on Saturday, but it will be interesting to see if DraftKings’ logo shows up in the Octagon.
Horse track to offer fantasy games
Another interesting partnership for the DFS industry surfaced this week, as Monmouth Park, a horse track in New Jersey, announced a deal with the Fantasy Sports Network.
The television network is the first to offer only fantasy sports content, and will work to launch the Monmouth Park Daily Fantasy Game, based on sporting events. It plans to launch by Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season in April.
Monmouth, like many horse-racing tracks around the country, faces difficult financial obstacles for a sport that generally struggles outside of the biggest events of the year. Without the ability to offer sports wagering, DFS is an alternative solution. If the model works at Monmouth, you could see the idea proliferate to other tracks.
Of the week
Read(s) of the week
In just its first year of operation, soccer DFS website Mondogoal is up for a major award for its digital platform. The award nomination is a sign of good things for Mondogoal, individually, but it’s also a jumping off point for various other DFS issues:
- What other untapped verticals, like soccer, could be on the horizon in the DFS market?
- Can soccer fans actually be converted to daily fantasy sports players?
- Can fantasy sports be popular in countries other than the U.S.?
ESPN’s David Purdum again delved into the world of fantasy sports, and picked out a trend that has become more and more obvious as DFS has grown — that there is a big skill gap among DFS players.
According to one full-time fantasy sports player, an elite DFS roster setter will beat an amateur about 70% of the time. Those aren’t terribly good odds for the recreational DFS player. And it highlights a problem that the industry probably has to deal with at some point — the gap could eventually create an imbalance in the DFS economy, if recreational players are losing a disproportionate amount of the time.
Of course, the fact that there are pro players who consistently win is good for DFS retaining its status as a skill-based game rather than being considered gambling.
Tweet of the week
— DraftKings (@DraftKings) February 25, 2015
Quote of the week
““Legalized sports gambling is the endgame. One-day fantasy delivers a similar fan experience to gambling, so I expect the current database of customers would provide a good foundation for sports gamblers.”
–Laurence DeGaris, a University of Indianapolis sports marketing professor who has consulted for the NFL and the NHL, in a story at Bloomberg.
Number of the week
The percentage of Iowans who oppose “legalizing cash prizes for people playing in fantasy sports leagues,” according to a poll by the Des Moines Register. Iowa is currently considering legislation dealing with fantasy sports.