DraftKings Adds Professional Fighters League Betting Agreement

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Jason High (red gloves) fights Caros Fodor (blue gloves) lightweight event during the Professional Fighters League: Daytona at Daytona International Speedway on June 30, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Sports players can now legally bet on fights in the Professional Fighters League mixed martial arts after partnering with betting company DraftKings.

Under the deal, the DraftKings logo will be placed around PFL fight cages, betting odds will be incorporated into PFL shows featured on Disney’s ESPN network, and DraftKings will offer strong league promotion. Bets on PFL matches may be placed in states where online sports betting is legal.

The deal is a seven-figure, multi-year deal, which means it’s worth less than $ 10 million.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, PFL CEO Peter Murray declined to reveal specific financial terms, but said it was “a combination of rights fees around exclusivity for our official bookmaker to the United States And it’s a combination of data license fees; marketing and sponsorship. “

DraftKings becomes the PFL’s first bookie and will sponsor a pre-match show and use PFL’s ongoing fight technology, which captures real-time data on fighters to help fuel future prop bets. These bets are in-fight bets placed around estimates such as a competing fighter’s punch and kicking speed.

The PFL is a single-entity, investor-controlled league that includes sports and entertainment figures like Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner and actor Kevin Hart. The league has a regular season and a playoff series and ends with six championship competitions. Fighters usually get $ 1 million if they win.

PFL said it was getting bigger after raising $ 65 million in February, bringing its total to $ 175 million. After the funding round, Reuters reported that PFL was valued at around $ 400 million. When asked about that figure, Murray declined to comment on PFL’s assessment.

Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images

PFL expects growth

Still, the league appears positioned for growth in 2021 with international expansion in the plans.

In addition to its partnership with DraftKings, PFL has also partnered with Twitter in an ad revenue sharing model. The social media company will take advantage of PFL content, including during fights, and use its new audio feature, Twitter Spaces, to host conversations between influencers and fans. The parties will divide the advertising revenue from the content.

“Our mission is simple – to reimagine and develop the sport and we are going to evolve the league,” said Murray. “After the season (2020), we are focusing on product execution in addition to expanding the audience, and Twitter is one example.”

PFL is expected to announce distribution agreements in France and Germany. Murray said the company is keen to renew its ESPN deal after the 2021 season, which is expected to close in June. PFL wants to capitalize on plans to increase their fights from 10 to 16.

“We are delighted with a long term partnership with ESPN,” said Murray. “We will be talking about 2022 and moving forward after the regular season.”

DraftKings is also in partnership with the largest UFC martial arts company. The company may have reached its most important sports partnership last week, becoming one of three betting operators to align with the National Football League.

DraftKings stock fell 2% on Monday, closing at $ 56.68 per share. The company has a market capitalization of $ 22.5 billion.



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