The Indiana Pacers have secured a sports betting partner, even though it hasn’t been officially announced by the NBA team — or the sportsbook — since the deal was consummated.
The Indiana sportsbook partner of the Pacers?
A display on the court at Pacers home games now advertises DraftKings as the “official sports betting partner of the Indiana Pacers.”
You can see the display in the most recent Pacers home game highlights here, in the action near the end of the game.
The move comes soon after Indiana legalized sports betting, both with online and retail sportsbooks, in 2019. DraftKings was the first to offer online betting at the start of October, along with the BetRivers brand. It is the most successful Indiana online sportsbook in the early months of the market.
DraftKings and sports betting deals
DraftKings is no stranger to signing deals with teams to promote its daily fantasy sports product and now its online sportsbook as it expands around the United States.
Other deals DraftKings has done:
- Most prominently, DraftKings Sportsbook is an authorized betting operator for the NBA as a whole.
- DraftKings has a deal to work with the New York Knicks, the NY Rangers and Madison Square Garden as a sportsbook operator.
- The NFL signed on with DraftKings to make it an official fantasy sports partner.
Interestingly, the Pacers originally had a fantasy sports deal with DraftKings competitor FanDuel back in 2015.
The Colts have a sportsbook partner
The other major professional team in the state, the Indianapolis Colts, already has a deal, albeit not officially one of the sports betting variety.
FanDuel is an official partner of the Colts, but for daily fantasy sports. The NFL and its teams have been more tentative to fully embrace sports gambling.
The NFL and the NBA were both fighting a legal battle to keep the federal ban outside of Nevada in place before losing in the US Supreme Court in 2018.
What does the deal do for DraftKings? For the Pacers?
For DraftKings, it is clearly hoping that a deal with the franchise will help cement its place as the leading sportsbook in the state. DraftKings has the led Indiana sportsbooks in terms of total amount wagered and revenue generated since launch last fall.
Branding at Pacers games should help it reach engaged NBA fans, who are also more likely to be sports bettors.
For the Pacers, they obviously get something from the deal in terms of money, although the terms are unknown. Bettors are known to engage more with the sports they watch, and will often watch more games and watch games longer when they money riding on the game. Many leagues and teams are hoping sports betting leads to more fan engagement, and ultimately more money from TV rights deals and sponsorships.