Red Sox Name Boston-Based DraftKings Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner
When it comes to daily fantasy sports, some may already think of DraftKings as the “green monster” thanks to its green, white and black logo and dominant position in the market.
Now expect to see that logo atop the actual Green Monster — that is, the famed left field wall in Fenway Park.
On Wednesday the Boston Red Sox and DraftKings announced the latter will become the MLB team’s official daily fantasy sports partner.
The deal expands and formalizes the already existing relationship between the team and operator. It also follows DraftKings’ similar deals with both the NFL’s New England Patriots and NBA’s Boston Celtics.
Partnership introduces increased signage, promotion, charity work
According to the announcement, the partnership will involve “a variety of content integrations.” That includes increased signage around Fenway Park, including above the left-field wall and behind the plate. There will also be LED branding along the baselines for one full inning during each home game.
The team’s official charity, the Red Sox Foundation (RSF), will promote DraftKings via emails, social media and its website. DraftKings will additionally become a title sponsor for raffles and other fund-raising programs for the RSF.
“We are thrilled to team up with a historic franchise like the Red Sox,” said Ezra Kucharz, chief business officer of DraftKings. He added how the company’s “Boston roots” makes the partnership even more meaningful.
“As a Boston-born company, we are well-acquainted with the devotion of Boston sports fans,” said Kucharz. “We believe the engagement possibilities of this integration are only just beginning.”
Troup Parkinson, executive vice president of partnerships for the Red Sox, echoed such enthusiasm when commenting on the deal. Parkinson noted how the team has been working with DraftKings in various capacities since 2015. He added that the team “look[s] forward to deepening our partnership in the years ahead.”
DraftKings began a similar partnership with the New England Patriots back in 2014. At the time that was the first such alliance between an NFL team and a daily fantasy sports operator. DraftKings later became an official partner of the Boston Celtics in early 2020.
Deal struck as Red Sox, others await sports betting in MA
The announcement did not disclose financial terms of the deal. Nor did it mention DraftKings’ sports betting operations. That said, the partnership does perhaps position DraftKings to become involved with the Red Sox in that capacity as well. Such could happen in the future if the team and Fenway Park were allowed to operate a retail sportsbook.
Last week the Massachusetts House passed a sports betting bill authorizing sports betting in the state. The bill allows MA’s three commercial casinos and up to three racetracks to offer retail sports betting. Additionally, the bill allows the casinos three online skins each and the tracks one apiece.
The legislation also included an amendment charging the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to study whether or not to allow Massachusetts professional sports franchises to offer sports betting at their facilities.
The Red Sox and other pro teams in the state have already expressed support of sports betting legislation. The team joined the Celtics, Patriots, and other teams and interested parties to pen a letter to lawmakers late last year. In the letter, the authors argued in favor of legalizing sports betting in MA.
While the House passed the bill by a nearly unanimous 156-3 vote, it is uncertain what the Senate will do. The Boston Herald suggests the Senate’s “appetite for the measure appears lukewarm.”
The Herald notes how Senate President Karen Spilka has suggested the chamber will review the sports betting bill. However Spilka also listed other matters competing for lawmakers’ attention, “including COVID-19 recovery, mental health reform, and meaningful voting reforms.”