Broncos-FanDuel Partnership Signals Full 180 For NFL On Legal Sports Betting

Posted on June 18, 2020 - Last Updated on June 25, 2020

Just three years ago, the NFL was opposed to the expansion of legal sports betting in the US. Now, a Broncos-FanDuel partnership gives the NFL franchise an official partner for that very purpose.

Also, the Denver Broncos have broken the ice on the sponsorship category, making a deal with Betfred to sponsor a betting lounge on game days.

It’s all a remarkable turn of events.

Details on the Broncos-FanDuel partnership

While NFL teams have had partnerships with FanDuel before, those sponsorship deals only covered daily fantasy sports. This deal is the first for an NFL franchise to include sports betting specifically.

The deal makes FanDuel the official DFS and sportsbook provider for the Broncos. However, details on what that will encompass exactly are still unofficial.

Broncos fans should expect to see FanDuel signage at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium on game days. Additionally, the Broncos’ digital properties will likely feature FanDuel promotions.

This realization shift has been building up for a while.

Earlier this year, the NFL began allowing its teams to form partnerships with legal sportsbooks in its new collective bargaining agreement.

Mile High betting lounge, courtesy of Betfred

That new agreement language includes allowing franchises to host betting lounges inside stadiums on game days. That will be another NFL-first at Empower Field this season.

Colorado law does not allow for stadium operators to offer retail sports betting.

The Broncos have worked out a plan with the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, which owns the Empower Field stadium. Furthermore, sportsbook operator Betfred will sponsor a betting lounge and game-day amenities.

The space will have the feel of a retail sportsbook, including odds tickers and Betfred branding. The lounge will be near the Ring of Fame Plaza.

The main difference between the lounge and a retail sportsbook is that the space won’t incorporate betting kiosks and windows. Instead, bettors will place bets on their phones. Staff in the lounge will be on hand to assist.

Betfred could also offer special promos and odds on its app to bettors within the geofenced location.

These are important milestones for the NFL and the sports betting industry. It also speaks to the strength of the legal sports betting market in CO.

What this means for the future

In 2017, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insisted the league would oppose any expansion of legal sports betting.

“The integrity of our game is No. 1. We will not compromise on that,” Goodell said a few years ago.

Indeed, the NFL was one of the plaintiffs that sued then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie when the state attempted to legalize sports betting.

It’s quite a contradiction to today. Now an NFL team will profit directly from legal sports betting by taking sponsorship dollars from a sportsbook operator and promoting sports betting.

CO bettors should also look at this news as a “feather in the cap” for the state. Sports betting apps have only been operating in the state since May 1, and it’s already the site of the first of such deals.

With the ice broken, NFL teams and legal sportsbooks in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Tennessee may join in.

If that happens, it will have all started with the Broncos, Betfred and FanDuel.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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