The NFL will have at least three more sports betting partners heading into the 2021 season.
BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBet are all joining Fox Bet in the NFL’s second tier of authorized gambling operators, according to multiple people familiar with the talks. The group follows the three “tri-exclusive” partners—DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars—that signed five-year deals with the league back in April.
This round of partnerships is focused mainly on data and advertising. The companies are committing to purchase official league data from NFL partner Genius Sports and are gaining the right to advertise on TV around NFL games, the people said. It’s unclear if they’ll all receive the right to use NFL team logos inside their products.
It’s also unclear how many other partners will be approved by the league prior to the start of the season. A spokesman for the NFL didn’t respond to a request for comment. Representatives for the three operators either declined to comment or didn’t respond to inquiries.
The country’s richest and most-watched sports league also attracts the most wagering. And after taking a slower approach to legalized sports betting than its peers, the NFL is now moving quickly to embrace an industry that will likely add billions to its annual revenue. That includes commercial partnerships at the league level, but also changes to what types of deals individual teams can sign.
In April the NFL announced its trio of partnerships with FanDuel, DraftKings and Caesars. Those deals, if they run their course, will pay the league just shy of $1 billion over the next five years, according to someone familiar with the terms.
They were announced two weeks after the NFL’s exclusive data tie-up with Genius Sports, a cash and equity partnership worth a combined hundreds of millions. That deal is linked to the league’s sports betting operators—those first three partners agreed to pay for the league’s official data through Genius (the first of those deals came last week), and the partners in this next tier will as well. Genius also controls advertising on the NFL-owned media channels, like its website and app.
All of the operators in this next NFL tier also have current business ties to the league. PointsBet, for example, has a long-term partnership with league media partner NBC Sports, and works with a few individual teams. WynnBet has a partnership with the Detroit Lions, while BetMGM has more than a half dozen team deals, including the New York Jets, Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The company is also building a sportsbook at the Arizona Cardinals stadium.
Fox Bet, controlled by the same parent as FanDuel, was launched in partnership with league media partner Fox Sports. In the official announcement of its new television extensions back in March, the NFL said Fox Bet would “receive authorized sportsbook operator status if, and when, the NFL approves official sportsbook operators for its officially licensed intellectual property.”
Lachlan Murdoch, Fox Corp.’s executive chairman and CEO, discussed Fox Bet’s role in a May earnings call.
“Fox Bet has been designated an authorized sports book operator by the NFL,” he said. “And we hope to share more details on the launch of NFL-related integrations in the quarters ahead. The opportunity presented by uniting a leading media brand with prominent betting assets and influencers is tremendous. We continue to see substantial growth and revenue upside in this market and are investing to further expand and enhance our presence.”