DraftKings secures $250m Disney investment, commits to MLB partnership

DraftKings secures $250m Disney investment, commits to MLB partnership

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Totally Gaming

DraftKings has received $250 million (€228.8m) in investment from entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. in a deal that will value the US fantasy sports operator at approximately $900 million.

Although neither side has officially commented on the deal, reports in the US media suggest that the terms of the agreement include a sizeable advertising commitment by DraftKings across ESPN, the global sports broadcasting operation jointly owned by Disney and the Hearst Corporation.

Reports also suggest that rival fantasy sports operator Fanduel will be able to continue its own advertising activities across various ESPN platforms, but will lose the rights to premium positions.

DraftKings has been highly active in recent months in terms of striking deals with professional sports teams and competitions as part of a wider effort to strengthen its position in the US market.

As news of the Disney deal broke, DraftKings also confirmed that it has opted to extend its partnership with North America’s Major League Baseball (MLB).

Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, it has been confirmed that DraftKings will become the official daily fantasy game of the MLB.

DraftKings will launch co-branded MLB daily fantasy games as well as a variety of unique games and fan experiences. Games will be promoted across various MLB media platforms such as the MLB.com website and the MLB.TV streaming service.

In addition, DraftKings will become an official sponsor of premium MLB events such as the All-Star Week, as well as linking up with participating MLB teams to create market-specific ballpark experiences for fans.

The new deal will extend a relationship that began in 2013, a partnership that both parties at the time described as an “industry-first” agreement.

Jason Robins, chief executive officer of DraftKings, added: “Two years ago, MLB and DraftKings signed the first league deal in daily fantasy history, and we are excited to deepen that ground-breaking relationship through this new, league wide, exclusive partnership.

“MLB has long been at the forefront of embracing new technologies to create superior fan experiences, and DraftKings couldn’t be happier to partner to continue that tradition of innovation.”

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