ESPN today announced an exclusive deal with DraftKings, which will become ESPN’s official daily fantasy sports platform.
DraftKings runs daily fantasy sports games that award real cash prizes to participants. The new deal with ESPN includes branding and promotional opportunities across multiple ESPN platforms.
“ESPN and DraftKings share a history of innovating and advancing fantasy sports to serve this passionate fan base,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. “DraftKings is a dynamic company – deeply connected to its fans – and we’re excited to have them on board as our official daily fantasy sports offering.”
DraftKings, a four-year-old Boston-based company, is one of the big players in the fantasy sports world. Re/code noted how the company was in talks with Disney to raise $250 million, which would have valued DraftKings at $900 million.
But that hefty investment seems in the air now, particularly with today’s announcement. DraftKings, which will award more than $1 billion in prizes this year, has raised $75 million to date and competes with FanDuel, another daily fantasy sports company.
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association notes 41.5 million fantasy sports players in 2014 who spent an average of $111 on games and league costs.