There’s big news in the sports betting and daily fantasy world.
On Thursday the UFC announced that DraftKings will be its first official sportsbook and daily fantasy partner in the United States and Canada. ESPN reports that the five-year agreement will see DraftKings pay the UFC a whopping $350 million.
“This is a massive deal that will benefit UFC, DraftKings, and most of all the fans,” said UFC President Dana White in an official press release. “DraftKings is the best at what they do in the betting and daily fantasy space, and unlike other sports, UFC has no off season. The action will be non-stop. This is the most important deal we’ve ever done to increase engagement with our fans and reach new ones, and I’m looking forward to all the exciting things we’re going to do with DraftKings over the next few years.”
“Combat sports, and UFC in particular, have scaled significantly across both our sportsbook and daily fantasy verticals, evolving from a niche offering to a high-demand category that we believe will only grow further as we innovate,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder, CEO and executive chairman. “While DraftKings and UFC have previously collaborated on specific events, we are proud to become official partners and explore even more impactful integrations that prioritize the fan experience.”
Beginning with Saturday’s UFC 259 pay-per-view, DraftKings will also be the presenting partner of the UFC’s new fight clock, a proprietary time-keeping tool that will allow “athletes, fans, and officials in the arena to see the same countdown clock per round as viewers watching the broadcast.”
From a sports betting and daily fantasy standpoint, DraftKings will provide in-game promotions, updated odds during broadcasts, and enhanced UFC prop bets.
At the moment, 20 states have legalized online sports betting, including Nevada where the UFC is headquartered. Needless to say the attitude from major sports leagues towards daily fantasy and sports betting has shifted considerably over the years, and this new UFC-DraftKings venture is one of potentially many major moves to come.
Disclaimer: I am a paid contributor as a columnist for DraftKings Nation.