DraftKings Inks Deal to Become Official Daily Fantasy Game of the PGA Tour
On Tuesday, DraftKings and the PGA Tour announced a multi-year marketing partnership, making DraftKings an official sponsor of the PGA Tour.
Like most sports leagues, the PGA Tour long opposed the expansion of sports betting, even going so far to stop DraftKings from hosting their signature ‘Live Finals’ at PGA tournaments. The Tour’s tune has changed since the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on full-fledged sports betting outside Nevada in May 2018. Shortly after, the PGA inked a deal with IMG Arena, IMG’s sports betting service, to be their data distributor for “media usage and sports betting purposes.”
Speaking at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said he expects the rise of sports betting in the U.S. to help increase fan engagement for the PGA Tour.
“Where we are from a gaming standpoint, I’ll break it down to two points. We have for the last couple of years put all the systems in place from an integrity program to monitoring program to our ShotLink technology in place so we can be in a position to participate,” Monahans explained.“The reason we would do it is because we think gaming leads to more engagement.”
In February, the PGA Tour revised its sponsorship policy to allow players to enter into endorsement deals with gambling companies and for gambling companies to be considered as Official Marketing Partners of the PGA TOUR, with the caveat that sponsorships with U.S. companies whose primary purpose is sports betting are still prohibited.
The DraftKings-PGA Tour partnership comes on the heels of The Open Championship, the final major of the 2018-19 golf season. As Covers’ Patrick Everson tweeted out, the popularity of golf betting is on the rise, with Caesars Sportsbook’s handle for The Open Championship 2019 seeing a 35 percent increase from 2018.
For now, the PGA is sticking with fantasy golf, which is the fourth-most popular daily fantasy sports game on DraftKings out of 15 offerings. The deal makes DraftKings the first-ever “Official Daily Fantasy Game of the PGA Tour”.
Might we see the first-ever DraftKings Open, where golfers participate in a Modified Stableford format that reflects DraftKings fantasy golf scoring, i.e., +8 points for eagles, +3 points for birdies, +0.5 for Par, -0.5 for bogeys, etc., on future Tour schedules? We put Yes at -135.