Remember when the NFL was vehemently against sports betting? Commissioner Roger Goodell was part of the group of leagues that actually lobbied against the overturning of PASPA on several different occasions, proselytizing about the “integrity of the game” and “negative social impacts”.
Those days are long gone, replaced by an all-in strategy on sports gambling that “gives fans another opportunity to engage with the game”.
Teams were collecting advertising dollars from DFS operators before PASPA was overturned, so they were supporting one form of gambling while attempting to hold back another. It would appear that the floodgates have now opened.
There are a handful of states with legal sports betting that NFL teams call home. One of them is Colorado. The Denver Broncos have wasted no time aligning themselves with some sports betting partners. Colorado just launched legalized sports betting on May 1, right in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, but things are still happening quickly in the Centennial State and partnerships with the pro teams are only going to add more fuel to the fire.
The agreement with FanDuel makes the company the official sports betting partner and an official daily fantasy partner of the Broncos. This partnership allows FanDuel to use the Broncos logo and trademarks in advertising for betting and DFS across Colorado and will also create all sorts of FanDuel advertising in and around the stadium and also a barrage of advertising on radio and TV.
FanDuel has licensing in Colorado through the Twin River Holdings properties and Golden Gates Casino Black Hawk, which the Broncos have also entered a partnership with thanks to this agreement with the betting operator.
This is the first of what will wind up being many agreements put in place between the teams and the betting operators, yet another sign that the NFL and its ownership groups are singing a much different tune regarding sports betting. This is “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” personified in so many different ways.
From a business standpoint, a partnership makes all the sense in the world between FanDuel and the Broncos. The Broncos are aiming to hit several different target demographics here and the benefits are quite clear. The Broncos really don’t have to do anything except throw a few contest prizes or experiences in the direction of FanDuel.
For FanDuel, they reach an audience that is very invested in sports outcomes, both emotionally and financially, and they’ll do so in multiple forms. These deals make too much sense not to happen league-wide in states with legalized betting, like Illinois with the Chicago Bears, Pennsylvania with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles, Michigan with the Detroit Lions, New Jersey with the New York Giants and New York Jets sharing the MetLife Stadium complex in East Rutherford, Indiana with the Indianapolis Colts, and soon to be Tennessee with the Tennessee Titans.
Additional states that could adopt betting legislation in the near future are Ohio, with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, and also Louisiana, with the New Orleans Saints. Not all states currently offer mobile betting, like New York and North Carolina, which also have NFL teams, so we’ll see if they enter into any agreements, but this is not the last we’ve heard of this.
While the FanDuel partnership is far more of a headline-grabber, the Broncos also entered into an agreement with Betfred and also a partnership with Saratoga Casino Black Hawk.
Betfred will be fighting with FanDuel for advertising and signage, but has been tabbed to provide more of a game day experience at Empower Field with a sports betting lounge. This is a brilliant move by Betfred, as it will encourage app downloads and account sign-ups by offering an introductory course into sports betting.
This, too, will likely be a growing trend with interactive displays and betting lounges as part of some of the agreements with NFL teams. Now that sports betting has gone mainstream in a lot of states with NFL markets, the teams should have no problems aligning themselves with these operators.
Goodell’s all-in method, now that he lost to the Supreme Court and the state of New Jersey, even included putting a team in Las Vegas. This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as individual team buy-in to sports betting, especially with the league now embracing the benefits on a much grander scale.