From a (relatively) inauspicious origin as a daily fantasy sports pioneer FanDuel has grown into a dominant gaming company. Actually, they had a lot of help–in 2018 they were purchased by the merged Paddy Power/Betfair sportsbooks which have since rebranded as Flutter Entertainment. The US facing businesses of Flutter Entertainment include FanDuel and horse racing TV network/advanced deposit wagering platform TVG. FanDuel also operates retail sportsbooks at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania. The are in the process of testing their online sports betting platform in Pennsylvania in advance of a full scale launch.
They’ve also signed a sponsorship deal that will get them even more name recognition within the gambling ecosystem as well as the mainstream sports work. Late last week, FanDuel announced a multiyear sponsorship agreement with the Breeders’ Cup that will give them and TVG a wide range of promotional, branding and broadcasting opportunities. In addition, FanDuel and TVG will be named ‘the official wagering partner of Breeders’ Cup World Championships’. As is typical with this sort of thing, specific terms were not released. Here’s the ‘laundry list’ from the official press release posted at BreedersCup.com:
The agreement also gives TVG and FanDuel official partner status for four of its business units: Advanced-Deposit Wagering (TVG) as well as sports betting, daily fantasy sports and on-line casino, all of which operate under the FanDuel brand.
TVG will also become the name-in-title sponsor of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) races, which comprise two of the 14 races of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
In addition, TVG will produce the Breeders’ Cup Players’ Show which is a live, wagering-focused telecast of the World Championships that is sent to simulcast outlets around the world. TVG will also provide enhanced pre-race promotion, coverage and recaps of Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races on TVG throughout the year.
TVG and FanDuel will receive official sponsor designation, commercial units and other promotional rights as part of NBC Sports coverage of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and will also be the Presenting Partner of NBCSN’s “Betting the Breeders’ Cup” show, which will air multiple times during Breeders’ Cup week and include complete handicapping and analysis of the World Championships.
Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel had these comments:
“We are excited to be back working with TVG and the FanDuel Group. TVG has been a long-time supporter of the Breeders’ Cup and a good friend to the horse racing industry. We are equally excited about putting the very best in international Thoroughbred racing in front of a new wave of sports bettors, and our partnership with TVG and FanDuel is a big part of that plan.”
Kip Levin, CEO of TVG and COO of FanDuel had these comments:
“We are looking forward to not only enhancing our ability to cover the Breeders’ Cup races themselves but to devote more coverage and promotion to the lead-up through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In Series. This is a great opportunity to bring horse racing and the Breeders’ Cup front and center to our sports betting and daily fantasy customers and to introduce horse racing’s championship event to the next generation of racing fans.”
Clearly this is a great deal for TVG/FanDuel and no doubt the Breeders’ Cup will benefit financially. It’s also a good development for the betting public–the more betting related media in the mainstream the better. This type of relationship has been commonplace in Europe for years and it’s another sign that the United States is slowly but surely getting over the silly stigmas surrounding sports betting.
The Breeders’ Cup is the de facto Super Bowl of horse racing. The Kentucky Derby and the other Triple Crown races might get more notice in the mainstream sports media but for serious horse racing enthusiasts and handicappers the Breeders’ Cup is the biggest weekend of the year. The 2019 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anita on November 1 and 2.