If it were a wedding, DraftKings and the Indiana Pacers officially said, “I do.”
The sportsbook and NBA announced in a press release today the Pacers were one of three NBA teams with Draftkings as the official sports betting partner. The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are the other two teams.
DraftKings Chief Business Officer Ezra Kucharz said the partnership with the teams gives fans the chance to enjoy a “continually unique” betting product.
“It is with great enthusiasm that we announce these multi-year partnerships with the Celtics, 76ers, and Pacers. The NBA represents DraftKings’ second-most-popular sport, and we are thrilled to offer our fanbase a continually unique and authentic sports gaming product,” Kucharz said. “Each of these partnerships represent a common strategy and stress the importance NBA teams and DraftKings place on fan engagement and overall customer experience.”
The new partnership means DraftKings has “rights to marks and logos, as well as in-game promotions, activations, and branding,” the release noted.
Pacers COO: “We are delighted”
Rick Fuson, the Pacers’ COO and its sports and entertainment president, said DraftKings will feature prominently in the team’s post-game show.
“We are delighted to welcome DraftKings into the Indiana Pacers’ family of corporate partnerships,” Fuson said. “With prominent in-arena presence, presenting sponsorship of our popular post-game show hosted by Eddie White and other elements, our fans are certain to understand the strength and value of this partnership for both of us. It truly is a win-win.”
The partnership presents DraftKings with a relatively strong chance at high-profile promotion during the NBA Playoffs. The Pacers moved 32-23 after last night’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks, stopping a six-game slide and keeping the Pacers in the playoff hunt.
Move could help boost DraftKings’ battle with FanDuel
The news of the partnership is important for DraftKings considering their monthly handle has leveled off. Meanwhile, competitor FanDuel has managed to boost its handle steadily over the past three months.
DraftKings, who operates their sportsbook via Ameristar Casino, posted the following monthly handle:
- January: $73.03 million
- December: $75.04 million
- November: $72.07 million
Granted, it is a limited sample. November is when the state’s sportsbooks hit their full stride. The books only started taking bets at all in September. What the numbers reveal is that DraftKings, while leading the state in handle, has shown little growth since November.
FanDuel, on the other hand, posted the following handle numbers from November to January:
- January: $52.21 million
- December: $40.14 million
- November: $28.19 million
Whereas DraftKings struggle to show growth over the past three months, FanDuel boosted its handle by roughly $12 million each month.
If that trend continues, FanDuel could eclipse $65 million in February, putting pressure on DraftKings to try and boost its stagnant growth numbers.
February’s numbers, which the IGC will release on March 10, will reveal a lot. We should see a boost in both operators’ handle because of what should be a plethora of Super Bowl and college basketball bets.
The full extent of the DraftKings-Pacers partnership should emerge if the Pacers make it to the playoffs. The increased exposure in the Indianapolis market could provide a much-needed bump in handle. However, we won’t see the true value until the playoffs start in April.