Over the last year, we’ve seen a considerable uptick in esports interest from gambling firms like Pinnacle, Betway, Luckbox, VIE.bet, and others. While some are looking to gain exposure to a young gaming audience through traditional sponsorships, others are hosting their own tournaments or forming their own esports content creation teams. Now, we’ve seen one of the biggest names in sports betting team up with one of the juggernauts of esports, as DraftKings and FaZe Clan recently announced their new partnership, which makes the former the official sports betting, iGaming, daily fantasy, and free-to-play partner of the esports lifestyle org.
The deal, which comes hot on the heels of FaZe Clan’s massive $1 billion SPAC reveal, gives FaZe Clan an exposure lift among the mainstream sports and fantasy sports betting audience that DraftKings serves daily, while enabling the gambling firm to tap into FaZe’s growing network, which includes over 350 million gamers on social platforms.
While DraftKings already offers esports daily fantasy contests ranging across Call of Duty, CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Valorant, it will now see integration across FaZe’s “digital content ecosystem, including custom content, livestream and tournament events, plus new IP and formats highlighted by original series and a new planned podcast.”
Additionally, DraftKings now will serve as the official sponsor of FaZe Clan’s Counter-Strike team and work with the org’s content creators on custom content that includes messaging around responsible gambling – an important facet of the deal given the controversial nature of promoting betting to a young demographic.
According to DraftKings President Matt Kalish, there’s been “strong crossover between DraftKings customers and FaZe’s tens of millions of viewers and followers,” which made the collaboration “a natural alliance.” Interpret’s New Media Measure® backs up this notion that FaZe Clan’s audience gravitates towards betting, as 21% of the org’s fans in the US indicate that they are very likely to bet on major esports tournaments with an online betting service compared to 16% of general esports viewers. Moreover, when including those who are somewhat likely to place bets, those figures jump to 41% of FaZe Clan fans.
With DraftKings gaining esports momentum, we’d expect other online sportsbooks to make big splashes of their own with competing esports orgs. Will FanDuel be next?