Drone Racing League agrees first betting partnership with DraftKings

Deal creates pre-race and in-play gambling markets for DRL events, plus branding elements.

Drone Racing League agrees first betting partnership with DraftKings

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  • Drone racing fans ‘three times more likely’ to bet than followers of major sports leagues
  • DraftKings’ revenues projected to grow to US$850m by end of 2021

The Drone Racing League (DRL) has announced a partnership with US-based sportsbook DraftKings as the pair look to tap the burgeoning drone racing sports betting market.

The deal, which makes DraftKings the DRL’s official sports betting partner, means DRL drone races become the first aerial motorsport series upon which fans can wager.

The tie-up also gives DraftKings exclusive marketing rights around sports betting and branding integrations, including custom gates, through the culmination of the current 2020 DRL Allianz World Championship Season. Both pre-race wagers and in-race live bets will be available for fans in approved states to engage before and during the races.

Additionally, in the lead up to the DRL’s final races of the season, DraftKings and the DRL will host ‘Pre-Flight Shows’ ahead of the live events, featuring expert sports bettors and elite drone pilots educating fans on how to participate.

The DRL claims that drone racing fans are three times more likely to bet than followers of major sports leagues, as well as 90 per cent more likely to be interested in sports wagering than the average global sports fan. Having tested the water with a free-to-play pool contest during the 2020 campaign, which has drawn more than 150,000 entries to date, DraftKings will be hoping to satisfy DRL fans’ apparent appetite for betting.

“The sky is now the limit for DRL fans to get skin in the game, and we’re thrilled to partner with DraftKings to transform our high-speed race competition into the ultimate sport to bet on,” said DRL president Rachel Jacobson.

“The opportunity for us to elevate our engagement through all forms of gaming and gambling will only increase as mobile betting becomes more adopted across the country.”

Ezra Kucharz, chief business officer at DraftKings, added: “DRL is scaling their business as fast as their drone races, and we’re excited to be flying with them given DRL’s thrilling, innovative racing events are perfect for the customised wagering offerings we can create.

“Our expertise in sports betting combined with DRL’s stats-packed competition will make this a fun and seamless opportunity to engage their avid audience along with tech-savvy, adrenaline-loving sports fans.”

Going into 2021, DraftKings is expected to see its returns increase by 45 per cent to between US$750 million and US$850 million this year, according to the company’s 2021 guidance report. In November 2020, the firm saw its stock value increase by 11 per cent after projected revenues for that year were revised up to as much as US$560 million on the back of a strong third-quarter performance.