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UFC and DraftKings agree ‘US$350m’ betting deal

Gambling brand’s five-year partnership includes integration across MMA promotion’s assets.

4 March 2021 Tom Bassam
  • DraftKings to offer live odds during broadcasts and on new UFC Fight Clock
  • Deal includes extensive branding across physical and digital assets
  • DraftKings to offer expanded UFC betting options to customers

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has agreed a wide-ranging deal that sees DraftKings become the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion’s first-ever official sportsbook and daily fantasy partner in the US and Canada.

According to ESPN, the five-year deal is worth US$350 million. Sports Business Journal (SBJ) reports that the breakdown is US$250 million for media and marketing obligations, plus an additional US$100 million in cash rights fees.

As part of the deal, the UFC will show DraftKings betting odds in its fight broadcasts, with the betting and fantasy brand also becoming the presenting partner of the ‘UFC Fight Clock’, the promotion’s new proprietary time-keeping system.

The branded clock will be integrated directly into UFC’s production technology, allowing athletes, fans, and officials in the arena to see the same countdown clock per round as viewers watching the broadcast. There will be up to four UFC Fight Clocks visible in the octagon.

The broad agreement also provides DraftKings with a branded presence on the ring canvas at select events and during Dana White's Contender Series. In addition, DraftKings will have numerous sponsorship integrations within UFC content on both linear and digital platforms, including live broadcasts and pay-per-views (PPVs), social media assets, and programming on the UFC Fight Pass over-the-top (OTT) platform.

On the consumer side, DraftKings will now be able to offer in-game promotions, activations, and rights to use UFC branding across its daily fantasy and betting products.

DraftKings will also create weekly free-to-play UFC games as well as enhanced prop bets and other innovative sportsbook opportunities. The first of those activations comes ahead of UFC 259 on 6th March with a pool contest offering a US$10,000 prize.

“This is a massive deal that will benefit UFC, DraftKings, and most of all the fans,” said UFC president Dana White.

“This is the most important deal we’ve ever done to increase engagement with our fans and reach new ones, and I’m looking forward to all the exciting things we’re going to do with DraftKings over the next few years.”

“Combat sports, and UFC in particular, have scaled significantly across both our sportsbook and daily fantasy verticals, evolving from a niche offering to a high-demand category that we believe will only grow further as we innovate,” added Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder, chief executive and executive chairman.

The UFC has agreed a US$350m deal with DraftKings 


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