Sports media giant ESPN has agreed deals with both Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings to showcase odds from William Hill and daily fantasy sports information from DraftKings.
The deal will see ESPN post and link to odds from William Hill, Caesars’ sports betting partner, while Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill will also become a sponsor of ESPN’s fantasy games. ESPN will also link to odds and daily fantasy information from DraftKings.
“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,” Mike Morrison, vice president of business development and innovation at ESPN, said. “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.”
ESPN first agreed a sports betting deal with Caesars in 2019 as its official odds data supplier across television and digital. Last month, it announced it was opening a new studio at Caesars Entertainment’s The Linq Hotel + Experience in Las Vegas. After Caesars’ takeover by Eldorado Resorts, this new deal now means odds from William Hill – the former Eldorado’s sports betting partner – will appear on ESPN.
“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,” Tom Reeg, chief executive of Caesars Entertainment, said. “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.”
Ulrik Bengtsson, group chief executive officer of William Hill, said the connection with such a large brand in sports would be a huge boost to the operator.
“ESPN is one of the pre-eminent brands in sports. Tens of millions of fans will now have a direct link to our sports betting apps and odds,” Bengtsson said. “Giving ESPN users this access will accelerate our leadership as we continue to expand in the US.”
DraftKings, meanwhile, will also see integration through daily fantasy sports segments on “ESPN’s premier studio shows”.
“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,” Jason Robins, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of DraftKings, said. “ESPN’s reach among sports fans is unparalleled, and the start of NFL is the perfect time for DraftKings to be launching this integration.”
All sportsbook links will be geotargeted to states in which sports betting is legal.
Mark Walker, senior vice president of business development and innovation at ESPN, said betting was an area where ESPN hoped to continue to strengthen its ties.
“Sports betting is quickly becoming endemic to the overall experience of the sports fan,” Walker said. “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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