- The Premier Lacrosse League's agreement with DraftKings is for the league's Championship Series scheduled to start of July 25.
DraftKings will be offering lacrosse bets.
As part of a new partnership with the Premier Lacrosse League, the sports betting provider will sponsor the league's PLL Championship Series with the option to extend the agreement after the tournament concludes. DraftKings did not provide financial terms of the deal.
DraftKings will obtain the PLL's "Official Sports Betting Partner" title and leverage PLL's media rights deal. Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings' chief business officer, said the agreement allows "different elements" of DraftKings to be "integrated into the broadcast" of all PLL tournament games.
The PLL will host a quarantined, two-week single-elimination tournament in Utah to determine its 2020 champion. The series will run from July 25 to Aug. 9, and games will be played at Zions Bank Stadium in Utah.
"We look for new and exciting things that have different growth trajectories," Kucharz told CNBC. "Lacrosse is one of these sports that has really started to take hold on both coasts, and you're seeing it grow as a sport everywhere."
The PLL was founded by brothers Mike and Paul Rabil in 2018. The league is a single-entity operation, allowing it to control all seven clubs, their players, and business operations. The league usually operates over 14 weeks in a touring format but had activities cut short due to Covid-19.
The league has influential investors, including Alibaba chairman and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, co-founded by Josh Harris who also owns the Philadelphia 76ers, Blum Capital and George Pyne of Bruin Sports Capital.
On the sponsorship front, PLL also has partnerships with Gatorade, Adidas, and Ticketmaster, who entered a naming rights deal with the league in February. The PLL also has a revenue-sharing agreement as part of its media rights deal with NBC Sports. In an interview with CNBC, Paul Rabil labeled PLL's first year in 2019 as a "huge success."
"We had a lot of time to sit on the sideline and be observant and learn what the other sports leagues were doing well and what they weren't," said Paul Rabil, who also serves as the league's chief marketing officer.
To recoup revenue surrendered with no spectators allowed, Rabil said the PLL would place sponsors' logos on the field, nets, uniforms, videoboards, and tarps over the stands at the Championship Series. The league will even use fan cardboard cutouts in the stands, which have gained traction in the U.S. after soccer leagues overseas used the tactic to engage spectators.
"They've done a great job at kind of revisioning the sport," said Kucharz, who praised the PLL for being "progressive, fan-first, and product first."
DraftKings, which became public in April, bypassed the typical IPO process by merging with Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. and SBTech, a betting and gaming technology company, in December and is now publicly traded on Nasdaq. The company currently has a market cap of $11.4 billion.
DraftKings also added the National Basketball Association, who will resume play this month at Walt Disney World, to its sponsorship portfolio last November. Other partnerships include the National Football League, PGA Tour, and Major League Baseball.
Disclosure: CNBC and NBC Sports is owned by Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal
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