The National Basketball Association has reached a four-year deal with daily fantasy sports site FanDuel, according to a report. The agreement establishes FanDuel as the NBA’s official daily fantasy basketball outlet.
“The special status helps legitimize us, but we wanted to do this deal because the NBA, more than any other league, they understood the upside to them as well,” FanDuel CEO and co-founder Nigel Eccles told ESPN’s Darren Rovell. Statistics show that participation in daily fantasy sports leagues increases the time the average fan spends watching sports TV, Eccles added.
The financial terms of the NBA’s deal with FanDuel weren't disclosed, but the league will become an investor in the daily fantasy sports site. Other fantasy sports outlets will still be able to offer fantasy basketball to customers, but FanDuel will be the only such company featured on the league’s digital properties, including its official website and mobile apps, TechCrunch reports. NBA executive Sal La Rocca will join FanDuel’s board.
Previously, FanDuel reached individual deals with the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic, Rovell noted. The company recently raised $88 million in funding from investment groups and projects $60 million in revenue for 2014.
The deal was announced just two days after the NHL announced its “multi-year” partnership with DraftKings, FanDuel’s direct competitor in the daily fantasy sports market. DraftKings is now the NHL’s official daily fantasy sports game and will be prominently displayed on the league’s official website.
Like FanDuel, DraftKings has experienced tremendous growth in 2014. The company announced in August that it had raised $41 million in financing from a series of investors. DraftKings plans to give away $200 million in prizes this year.
Unlike conventional fantasy sports games, daily fantasy sites allow users to wager money without committing to a full season of play. Fantasy sports are a legal form of online gambling in all but five states, as they are considered a game of skill.