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DraftKings strikes WWE collaboration deal


DraftKings has struck a deal to become the official gaming partner of WWE, the US-based wrestling entertainment promoter.

The partnership will focus initially on DraftKings’ free-to-play pools product, with the first offering under the partnership set to coincide with the 37th edition of WWE’s annual WrestleMania event, which will take place on the weekend of April 10-11 in Tampa, Florida.

DraftKings said that the agreement, which will give the operator an exclusive licence to media assets and in-game branding for WWE pay-per-view events, is “subject to regulatory approval in all applicable jurisdictions” across the US.

The two parties will also collaborate on digital promotions and program integrations.

The agreement marks the latest major partnership sealed by DraftKings, which was named as the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s official sportsbook and daily fantasy sports partner earlier this month.

“As a cultural icon and incredible sports and entertainment company, we are thrilled to join forces with WWE and introduce its devoted fanbase to the DraftKings brand,” said Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings’ chief business officer.

“This relationship helps fuel the engagement and drama of WWE’s signature matchups and storylines as audiences enjoy the second-screen experiences our products provide.”

WrestleMania 37 will take place next month at Raymond James Stadium – which hosted the NFL Super Bowl for the third time just last month. Like the recent NFL showpiece, the WWE event will take place in front of a limited crowd of just under 25,000 fans, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

However, WrestleMania traditionally enjoys a significant reach beyond the host stadium, with last year’s event generating 967 million video views across WWE’s various digital and social channels – a 20-per-cent year-on-year increase.

“We’re excited to enter this new agreement that makes DraftKings WWE’s first-ever free-to-play gaming partner,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE’s chief brand officer.

“This collaboration marks a significant step in deepening engagement with our passionate fans and will provide DraftKings the opportunity to leverage the massive appeal and reach of the WWE brand.”