DFS and sports betting firm DraftKings has been designated as the Official Sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Partner of the Professional Fighters League (PFL) today as part of a multi-year alliance. Wagering on PFL fights via DraftKings will be available for fans across the country, pending regulatory approvals.
Under the terms of the deal, PFL’s proprietary SmartCage technology will be used to offer MMA, daily fantasy and sports betting fans a unique viewing and gaming experience.
PFL claims to be the first in combat sports to capture and distribute real-time fighter data and analytics, which are integrated into each broadcast and across the league’s digital and social channels. Metrics like punch speed, fighter tracking, kick speed, heart rate and caloric burn are featured.
This data will eventually allow for innovative and distinctive prop bets. For example, fans will be able to place a wager on whether or not a fighter will land a strike exceeding 25 MPH.
Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with DraftKings as we look to advance the sport by delivering a premium and unique betting and gaming experience to the millions of passionate MMA fans in the US.
“Our SmartCage technology and unique season format are integral components of PFL and will enable us to offer unmatched prop bets and gaming opportunities. MMA’s league is back with our season debut this Friday, April 23 in primetime on ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes.”
Live DraftKings odds will be integrated into each event broadcast across ESPN networks and streaming platforms, as well as during PFL’s pre-fight show. The show will be presented by DraftKings and hosted by former college basketball player and ESPN media personality, Jonathan Coachman, alongside former MMA fighter Ian Parker.
Additionally, the operator will offer cash prizes coupled with PFL-branded pools tied to the league’s regular season, playoffs and championship events. These offerings expand on the 2019 PFL Championship Pick’Em game, which garnered over 30,000 submissions and featured six, million-dollar world title fights on New Year’s Eve.
Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer of DraftKings, added: “We are excited to further our relationship with the Professional Fighters League as their first official betting and daily fantasy partner.
“MMA is mainstream. The fan is young, loyal, passionate, and engaged, and PFL delivers an innovative product. We look forward to bringing a premium betting and fantasy experience to this growing audience in what is a monumental partnership for combat sports and the gaming industry.”
DraftKings’ logos will also be featured in and around the cage, while the firm has exclusive rights to utilize PFL logos and “Official Partner” branding for advertising and promotions. Additionally, the two parties will collaborate on exclusive, themed content across their social and digital platforms.
Since its inception in 2018, Professional Fighters League has quickly established itself as the No. 2 MMA company in the world. The league has experienced tremendous year-on-year growth across digital channels – 68% follower increase on Instagram, 30% total audience growth across digital and a 200% social engagement spike.