Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced a multi-year agreement with FanDuel Group (FanDuel) involving multiple facets of FanDuel’s sports wagering, advance deposit wagering (ADW), and television businesses.
Under the agreement, CDI will provide certain technology and services to enable FanDuel’s customers to place pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing via FanDuel’s sports wagering and ADW platforms. CDI will also authorize wagering on CDI’s owned or controlled horse racing content via FanDuel’s platforms in the US and grant FanDuel certain television and media rights to broadcast CDI-owned racing content on FanDuel’s television network(s). In addition, the agreement provides FanDuel non-exclusive Kentucky Derby sponsorship rights within the sports wagering category.
Beginning in January 2023, FanDuel will pay for CDI technology and services provided by United Tote Company (United Tote) to facilitate pari-mutuel wagering on FanDuel’s platforms in the US, including FanDuel Sportsbook and TVG. As previously announced, CDI has entered into an agreement to sell 49% of United Tote to New York Racing Association in a transaction that is expected to close by the end of 2022.
CDI will provide FanDuel wagering rights to horse racing content owned or controlled by CDI, including the Kentucky Derby, and will receive customary content fees when FanDuel accepts wagers on CDI-owned content. FanDuel will also receive exclusive television rights to the racing content of all CDI thoroughbred racetracks, including Churchill Downs Racetrack, once its existing non-Derby media rights deal expires in 2023. The agreement excludes certain specified racing content, including Kentucky Derby Week.
As part of the agreement, FanDuel will also receive a non-exclusive sponsorship of the Kentucky Derby in the sports wagering category beginning in 2023 in exchange for an annual sponsorship fee.
“With the launch of FanDuel TV last week and the upcoming integration of premier racing content into our market-leading sports book, we believe this is an inflection point in our ability to offer our customers a seamless wagering experience with a single wallet,” Amy Howe, CEO of FanDuel, said.
“We are especially pleased that we will be able to offer wagering on the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby, and that we will have exclusive broadcast rights to the Churchill Downs Incorporated family of tracks on FanDuel TV. We look forward to creating new audiences for horse racing,” Amy Howe added.
“We look forward to working with FanDuel to deliver premium horse racing content to their expansive base of sports wagering customers. We are confident that FanDuel’s market approach teamed with our expertise and technology will seamlessly deliver horse racing content and pari-mutuel wagering solutions to a significant number of new fans,” Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI, said.
FanDuel Announces Initiatives and Donations to Support Responsible Gaming
To promote the importance of safer play during Problem Gambling Awareness Month, FanDuel has announced a series of initiatives and donations to further support a culture of Responsible Gaming.
FanDuel will donate $100,000 to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) that will further support the NCPG’s Agility Grants program, in partnership with the NFL Foundation. This program provides funding to nonprofit organizations across the country for problem gambling prevention in areas that currently have no such services.
“FanDuel’s commitment to supporting a spectrum of services from problem gambling prevention to responsible gambling education is a reflection of their dedication to building a safe and sustainable gambling ecosystem. We are excited to continue to partner with FanDuel on our Agility Grants program, the first-ever national grants for problem gambling prevention. Together, we are taking an important step forward in mitigating gambling-related harm,” Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG, said.
Additionally, FanDuel will expand its support of the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) to fund ground-breaking research designed to understand gambling behavior in the US. With this research, ICRG and FanDuel aim to enhance the industry’s tools to identify potential harm, mitigate risk, and improve responsible gambling programs.
“FanDuel’s substantial support plays a crucial role in promoting important research. We commend the company for its unwavering dedication towards advocating responsible gaming and increasing awareness about it,” Arthur Paikowsky, President of ICRG, said.
FanDuel also will expand efforts to raise responsible gaming awareness through its RG ambassador program. RG ambassador Craig Carton, host of “The Carton Show” on FS1 and “Carton and Roberts” on WFAN 101.9/660 AM radio in New York, recently kicked off a “Responsible Gaming College Tour” with stops at college campuses across the northeast to raise awareness and educate young adults around the risks of problem gambling. In March, the tour will continue with a stop at Sacred Heart University.
“March is an important month to highlight advocacy for responsible gaming. Whether it’s connecting with young adults about my story on campus or promoting safer play among sports fans on social media, I look forward to continuing to promote a culture of responsible gaming with FanDuel,” Carton said.
Seven-division boxing champion and FanDuel RG ambassador Amanda Serrano and Carton also will share video content on their respective social channels reminding sports fans of the importance of playing within limits and encouraging those choosing to wager on sporting events to use FanDuel’s “Play Well” tools including wager, deposit, and time limit technology, to help manage their play.
“As a FanDuel Responsible Gaming Ambassador, I’m proud to work with the team at FanDuel to promote education around responsible play. During Problem Gambling Awareness Month, it’s even more important to remind those who choose to wager of the tools and resources available to them to help stay in control of the way they play,” Serrano said.
FanDuel works closely with its professional league and team partners to promote responsible gaming to sports fans and applauds the efforts of those who are working to raise awareness of safer play this March. Building off FanDuel’s partnership with the NBA, at games this spring, FanDuel and team partners are sharing critical responsible gaming messaging and raising calls to action at arenas throughout the country, furthering the reach of efforts to promote RG education and tool usage, enabling fans stay in control of their play.
