FanDuel signed a four-year exclusive deal with the National Basketball Association, meaning FanDuel will be its exclusive one-day fantasy partner. According to several reports, FanDuel offered the NBA equity in their company, though the size of the stake remains unknown.
Sal LaRocca on FanDuel’s BoD
Sal LaRocca, the NBA President of Global Operations & Merchandise, said the two sides have been negotiating for some time to come to an arrangement. LaRocca said, “We have been working on this deal for the past few months when the entire industry started to heat up. We have been looking at different ways to construct deals in this space and we thought the timing was right.”
One of the terms of the deal is that Sal LaRocca will sit on the Board of Directors for FanDuel. Therefore, the newly-announced arrangement aligns the NBA and FanDuel in fundamental ways.
Nigel Eccles Terms It a Full Partnership
FanDuel’s CEO Nigel Eccles says he was impressed by the commitment shown by the NBA to the daily fantasy sports website. Eccles said, “The NBA were the ones who wanted to be a shareholder. What struck me about the NBA is that they wanted a true partnership.”
FanDuel is beginning to collect an impressive list of business partners and major investors. NBA Sports Ventures and Comcast Ventures also are part of the growing coalition of sports and broadcasting entities associated with the largest of the one-day fantasy basketball websites.
Official One-Day Fantasy Basketball Game of the NBA
Part of the arrangement calls for a daily contest called “Official One-Day Fantasy Basketball Game of the NBA,” which will be promoted heavily on the official websites of both company. Prizes include cash, NBA merchandize, and tickets to games.
FanDuel also will run advertisements on the networks of the NBA’s broadcast parters, including ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, and NBA Network. The site already had promotional deals with the Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, and Brooklyn Nets. Along with the announced signing with the NBA, FanDuel signed similar promotional bargains with the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks. Since the signing, the Los Angeles Lakers signed a similar deal.
NBA and Sports Betting
The arrangements are a far cry from the NBA’s attitude on traditional sports betting, such as wagers offered through sportsbooks, bookmaker sites, and betting exchanges. While NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently wrote an op-ed article in the New York Times supporting legalization of sports betting under federal supervision, the NBA is currently part of a lawsuit to keep New Jersey from opening sportsbooks at Atlantic City casinos and racetracks like Monmouth Park.