DraftKings and William Hill secure ESPN sports partnerships

15th September 2020 9:58 am GMT

Leading US sportsbook operators William Hill and DraftKings have agreed co-exclusive deals with ESPN to connect sports fans with betting markets in regulated US jurisdictions.

William Hill’s partnership with ESPN, which was secured through Caesars Entertainment, will see geo-targeted links displayed on ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy app in US jurisdictions with a regulated sports betting market, with Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill also serving as a sponsor of ESPN's Fantasy products, deepening an existing relationship as ESPN's exclusive odds provider.

The agreement follows the completion of Caesars’ merger with Eldorado Resorts, which made William Hill the exclusive sports betting operator of the merged company.

“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,” said Ulrik Bengtsson, group chief executive of William Hill. “Giving ESPN users this access will accelerate our leadership, as we continue to expand in the US.”

“With Caesars utilizing odds from William Hill's sports betting data, we are able to deliver content in new and innovative ways," said Mike Morrison, VP of business development & innovation, ESPN. “Our multi-dimensional relationship is a testament to the growth and opportunity in the sports betting space.”

DraftKings' partnership will see the operator serve as the co-exclusive sportsbook link-out provider and exclusive daily fantasy sports provider of the media giant, with links across ESPN digital platforms to connect fans to DraftKings’ products and services. DraftKings will also power existing and future ESPN studio shows with dedicated segments for promotion, beginning with daily fantasy sports.

“ESPN helped revolutionize the 24/7 sports news cycle and continues to be the go-to source for many fans today on the latest and largest sports stories,” said Jason Robins, co-founder and chief executive of DraftKings. “We look forward to this collaboration to exclusively showcase DraftKings’ daily fantasy content and offerings while also advancing further visibility and mainstream adoption of our regulated sports betting products.”

“Sports betting is quickly becoming endemic to the overall experience of the sports fan,” added Mark Walker, SVP of business development & innovation, ESPN. “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.”

Shares in Caesars Entertainment Inc. (NSQ:CZR) closed 10.54 per cent higher at $55.39 per share in New York Monday, while shares in DraftKings Inc. (NSQ:DKNG) gained 17.27 per cent to close at $48.62 per share.

Shares in William Hill plc. (LSE:WMH) were trading up 7.04 per cent at 213.00 pence per share in London Tuesday morning.

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