“Prioritizing responsible gambling efforts has been integral to our relationship with FanDuel from day one. Responsible gambling is a key pillar of our approach to legal sports betting and we are grateful that FanDuel shares that vision,” said Scott Kaufman-Ross, Senior Vice President, Head of Gaming & New Business Ventures, NBA.
Throughout the month, FanDuel will support the PGA TOUR’s newly launched campaign for Problem Gambling Awareness Month on FanDuel TV and through FanDuel social media channels.
“When the PGA TOUR made the decision five years ago to enter this space, we did it fully understanding that integrity programs and responsible gaming initiatives would lead the way. Because of that, we’ve developed deep relationships with operators such as FanDuel that also have that mindset and see responsible gaming as a shared priority and collective responsibility,” Scott Warfield, VP of Gaming for the PGA TOUR, said.
“This March marks the 20th anniversary of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and we will once again use this as a moment to demonstrate how FanDuel aims to set the standard for what it means to be a responsible operator. Through collaboration with our valued partners, we can continue to raise Responsible Gaming awareness and encourage our customers to incorporate our Play Well tools into their experience,” Amy Howe, CEO of FanDuel Group, said.
FanDuel Group and WNBA Announce Multiyear Partnership Renewal
The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and FanDuel announced a multiyear partnership extension, making FanDuel an Official Sportsbook Partner and Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the WNBA.
The extension arrives five years after FanDuel initially partnered with the WNBA, which marked the company’s first partnership with a women’s professional sports league and the first major fantasy operator to launch a WNBA game.
As part of the multiyear agreement, FanDuel becomes an Official Sportsbook Partner and continues to be an Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the WNBA, operating the Official Daily Fantasy Game of the WNBA. FanDuel will have the ability to leverage WNBA marks across its gaming platforms, as well as activate around retail and online sports betting. The company will also engage with fans through WNBA themed free-to-play games. In future seasons, FanDuel betting odds will also be featured on WNBA digital channels on select pages. In addition, FanDuel and the WNBA will collaborate on responsible gaming and best-in-class practices to protect the integrity of WNBA games.
“FanDuel has made a concerted effort to support sports equity. We are tangibly acting to elevate female athletes and one important way to do that is growing strategic partnerships with an organization that is the true pioneer in the space – the WNBA. This new deal allows FanDuel to build and promote a true sports ecosystem around women’s professional basketball including highlights now on FanDuel TV,” Amy Howe, CEO of FanDuel Group, said.
FanDuel will have a series of content integrations including highlights accessible within its sportsbook and fantasy sports platforms next season. The company will also have access to footage rights on FanDuel’s owned and produced content across its various platforms including the company’s recently announced television network, FanDuel TV and its new OTT network FanDuel +.
“We continue to see increased interest from a broadening fanbase in the WNBA. Fans are seeking more ways to engage with our game, and FanDuel has been a great partner in growing their offering to meet that demand, as shown by our partnership renewal. In the seasons ahead, we look forward to building on this strong partnership and working with FanDuel to introduce increased offerings as part of our focus on new and innovative ways to drive fan engagement and enhance the fan experience,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
FanDuel Announces Two New Executive Appointments
FanDuel Group has announced two appointments reflecting each executive’s contributions to the success of the business. Effective immediately, Christian Genetski has been promoted to the role of President, FanDuel Group and Mike Raffensperger has been named to the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer. Both executives will continue their long tenures with FanDuel, during which they have helped steward the company’s explosive growth. The promotions of Genetski and Raffensperger provide FanDuel with important leadership continuity, with each executive having separate and direct reporting lines into Amy Howe, Chief Executive Officer.
“It cannot be overstated how seminal both Christian and Mike have been to not only the success of FanDuel but to the industry more broadly. Each have helped nurture and evolve FanDuel from innovative upstart to the dominant market leader in sports betting and i-gaming. I am delighted to expand their roles as we continue into the future,” Howe said.
“Keeping Christian’s deep institutional knowledge within FanDuel was critically important to me. In his expanded role, Christian’s expert voice will impact decisions that are vital to creating a sustainable long-term business, while providing critical continuity for FanDuel to thrive in the future. Similarly, Mike’s leadership of our revenue producing commercial units and marketing is a structure we believe best positions us for growth and reflects how important his performance has been to our success,” Howe added.
As President, Genetski will oversee all of FanDuel’s business development, partnership, corporate strategy, and government affairs units. He will also be responsible for driving FanDuel’s vision and execution of strategic partnerships and new business initiatives to extend the company’s leadership position. Previously FanDuel’s Chief Legal Officer, Genetski has played a historic role working with legislators, regulators and industry counterparts across the United States to unlock sports betting in the US, build the regulatory framework operators follow, and do so in a manner that positioned FanDuel for success.
Raffensperger has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing revenue generation across FanDuel’s sportsbook, casino, racing, daily fantasy and free-to-play platforms. The new position significantly expands Raffensperger’s duties to include commercial leadership, which had previously been run by Howe. In addition, he will also assume oversight for FanDuel’s content and programming assets including the company’s broadly distributed cable network – TVG. Previously FanDuel’s Chief Marketing Officer, Raffensperger will continue to steer both the marketing and now commercial units, forming a more cohesive structure that better positions the company for success into the future.
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