BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY

DraftKings is Professional Fighters League’s sportsbook, daily fantasy partner

Peter Murray (©PFL)
Peter Murray (©PFL)

The Professional Fighters League has announced a new, multi-year partnership that designates DraftKings Inc. as its official sportsbook and daily fantasy partner. The multi-faceted partnership will give mixed martial arts, daily fantasy and sports betting fans a truly unique viewing and gaming experience utilizing PFL’s proprietary SmartCage technology.

To start the season, wagering on PFL fights via DraftKings will be available for fans across the United States, pending regulatory approvals. The league is the first in combat sports to capture and distribute real-time fighter data and analytics, which are integrated into each broadcast and across the league’s digital and social channels and include metrics like punch speed, fighter tracking, kick speed, heart rate and caloric burn.

This data will eventually allow for innovative and distinctive prop bets. For example, fans will be able to place a wager on whether or not a fighter will land a strike exceeding 25 MPH.
 
“We’re thrilled to partner with DraftKings as we look to advance the sport by delivering a premium and unique betting and gaming experience to the millions of passionate MMA fans in the US,” PFL chief executive officer Peter Murray stated. “The PFL’s win and advance season format combined with our proprietary SmartCage fight data and analytics offer unmatched prop bets and gaming opportunities. MMA’s league is back with our season debut this Friday, April 23 in primetime on ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes.”

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With DraftKings as the official sportsbook and daily fantasy partner of the PFL, live odds will be integrated into each event broadcast across ESPN networks and streaming platforms as well as during the league’s pre-fight show. Presented by DraftKings, the show will be hosted by former college basketball player and ESPN media personality Jonathan Coachman and former MMA fighter Ian Parker.

DraftKings will offer cash prizes coupled with PFL-branded pools tied to the league’s regular season, playoffs and championship events. These offerings expand on the 2019 PFL Championship Pick’Em game, which garnered over 30,000 submissions and featured six world title fights worth millions of dollars on New Year’s Eve. 
 
“We are excited to further our relationship with the Professional Fighters League as their first official betting and daily fantasy partner,” DraftKings chief business officer Ezra Kucharz said. “MMA is mainstream. The fan is young, loyal, passionate and engaged and PFL delivers an innovative product. We look forward to bringing a premium betting and fantasy experience to this growing audience in what is a monumental partnership for combat sports and the gaming industry.”
 
Also, DraftKings’ logos will be featured in and around the cage and it will have exclusive rights to utilize PFL logos and official partner branding for advertising and promotions. Additionally, PFL and DraftKings will collaborate on exclusive, themed content across their social and digital platforms.

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Since its inception in 2018, the PFL has quickly established itself as the number two MMA company in the world. The league has experienced tremendous YoY growth across digital channels with 68 percent follower increase on Instagram, 30 percent total audience growth across digital and a 200 percent social engagement spike.
 
With the addition of world-class talent from elite fighters to established business executives and partnering with industry-leading brands such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, GEICO, CarParts.com and Socios, the PFL continues to accelerate its global expansion. Sports fans across more than 160 countries around world will be able to tune in to the league’s highly anticipated return on April 23, 2021 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. 
 
Sports betting regulations are still being finalized across the U.S.. Users will only be able to access these offerings in states where sports betting is legal.

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