NFL Picks Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings for First Wave of Sports Betting Partnerships

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The National Football League has officially opened for sports betting, announcing its partnership with top companies Caesars, FanDuel and DraftKings.

The agreements allow sports betting to use NFL intellectual property and use their trademarks for gambling promotions. The betting companies will also operate in a content sharing model with the NFL – for example, the betting sites will be able to use material such as NFL highlights and Next Gen Stats data, which will help them determine bets. The firms can create their own promotional content to be displayed on NFL properties.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but according to a person familiar with the agreements, the five-year pacts could be worth just under $1 billion over the life of the deal. But the NFL has the right to opt out after the third and fourth years of the agreements, the person added.

Caesars will retain its league sponsorship as an “Official Casino Sponsor”, allowing it to use NFL trademarks on its casino properties. The company bought sports bookmaker William Hill last September for $3.7 billion.

Meanwhile, DraftKings and FanDuel are gaining brand awareness on competition media properties, including the NFL Network and NFL RedZone channels.

The deals are among the NFL’s first deals, and the league is expected to announce a new wave of sports betting partnerships, but with fewer content options and more restrictions. The NFL signed a data rights agreement with Genius Sports earlier this month. Therefore, the sports betting needs to buy the data from Genius to execute their NFL bets.

The league also reached a media rights agreement with partners NBCUniversal, Fox Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports and Amazon in March. The 11-year deal is worth more than $100 billion.

After the announcement Thursday afternoon, DraftKings stock rose 4% to $60 a share after hours, while Caesars fell slightly to about $93 a share.

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