There’s already a lot to consider before you place a bet at a sportsbook. Checking the latest sign up offers, comparing different odds and making sure you fully understand wagering requirements before you bet, are all very important. However, imagine if you had to start considering avoiding a certain bookmaker because they are linked with your NFL team’s rival. Currently, this is not an issue but it could very well be a factor in the future.
This is because the Denver Broncos have just become the very first football team to partner with a sportsbook. The NFL franchise announced a deal with FanDuel back in June. The operator was formed back in 2009 and started life as a fantasy football tournament. After several years of sensational growth, it was bought out by Paddy Power Betfair in 2018. FanDuel started offering a sports betting service soon after.
When the sponsorship deal with the Broncos was announced, both parties expressed their delight over the opportunities it would bring.
“Colorado is home to a passionate sports fan base and independent spirit, and, together with the Broncos, we’re going to take the fan experience in Colorado to the next level,” FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffensperger said (via the Broncos official website).
Meanwhile, Broncos Chief Commercial Officer Mc Freeman beamed: “FanDuel has built a strong reputation as a premier gaming destination for sports fans,” Chief Commercial Officer Mac Freeman said. “The ways they smartly reach people through engaging and entertaining content is in line with the Broncos’ innovative thinking when connecting with our fans.”
Now, you may be wondering what this means for the rest of the NFL?
Make no mistake, this is a seminal moment in the league’s long history. For years, the NFL has passionately opposed sports betting in any form. Players and coaches are forbidden to appear in any betting advertisements. Also, stadiums and practice facilities are not allowed to be sponsored by sportsbooks and sports betting stands are banned from arenas.
The Denver Broncos deal with FanDuel could represent the first step in sports betting becoming more accepted, like it is in other sports. In English football for example, sportsbook branding and advertisements are highly prevalent. Almost every club in the country has some sort of partnership with a betting brand. Whether that be as an on-shirt sponsor, a stadium name deal or a more subtle agreement.
If the NFL does begin to slowly accept these companies and their money, it will likely be welcomed by the teams in the league. However, things will not be as straightforward as it is in England. For starters, sports betting is only legal in 14 states. Teams from outside these states would obviously be prohibited from signing any sponsorship deals with sportsbooks. Therefore, although the FanDuel deal may suggest that things are about to change in the NFL, we should not overstate the speed of this transition into a closer relationship for sports betting companies.