FanDuel and the New York Yankees have expanded their multi-year partnership, making FanDuel the official sports betting partner of the Yankees. The move comes on the heels of the announcement that the Yankees’ crosstown rival Mets took on Caesars Sportsbook as their official sports betting partner.
The New York Yankees and FanDuel have had a relationship since 2020. The two sides announced that they are expanding their partnership to make FanDuel the official sports betting partner of the Yankees. The deal allows FanDuel to utilize the Yankees’ trademarks, as well as to offer premium VIP accommodations at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will include advertising for FanDuel on their rotating signage in right field as well as digitally during television broadcasts in the area behind home plate.
The partnership was a natural fit. As one of the best online sportsbooks in New York, FanDuel Sportsbook has dominated the market in the initial stages of legal sports betting being available in the state. FanDuel’s handle for the first 14 weeks was over $2 billion, compared to $1.38 billion from their nearest competitor, DraftKings. Overall they have a 37.2% share of the total handle in the state. The Yankees recently passed $7 billion in valuation, making them the most valuable franchise in all of professional sports.
The two massively successful entities have high hopes for a mutually beneficial arrangement. While many other teams and sportsbooks have entered into sponsorship agreements, getting on board with the Yankees as opposed to another team certainly adds some prestige. FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffensperger stated: “There is no more globally recognized sports brand than the New York Yankees, and as a New York-based company we’re delighted to remain partners with our hometown team. One of our company values is to be absurdly fan-focused, and there is no fanbase more passionate about their team than Yankees, which makes this a natural fit.”
The Yankees defy the stereotype that baseball is waning in popularity, as they drew almost 2,000,000 fans in 2021 in spite of pandemic restrictions on capacity for much of the season. Their 2021 television viewership rose by 7% compared to 2019, the most recent full 162 game season. The Yankees hope to further increase fan engagement by expanding their relationship with FanDuel. Michael J. Tusiani, New York Yankees Senior Vice President, Partnerships stated in the press release announcing the deal: “We are very excited to be continuing our relationship with FanDuel—our Partner since 2020. We hope that FanDuel’s Yankee Stadium presence and customer engagement will continue to strengthen its brand as a US sportsbook operator within the tri-state area.”
The terms of the new deal were not disclosed, and the announcement did not include specifics beyond trademark usage and advertising opportunities. The immediate speculative question is whether or not there will be any type of retail gaming establishment on-site at Yankee Stadium. The Mets’ partnership with Caesars Sportsbook came along with the establishment of an upscale lounge area at Citi Field that features a restaurant and viewing area, and is designed as a place for bettors to comfortably utilize the company’s mobile betting app.
It seems logical that the Yankees and FanDuel would want to at least provide a similar sponsored area where fans can place wagers while at the game, if not a full-fledged retail sportsbook. Yankees fans and online sports betting enthusiasts will be anxiously awaiting to find out what additional perks will come along with this sponsorship agreement.
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