Fantasy sports have never been more popular and the current momentum indicates no signs of halting anytime soon. What started as a hobby between small groups of friends in the early ‘80s is now a full-fledged industry that touts official partnerships with America’s premier sports leagues. However, the format had to change to forge these partnerships. While the leagues themselves host free fantasy sports through their own websites, the daily fantasy sports (DFS) market brought the leagues and top platforms together in ways it hadn’t ever before.
Now, the question is where do each go from here, and how will the relationship continue to develop?
The current American DFS landscape is dominated by two companies, DraftKings and FanDuel. Both companies are billion dollar earners and on upward trajectories. The aforementioned relationship between FanDuel and the NBA is one of the highlights for the New York City-based platform. For the Boston-based DraftKings, the current NFL season could be its make or break season. With a constant barrage of ads during games and a $10 Million NFL Millionaire Maker event to open the season, early numbers indicate the investment is paying off. Traffic towards the site shows people are paying attention to ads. As both platforms launch multi-million dollar tournaments for Week 2, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season shakes out betting-wise.
While each company further asserts its DFS dominance, other large names like Yahoo and Amaya plan to enter the fray with their own DFS brand. For the current top two, their financial futures remain uncertain as they evaluate whether the next move should come from public or private funding. While DraftKings’ latest round touts a who’s who of industry names, FanDuel plans to wait until this January to determine its next course of financial action.
Another likely option could lead to a merger, one DraftKings CEO Jason Robins hasn’t ruled out if FanDuel has mutual interest. At this point, that is primarily conjecture and should not be considered a viable option.
When it comes to the relationship each brand continues to forge with America’s top leagues, early indication shows that the bond is working–though revenue will truly indicate if this is more than just a few-year engagement for all parties. For now, all signs appear to show that we should expect to see further bonds in this capacity.
While this article aims to remain out of the fray of the subject, those that participate are urged to gamble responsibly.