DraftKings announces partnership with Jon Jones, launch of Fantasy MMA

December 23, 2014

On Tuesday, fantasy sports web site DraftKings announced a partnership with UFC Champ Jon Jones in conjunction with the launch of Daily Fantasy MMA on its web site.

In its first method of sponsor activation, DraftKings is offering a contest with winners of the first DraftKings MMA event getting a chance to meet Jones as well as an all-expenses paid trip to UFC 183 on January 31st in Vegas where Anderson Silva faces Nick Diaz in the main event.

Citing the young MMA demo and its potential for growth are the primary reasons why DraftKings has decided to embark on the new fantasy site and the partnership with Jones.

draft kings

Details of the contests are here.

DraftKings, a Boston-based company, has forged partnerships with Major League Baseball, the World Series of Poker, World Poker Tour and the Breeders Cup.  In addition, DraftKings has an official partnership with the New England Patriots (coincidentally Jones’ brother plays for the Pats).   It also has individual deals with the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers.

According to DraftKings’ press release, there are more than 41 million people in the U.S. and Canada that play fantasy sports.  DraftKings offers contests for experts and casual players.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Payout Perspective:

There are other sites out there with Fantasy MMA options but this new deal with Jones could see DraftKings as the “official” Fantasy site for the UFC.  When UFC exec Lawrence Epstein told ESPN back in October that the UFC supported the expansion of betting in the U.S., one might conclude that this was one of the potential reasons.  Similar to the NBA, which also publicly supports a gambling option in the U.S., fantasy sports operators have forged deals with leagues to be its official operator.  The NBA has a deal with DraftKings’ rival, FanDuel.  One of the potential reasons for these partnerships is to solidify ownership of the rights to the statistics of the leagues.  This is another way that leagues, such as the UFC, can monetize its information.  Whether there is an ownership right to statistics is a debatable subject.

As for the partnership, this is another sign that the UFC is actively pursuing sponsorship options.  On Monday, news broke that it is in advanced negotiations with Monster Energy Drink and earlier this month it entered into a deal with Reebok.

We will see where this sponsorship goes and what it may mean for the UFC.

4 Responses to “DraftKings announces partnership with Jon Jones, launch of Fantasy MMA”

  1. Wonderjudas on December 23rd, 2014 9:34 AM

    The sponsorship deals which have been signed since going exclusively with Reebok have been interesting… I wonder how we’ll reflect on this period two years from now: is this feast or famine? Boon or bust?

  2. tops E on December 23rd, 2014 11:42 AM

    Desperation…they need funding…theyre selling cheap….hahahHahA

  3. anti-trolls on December 23rd, 2014 8:21 PM

    am i the only person annoyed by TOPS?

  4. d on December 23rd, 2014 11:58 PM

    Who cares, he is retarded.

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