While FanDuel has made the most noise lately via their sponsorship deal with the Breeders’ Cup and the opening of a new casino at Tioga Downs in New York State their DFS pioneer cohorts at DraftKings have been making some moves of their own. They’ve just made the joint announcement in conjunction with the PGA Tour that DraftKings has been named the first ever ‘Official Daily Fantasy Golf Game of the PGA Tour’.
So what does this mean? Initially, it means DraftKings will re-brand it’s DFS golf game as ‘PGA TOUR DraftKings Fantasy Golf’. Players will be able to win the usual cash prices along with PGA TOUR swag and other prizes in the future. There will be ‘Classic’ and ‘Showdown’ format options along with public and private competitions.
In return, the PGA Tour will enhance the player experience on the DraftKings website. Here’s what the official PGA press release said about that:
As part of the new relationship, PGA TOUR DraftKings Fantasy Golf players will have the ability to receive real-time video highlights for players in their respective lineups. Other elements of this partnership will create expanded Draft Fantasy Sports specific content offerings, as well as allow for brand integration into both the PGA TOUR and DraftKings platforms. Lastly, the PGA TOUR and DraftKings will collaborate on a variety of real-time product enhancements via the PGA TOUR’s proprietary ShotLink data feed.
That sounds pretty cool. Interestingly, golf is now the fourth largest sport in terms of engagement out of 15 sports offered by DraftKings. Ezra Kucharz, chief business officer of DraftKings had these comments on the partnership:
“Golf continues to grow in popularity among DFS players globally at DraftKings and is our fourth-largest sport in terms of engagement, out of 15 total offerings. Our partnership with the PGA TOUR signals a mutual commitment to excellence in customer experience along with a new era in golf fandom and engagement.”
Luis Goicouria, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President Media weighed in with his thoughts:
“We are excited to partner with DraftKings, an industry leader in innovation and fan engagement, in this groundbreaking step for the PGA TOUR. The partnership with DraftKings provides the TOUR with a unique opportunity to innovate in a new industry and to further engage our fans.”
Although the press release said that the rebranded golf game would be available as of 7/22 it was still the same old PGA Tour-less branding as of 11:30 PM on July 25. I’d imagine that the cool PGA tour content and data for DFS players as well as the PGA prizes will be down the road a bit.
FanDuel demonstrate just how quickly a DFS company can pivot into sports betting and I’ve been waiting for DraftKings to make their move. The PGA partnership isn’t technically sports betting related but don’t be surprised if DraftKings quickly becomes the golf tour’s official ‘live betting data provider’. A potentially bigger move for DraftKings dropped today with very minimal fanfare–they’re now the ‘authorized gaming operator’ of Major League Baseball. More about that in a subsequent post….