- FanDuel becomes official gaming partner to MLB
- MLB now moves past royalty fee and focuses on data distribution
- This is a first partnership for FanDuel of this kind
FanDuel and MLB have signed a partnership making the daily fantasy and betting firm the official data provider for the league.
FanDuel Joins Hands with MLB as Official Gaming Partner
Major League Baseball (MLB) has found a new partner in the face of FanDuel, one of the two daily fantasy sports platforms along with DraftKings, which have been operating the longest in the United States.
The Flutter Entertainment-owned company is now an official gaming partner to the League and it marks an important shift in the relationship between leagues and betting firms in the United States. Starting reluctantly, the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL have all struck partnerships with gaming operators – whether it concerns data or just marketing opportunities.
This is a first for FanDuel as well, as the company hasn’t had any official partnership agreements with any of the aforementioned leagues. Kip Levin, FanDuel President and COO had this to say on the occasion:
“Fantasy sports and sports betting have become a national pastime in their own right, so it’s natural to join forces with MLB. MLB clearly understands how working together can be beneficial for baseball fans and both companies alike.”
Meanwhile, Kenny Gersh, head of new business ventures at MLB, added that baseball was one of the main betting products, and the partnership with FanDuel would help establish a better experience for customers and fans.
The Data Deals Leagues Broker
Following an ill-fated attempt to impose integrity fees, leagues have changed the tune, asking instead for partnership which allow for synergies and transfer of data. While some sports betting companies have been skeptic about official league data, arguing that they had been obtaining such information for years, others, such as Sportradar and Genius Sports, have agreed to benefit from this.
So far as the Major League Baseball goes, the League already has a number of partners to its name, including the MGM Resorts World and DraftKings, a main competitor for FanDuel. Meanwhile, MLB dropped the idea of charging a “royalty fee” as early as May, 2019.
Originally, the MLB was hoping to be paid a small fee so that it may ensure the integrity of sports that are being bet on, but it later focused on talking only about how it would produce and provide data.
Even Sportradar and Genius Sports have seen a reason in obtaining data from leagues directly despite these companies unchallenged resources and ability to derive statistically relevant information. Speaking to Forbes in May, the MLB had this to say:
“MLB invests significant resources and capital to produce a fast, reliable and rich data feed that will allow sports books to create more engaging products for our fans and generate additional revenue from the ability to offer more types of markets and keep those markets open longer.”
This has been the new narratives that leagues have upheld. Instead of trying to sell data to sportsbooks and betting vendors, athletic organizations are finally pooling their resources and looking for synergies instead.