DraftKings wins investment from Fox Sports and major leagues

28 July 2015

The Fox Sports division of US network Fox and a number of major sports leagues in North America have become the latest investors to commit funding to daily fantasy sport provider DraftKings.

The operator confirmed it was able to raise an additional $300 million (€270.3 million) during a Series D round that was led by Fox Sports, but also attracted support from three major North American sports leagues.

Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS) and the National Hockey League (NHL) ice hockey competition all took part in the round, which also featured participation from previous investors such as Atlas Venture, DST Global and The Raine Group.

DraftKings, which has already secured heavy financial backing from a number of previous investors, said it will use the new funds to support the development of its online and mobile products, as well as to launch its services worldwide and explore other opportunities in the market.

“To receive this type of support from such an outstanding group of organisations, including three major sports leagues, is an incredible milestone for us and reaffirms our leadership position in daily fantasy sports,” DraftKings chief executive Jason Robins said.

“We intend to leverage these resources to develop even more innovative daily fantasy sports contests and provide new exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our players.”

Eric Shanks, president and chief operating officer of Fox Sports, added: “Partnering with DraftKings, a clear leader in this field, is a great opportunity for us to capitalise on the growth of daily fantasy sports for the benefit of our viewers.

“We'll work with DraftKings to develop ideas and create content to drive deeper engagement with sports fans across multiple platforms, including our national, local, and digital properties.”

Meanwhile, DraftKings has also confirmed that it has signed a separate deal with the MLS football competition.

Under the multi-year deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, DraftKings will serve as the exclusive daily fantasy sports destination of the MLS in the US and Canada.

DraftKings will offer exclusive MLS fantasy games and supporter experiences, as well as benefitting from in-stadium exposure during MLS games and prominent branding placement on the league’s digital platforms.

DraftKings will also work with the MLS to develop new daily fantasy games that will be rolled out throughout the duration of the partnership.

The agreement also includes partnerships with a number of MLS clubs, although the identity of these teams will be revealed at a later date.

Gary Stevenson, president and managing director of the MLS Business Ventures division, said: “The increasingly popular daily fantasy sports space is a proven fan development tool that we’re excited about.

“You’ll see deep integration within our many digital platforms and you’ll see a number of club deals.”

Related article: DraftKings secures fantasy sports deal with ESPN