That blitz of DraftKings ads is about to start using NFL players instead of just average people. Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams broke the news Tuesday that DraftKings has signed a deal with the NFL Players’ Association to feature players in its ads. That’s yet more ad spending from DraftKings, but they can seemingly afford it; in addition to the $300 million they raised in funding from the likes of Fox, MLB, the NHL, MLS and more this summer, DraftKings and primary competitor FanDuel pulled in a combined estimate of $60 million from entry fees in Week 1 of the NFL season, double the estimated amount handled by Vegas sport books the same week. This is yet another licensing move from the NFLPA, which, as Soshnick and Novy-Williams note, has been doing a lot on that front recently (and has even previously signed another daily fantasy deal):

The NFLPA, which declined to comment on the size of the deal with DraftKings, has become newly aggressive marketing its players. It has added six new licensees so far this year, and last week launched a new media company, Athlete Content & Entertainment, to promote players off the field.

DraftKings is the second daily fantasy company to partner with NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the union, joining TopLine Game Labs’s DailyMVP.

But, hey, aren’t those daily fantasy games considered gambling by some, and doesn’t the NFL prohibit players’ involvement with gambling ads? According to a 2012 Associated Press story about the move to allow teams to accept limited casino advertising, “No employees of the NFL and its teams, including players and coaches, can endorse or appear in any advertisements for any form of gambling.” The NFL seems unlikely to start weighing in against daily fantasy, though, considering that some of its teams are investors in FanDuel (along with broadcast partner Comcast/NBC) and that it has another broadcast partner (Fox) invested in DraftKings. Moreover, gambling and fantasy have both been big parts of the NFL’s rise, providing additional reasons for fans to watch even terrible matchups, and it would seem likely daily fantasy does the same. Thus, the NFL is probably just fine with having the players partner with these daily fantasy companies. As for DraftKings, they’ve managed to bring yet another powerful group onside, and maybe they’ll even be able to make ads that don’t make the population cringe with “Oh, it’s another daily fantasy commercial.”


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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