The Baltimore Ravens have signed a marketing partnership with DraftKings that makes the sportsbook and DFS operator the Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner and an Official Sports Betting and Free-to-Play Partner of the NFL franchise.
The deal includes DraftKings branding and content within the Ravens’ weekly podcast, “The Lounge,” as well as title sponsorship of the Gameday Insider pregame show on WBAL-1090’s, presenting sponsorship of the “Ravens Wired” online video series, and prominence on BaltimoreRavens.com.
DraftKings also gets branding and a suite at M&T Bank Stadium, plus contest prize offerings, including away game trips, autographed merchandise, and participation in a Punt, Pass & Kick event.
DraftKings becomes the Ravens’ second sports betting partner, joining BetMGM, which announced a deal with the team the day after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed sports betting legislation into law in May. BetMGM’s deal includes stadium signage, promotion via the team’s digital and social media channels, and hospitality.
Professional sports franchises partnering with multiple sports betting operators is not unique.
“This partnership reflects our continued commitment to delivering unique engagement experiences for our fans,” Ravens chief sales officer Kevin Rochlitz said in a joint statement. “We’re proud to collaborate with an industry leader in DraftKings, and we look forward to seeing the innovative ways in which we’ll better connect with the Ravens fans across our many platforms.”
While Maryland’s sports betting law allows for retail sportsbooks to be built within professional sports facilities, there’s no indication that either DraftKings or BetMGM’s association with the Ravens includes such rights at M&T Bank Stadium.
What The Ravens Partnership Means For DraftKings
The deal is DraftKings’ first partnership in the state of Maryland but the company’s fifth active agreement with an NFL team, according to the press release.
In April, DraftKings signed on to be one of the NFL’s three official sports betting partners, along with FanDuel and Caesars, in what the league termed a “tri-exclusive” arrangement. The NFL announced last week, however, it is allowing its television partners to sell up to six ad spots per game to those three sponsors, in addition to a second group of approved operators. BetMGM, PointsBet, WynnBet, and FoxBet are the first of those approved operators, meaning they pay for official league data.
“With the start of the 2021 NFL season upon us, our latest designation with the Baltimore Ravens further exemplifies our commitment to fan engagement by way of the DraftKings experience,” Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings’ Chief Business Officer, said in the statement. “The newly penned relationship offers something for every kind of sports fan and will allow them to engage with DraftKings’ digital content, free-to-play product, daily fantasy sports and, perhaps soon, sports betting, to ultimately bring them closer to the action alongside one of the top teams from the AFC North.”
When Will Legal Sports Betting Launch In Maryland?
Gov. Hogan recently characterized the chances of legal sports betting going live in Maryland by the start of the NFL season as “impossible”, softening expectations of the timeline to some time before the end of football season.
Expect the Ravens’ new partners to be among the market’s early movers.