Never one not to capitalize on new opportunities for profit, sports brand ESPN has joined the ranks of the gambling industry.
The new deal with William Hill and DraftKings calls for ESPN to link in and display odds directly from the sports betting and DFS brands.
The deal is supposed to help ESPN improve its involvement with sports betting fans and continue to provide relevant information, with the implication that sports betting odds provides those benefits.
Business Director's Take
ESPN SVP of Business Development and Innovation Mark Walker calls it a consolidation of ESPN’s sports betting expertise to bring a more engaging overall experience to fans, which is an innovative way of saying profit from newly regulated sports betting.
ESPN's Deepening Ties
The deal is the result of the greater partnership ESPN inked with gaming umbrella corp Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings. With ESPN set to display not only William Hill's sports betting odds but daily fantasy sports stats from DraftKings.
The Betting Analytics Campaign
ESPN is already generating betting analytic data, and now is set to post and link to William Hill, newly established in the United States through its new partnership with Caesars Entertainment: Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, a new betting brand now officially sponsoring ESPN’s fantasy contests.
ESPN will additionally link out to Draft Kings odds covering fantasy betting contests.
Increasing Betting Expertise
ESPN vice president of business development and innovation Mike Morrison called the new agreements substantial increases to ESPN’s betting expertise, with the deal shaping up ESPN as “go-to analytics” for sports betting news.
The Regulation Comparison
Are analytics more important than safe gambling? And is positioning sports betting directly on major sports broadcasts in American really a “better sports experience to fans?” Their predecessors have determined that only under certain conditions.
ESPN, DraftKings, and Caesars have not yet mentioned the most vital component of sports betting forays: safety, in the form of safeguards including bet limits; self-exclusion lists; and advertising guidelines.
Advanced analytic capabilities can also effectively assess the most vulnerable segments ESPN are marketing an addictive product to, and ESPN has the potential to become a “go-to” for protective analytics to enhance sustainability in its new venture.