Multinational sports broadcasting company ESPN has extended its blueprint in US sports betting through deals with two major operators in the country.
DraftKings will be the company’s exclusively daily fantasy sports provider, while Caesars/William Hill is to become the broadcaster’s exclusive odds provider.
ESPN will receive a referral fee for each new customer sign-up with both operators, in addition to minimum revenue guarantees.
As for Caesars/William Hill and DraftKings, the two of them will be given sports betting link integrations across a variety of ESPN’s digital platforms.
“ESPN is one of the pre-eminent brands in sports”
Through the Caesars deal, William Hill will receive all traffic from links on ESPN’s platforms. This is due to the UK-headquartered operator now taking care of all of Caesars’ betting-specific matters.
William Hill Group CEO Ulrik Bengtsson expects the partnership with the US sports broadcasting giant to be a significant move for the operator. He had the following to say.
“ESPN is one of the pre-eminent brands in sports. Tens of millions of fans will now have a direct link to our sports betting apps and odds.
“Giving ESPN users this access will accelerate our leadership as we continue to expand in the US.”
Links for Caesars/William Hill will be geo-targeted to states where sports betting is permitted by law; likewise with DraftKings’ links and daily fantasy sports.
ESPN Senior Vice President of Business Development and Innovation Mark Walker also spoke about the new sportsbook deals, and said the below.
“Sports betting is quickly becoming endemic to the overall experience of the sports fan.
“To us, that means greater opportunities to innovate and deliver the best and most seamless experience for fans, which will ultimately expand ESPN’s brand and audience and increase engagement.
“It is an industry that we will continue to actively pursue as it grows and evolves.”
Practicalities of the partnerships
Caesars/William Hill and DraftKings will have their links integrated within ESPN’s main website on both desktop and mobile, in addition to the ESPN Fantasy mobile app.
DraftKings will also feature across various other ESPN platforms. This will start with daily fantasy sports-related areas on the broadcaster’s premier studio shows.
The operator’s Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder Jason Robins shared his own thoughts on the new partnership with ESPN.
“We are very excited to be expanding our relationship with ESPN to include deeper integration of both our sports betting and daily fantasy sports offerings across their platforms.
“ESPN’s reach among sports fans is unparalleled, and the start of NFL is the perfect time for DraftKings to be launching this integration.”
William Hill, meanwhile, will sponsor ESPN’s range of fantasy products – in addition to its position as exclusive odds provider.
Caesars Entertainment Chief Executive Tom Reeg also spoke about the broadcaster’s deeper delve into the world of US sports betting. He said the below.
“Caesars’ relationship with ESPN continues to deepen with the ability to directly link to sportsbooks from our partner, William Hill, from ESPN’s digital platforms.
“ESPN’s unparalleled reach provides a transformational opportunity for sports fans and enthusiasts to engage and wager at their fingertips.
“This new initiative closely followed the grand opening of the new ESPN Studio with Caesars at the center of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.”