Their Deal With DraftKings Revealed, Even The New York Giants Now Embrace Sports Betting

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The New York Giants are arguably the most straight-laced of the NFL’s 32 franchises. Even in 2020, they still resist the concept of cheerleaders despite their MetLife Stadium partners the New York Jets featuring “The Flight Crew.”

On Wednesday, the team played against that image when it made official an exclusive multi-year deal with DraftKings as its “official sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and iGaming operator partner.”

“This multi-faceted arrangement grants DraftKings access to official Giants marks and logos, in addition to a first of its kind virtual SportsLounge open on Giants’ game days, providing attendees with unique and innovative ways to engage on all DraftKings platforms,” the team announced in a statement.

Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings’ chief business officer, said that DK and the Giants will provide a Free-to-Play Pick ‘Em game that will be available to Giants fans on a weekly basis.

Kucharz added that “out of the over 700 sports teams available on the DraftKings Sportsbook platform, the Giants rank in the top 40 for most highly bet franchises by both handle and wagers.”

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The Giants hinted at the arrangement on Monday night, when the team’s local radio broadcast repeatedly touted DraftKings in advertising during the team’s spectator-free home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Giants fans will notice DK when they return to stadium

The new deal will include DraftKings signage at MetLife Stadium as well as an in-stadium sports lounge.

“It’s about all the products,” Kucharz told CNBC on Wednesday. “We’re trying to service the sports fan, and the sportsbook and [daily fantasy sports]  are important to us, and we’re going to create a lot of opportunities for fans to have fun.”

Giants executive Pete Guelli said that “we are excited to be the first NFL team to have an exclusive integrated deal in this category.”

DraftKings will be recognized as a sponsor and exclusive category advertiser across all team-controlled media including television (NBC, MSG Networks, MY9), radio (Entercom/WFAN), and digital and social media (Giants.com and the official Giants mobile app).

The deal is of particular interest because the nearby Meadowlands Racetrack is home to the FanDuel Sportsbook, which is DraftKings’ main rival in the daily fantasy sports space and now nationwide in sports betting as more and more states legalize it.

The NFL, the NCAA, MLB, NBA, and NHL all sued New Jersey in 2014 in an attempt to prevent the state from offering sport betting. After years of court battles won by the leagues — two by 2-1 U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals margins — the Supreme Court in May 2018 struck down a 26-year-old extensive ban on sports betting as unconstitutional. That opened the door for any state to offer Las Vegas-style sports betting, and New Jersey operators began doing so a month later.

Legal sports betting not new to the Meadowlands fans

Fans visiting MetLife Stadium in the pre-pandemic era in 2018 and 2019 were able to legally wager on Giants and Jets games from the comfort of their seats, both pre-game and with live “in-game” betting.

As it happens, the “New York” name on the Giants franchise is for a state that only endorses legal sports betting at its four brick-and-mortar casinos — the nearest one being Resorts World Catskills in upstate New York.

New York City residents can make legal wagers by crossing the Hudson River so that geolocation technology on their cell phones can confirm their New Jersey location.

Photo courtesy of DraftKings

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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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