Three months after landing a five-year deal with Genius Sports to assist in getting approved for legal gambling in regulated territories around the world, the Drone Racing League has linked up with another significant partner in gaming: DraftKings Inc., making the company an official sports betting partner for the DRL.
With the deal, the DRL has become the first aerial sporting event that fans can wager on, with betting on drone races already legal in Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee and West Virginia.
“The sky is now the limit for DRL fans to get skin in the game, and we’re thrilled to partner with DraftKings to transform our high-speed race competition into the ultimate sport to bet on,” DRL President Rachel Jacobson said in a press release. “The opportunity for us to elevate our engagement through all forms of gaming and gambling will only increase as mobile betting becomes more adopted across the country.”
For DraftKings the deal made perfect sense: The company introduced DRL drone races to its customers as a free-to-play pool during the 2020 season and in the first week saw 30% more entries above the average for new sports, with more than 150,000 entries on DRL races thus far.
The partnership will grant DraftKings exclusive marketing benefits specifically around sports betting and branding integrations, including custom race gates—which no doubt will be branded with DraftKings art—that the drones will fly through.
Fans can take advantage of both pre-race wagers and in-race live bets. As the league closes out its 2020 Allianz World Championship Season, whose final races will be shown Saturday on NBC, Twitter and Facebook, DraftKings and the DRL are hosting a pre-flight show at 7 p.m. ET tonight on Twitter, where sports bettors and drone pilots will educate fans on how to participate.
“Our expertise in sports betting combined with DRL’s stats-packed competition will make this a fun and seamless opportunity to engage their avid audience along with tech-savvy, adrenaline-loving sports fans,” Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings’ chief business officer, said in a statement.