DraftKings announced as UFC’s first official sportsbook partner in “groundbreaking” deal

By Iqbal Johal

DraftKings has been announced as the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) first official sportsbook and daily fantasy partner.

The “groundbreaking” agreement hailed as “one of the most significant partnerships in UFC history” will allow the fantasy sports and sports betting operator to offer in-game promotions, activations, in-broadcast odds integrations and UFC branding across its products.

The partnership, which applies to the US and Canada, also sees DraftKings possess rights to use official UFC marks and logos and the operator will provide fans free-to-play UFC games and enhanced prop bets, on a weekly basis.

In addition, DraftKings will also become the presenting partner of the UFC Fight Clock, the organisation’s proprietary time-keeping system, and the operator’s branding will appear on the Octagon canvas at select UFC events held as part of Dana White’s Contender Series.

DraftKings co-founder, chairman and CEO Jason Robins, said: “Combat sports, and UFC in particular, have scaled significantly across both our sportsbook and daily fantasy verticals, evolving from a niche offering to a high-demand category that we believe will only grow further as we innovate.

“While DraftKings and UFC have previously collaborated on specific events, we are proud to become official partners and explore even more impactful integrations that prioritise the fan experience.”

UFC president White, added: “This is a massive deal that will benefit UFC, DraftKings, and most of all the fans. This is the most important deal we’ve ever done to increase engagement with our fans and reach new ones, and I’m looking forward to all the exciting things we’re going to do with DraftKings over the next few years.”

Shares in DraftKings surged 4% in premarket trading on 4 March as a result of the partnership being announced. While last week, the operator reported a 49% year-on-year rise in revenue for full-year 2020, up to $643.5m on a pro forma basis.

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