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ESPN All In For Sports Gambling With Partnership Deals

The sports gambling world will never be the same, and that’s a good thing.  International sports broadcaster ESPN has signed two major deals with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings.

Both agreements include co-exclusive link integrations across ESPN digital platforms, linking fans to sportsbooks from Caesars Entertainment’s sports wagering partner, William Hill, and DraftKings.  This will be a very profitable deal for all parties involved, and is one more example of the massive changes occurring in the sports/sports gambling mashup.

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ESPN, DraftKings, Caesars, William Hill Share The Same Bed

Under the terms and conditions of the new deals, ESPN is looking forward to increasing its relationships with both Caesars, as the exclusive odds provider and co-exclusive sportsbook link-out provider, and DraftKings, which will be the exclusive daily fantasy sports provider and co-exclusive sportsbook link-out provider.

This is a bigger deal than many may realize, as it connects several of the largest entities in the sports gambling segment with one of the most recognized names in sports.  There’s nowhere to go but up from here.

Mike Morrison, the VP of Business Development and Innovation of ESPN, explains, “Our new agreements with Caesars and DraftKings collectively represent the next significant milestone for ESPN to diversify our exposure and deepen our commitment in the sports betting space.” This is actually one of the most important business deals ESPN has forged in the past several years.

Morrison adds, “We began growing the experience through content, followed by odds utilizing William Hill’s sports betting data and a new state-of-the-art studio facility in Las Vegas through our deal with Caesars, and now with the addition of DraftKings, we are bringing together the sports media leader with two of the top brands and best products in the segment.”

William Hill Gets Fantasy Exposure

As part of the new Caesars deal, Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill will also become a sponsor of ESPN’s Fantasy products, intensifying its exposure as ESPN’s exclusive odds provider.  The news follows the recent presentation of ESPN’s Las Vegas studio at The LINQ Hotel + Experience and its prolonged content collaboration.

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Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said, “Caesars’ relationship with ESPN continues to deepen with the ability to directly link to sportsbooks from our partner, William Hill, from ESPN’s digital platforms.”  He adds, “ESPN’s unparalleled reach provides a transformational opportunity for sports fans and enthusiasts to engage and wager at their fingertips.  This new initiative closely followed the grand opening of the new ESPN Studio with Caesars at the center of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.” The possibilities for fans and bettors to wager will be made much simpler.

According to the recent DraftKings deal, the DFS and sportsbook operator will control integrations across all ESPN content, starting with daily fantasy sports parts on ESPN’s premier studio shows.  Jason Robins, co-Founder, chairman and CEO of DraftKings, explains, “We are very excited to be expanding our relationship with ESPN to include deeper integration of both our sports betting and daily fantasy sports offerings across their platforms,” He adds “ESPN’s reach amongst sports fans is unparalleled, and the start of NFL is the perfect time for DraftKings to be launching this integration.”

All sportsbook connections will be geo-targeted to legalized sports betting states.  Link integrations across digital platforms will include ESPN.com web and mobile web, as well as the ESPN Fantasy app. ESPN will use all its platforms to make the wagering possibilities easier for the public.  Sportsbooks didn’t necessarily need any help attracting new customers – sports gambling has exploded, with New Jersey now taking over Nevada as the US leader.  However, the amount of exposure these deals are going to provide is exceptionally large.

Mark Walker, Senior VP of Business Development and Innovation of ESPN, states, “Sports betting is quickly becoming endemic to the overall experience of the sports fan.  To us, that means greater opportunities to innovate and deliver the best and most seamless experience for fans, which will ultimately expand ESPN’s brand and audience and increase engagement.  It is an industry that we will continue to actively pursue as it grows and evolves.”

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Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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