Partnership Reports

Sponsorships Emerge as a Top Bet for Betting Brands

May 9, 2024

As sports betting has exploded nationwide since 2018—it’s now legal in 38 states, along with the District of Columbia—so has the industry’s status in the sponsorship world, where the nascent category has become an ever-evolving and highly competitive market. 

The sports betting sponsorship landscape has undergone a seismic shift in recent years. In 2019, more than 135 brands were buying sports betting and daily fantasy sponsorships, averaging 3 endorsement deals per brand. Today, that number has surged 295% to nearly 550 brands, which now average 5 sponsorships each—an astonishing trajectory that both illustrates the sector’s lightning-fast expansion and showcases the intensifying competition among deep-pocketed brands as they vie for visibility.

DraftKings and FanDuel continue to dominate this hyper-competitive field, each having expanded its sponsorship portfolio by more than 75% since 2019. The emergence of hungry new players like PrizePicks—whose sponsorship deals have multiplied by more than 300% since 2022—continues to stoke the flames of competition in the market. This influx of challenger brands is reshaping how sponsorships are activated, as innovative strategies and data-driven insights play a crucial role in cultivating audience attention and engagement. Notably, the strategy of allocating more than 35% of ads to pre-broadcast slots by brands like DraftKings contrasts with the broader trend of relegating just 20% to such placements, highlighting two distinct approaches to maximizing impact.

These sponsorships’ distribution across US major pro sports leagues also provides key insights into the strategic focus of betting brands. The NFL and NHL lead the pack with about 27% of sponsorships each, followed by the NBA, MLB, and MLS, reflecting not only these leagues’ popularity and viewership patterns—this year’s NHL Playoffs broadcast audience increased 65% over 2023—but also the tactical alignment of sponsorship opportunities with audience demographics and peak engagement periods. As the category continues to evolve, comprehensive sponsorship databases and analytics platforms can offer brands the competitive intelligence necessary to navigate this dynamic marketplace, optimize their activations, and forge more meaningful connections with fans.

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