SBJ/Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2015/Marketing and Sponsorship

Jets, FanDuel deal starts at Super Bowl

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FanDuel has signed its second NFL team sponsorship deal in three months, agreeing to a marketing pact with the New York Jets. Team President Neil Glat said the deal will begin this week with FanDuel’s support of the “Jets House” Super Bowl Week hospitality venue in New York City.

Glat called the deal “meaningful in size” and said his team has been working on the agreement for a few months.

“They are looking to grow their business with us, so we’re excited,” he said.

As next season approaches, FanDuel will sponsor fantasy results updates during Jets games at MetLife Stadium while receiving hospitality for key customers. It also will get branding across Jets-controlled media properties, such as digital, mobile, social, radio, preseason TV and signage.

NFL teams were freed up by the league to sign deals with paid fantasy sites like FanDuel last September, which was too late for many teams to develop and sell meaningful sponsorship programs. FanDuel signed with the Washington Redskins in November. Rival DraftKings completed sponsorships with the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots this past fall.

“We’re a New York company, we wanted to have a New York partnership,” said FanDuel co-founder and CEO Nigel Eccles. “We view these as a brand recognition and association exercise. If you see an ad for us and you know the Jets are our partner, we think there’s a benefit. … All of these [sponsorships] fit within our mission of connecting to the live sports experience.”

Over the past few months, a healthy competition has developed across sports, as the two leading paid fantasy sites, flush with cash from recent fundraising and desperately in need of branding, have been rapidly buying sports sponsorships and media.

FanDuel signed a league deal with the NBA, while DraftKings signed one with the NHL.

With NFL games driving most fantasy play, industry insiders expect at least 10 NFL teams to have sponsorship deals by the start of the next NFL season.

“There’s not a huge urgency now that the season is ending,” Eccles said, “but part of what we’ve been telling teams is that beyond a marketing relationship, our product is something that actually increases interest in their game.”



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