UFC-DraftKings announce sponsorship deal

February 25, 2015

The Sports Business Daily reports that fantasy sports operator DraftKings has signed an exclusive partnership with the UFC.  The deal, which was rumored to occur earlier this month now makes DraftKings an official sponsor of the UFC.

The deal will include “offline and online branding assets for DraftKings” including “in-octagon signage” (which we’ve already seen) at UFC events.  One of the notable elements of the partnership is the unique UFC prizes for DraftKings players which include “trips to events, VIP experiences” with Dana White and “fighter meet-and-greets.”

Although the article indicates that daily fantasy MMA games lag behind football or basketball there’s promise that it may grow.

The UFC becomes one of several league partnerships for DraftKings which includes Major League Baseball, NHL, the Breeders’ Cup and the World Series of Poker.  It also has individual team deals with various NFL, NHL and NBA teams.

The deal was brought together by venture capital firm The Raine Group, an investor in the Boston-based fantasy operator.  It was at an investor conference earlier this month where it was reported that the deal appeared imminent.

This past December, DraftKings announced a deal with Jon Jones and the launch of Fantasy MMA on its site.

Payout Perspective:

The deal is done and makes sense considering the fantasy sports industry is booming right now.  With the UFC’s roots in the gaming industry, it was just a matter of time before this sponsorship was finalized.  It will be interesting to see if DraftKings will seek out individual MMA fighters for sponsorship opportunities.

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