Navigate Research

Industry Insights

As the industry leader in evaluating and measuring marketing investments, Navigate has a wealth of knowledge in the sponsorship and marketing space. This blog shares our knowledge and insights on current events in the sports business, marketing and sponsorship worlds.

The Scrutiny of Daily Fantasy Sports

Navigate Research - Thursday, November 12, 2015

Written by: Chris Miller

They are everywhere you look… TV commercials, online banners, newspapers, train stations, shopping malls, and sports arenas have all been flooded with advertisements of the two major daily fantasy sites- DraftKings and FanDuel.  As a matter of fact, this morning’s Mike and Mike radio broadcast featured two FanDuel commercials and if you take a look outside our office window in Chicago, you will see one of their billboards.  Even if you’ve never played on either of these sites, chances are you have noticed the barrage of advertisements over the last three months, the effort of a combined spend of over $200 million in TV advertising this NFL season. 

Much to their credit, the attempt to spread awareness by the two major players in the industry has worked pretty remarkably.  It is estimated that daily fantasy games will generate around $2.6 billion in entry fees this year.  Both FanDuel and DraftKings have raised over $300 million in investments from the likes of major media companies such as NBC Sports and ESPN, as well as each of the 5 major U.S. sports leagues.  These major media networks and leagues are obvious beneficiaries of daily fantasy play, with the inevitable growth of viewership and interest in sports that comes from those who participate.  For all of those who have entered a lineup on one of these sites, you know how important it is to monitor your players’ performances that night.  That’s likely why Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, embraces the idea of daily fantasy sports betting and publicly declared his support for it.

All that said, could the rapid growth and in-your-face promotional efforts be to blame for the increased scrutiny and uncertain future that lies ahead for these daily fantasy companies?  Though FanDuel has been around since 2009 and DraftKings since 2012, it was just Tuesday that New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, ordered the two major daily fantasy companies to stop taking bets from New York residents.  Schneiderman was quoted saying “Today we have sent a clear message: not in New York, and not on my watch.”  Pending an appeal, this cease-and-desist order would result in a loss of more than 1.1 million users and a combined $384 million in revenue per year. 

FanDuel and DraftKings’ legal teams vow to fight the decision made by the New York attorney general.  The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 left room for “games of skill,” and that is the main point of argument for these daily fantasy companies.  FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles states "If you don't know football, you don't know basketball, you will quickly find out it's a game of skill."  Some would liken it to horse betting, which is legal in the state of New York and is perceived to have an aspect of skill involved.  Are there any major differences in analyzing information to choose a horse to win a race and analyzing information to select athletes for an optimal daily fantasy lineup?

With the decision of the attorney general in New York, you have to wonder what sort of domino effect might lie ahead for DraftKings and FanDuel.  Regardless, stricter regulations are certainly to come for these companies, and they could jeopardize their future altogether.  The puzzling part is how they’ve grown to be multi-billion dollar businesses right before the very eyes that are now challenging their legality.         

Perhaps the best approach for DraftKings and FanDuel would be to spend less money competing with each other, and join forces for a unified legal battle.

Is Daily Fantasy Sports the Next Big Sponsorship Category?

Navigate Research - Thursday, November 13, 2014

If you happen to watch sports on television, you've more than likely seen a DraftKings or FanDuel advertisement. Not only have the two giants in Daily Fantasy been spending on television advertising, but they've also started to spend on both athlete and celebrity endorsements and sponsorships.

This week, DraftKings signed a sponsorship as an official partner of the National Hockey League, while FanDuel signed on as an official partner of the National Basketball Association. While most of the assets in these sponsorships are exposure and awareness based, both FanDuel and DraftKings are hoping to convert sports fans and traditional season-long fantasy players into Daily Fantasy players. Both sites are looking at these sites as a lead generating engine, as Daily Fantasy has just begun to tap into the season-long fantasy players. With recent private equity backed funding rounds, Daily Fantasy Sports are here to stay and represent the future of sports gaming and potentially a glimpse into the future if sports gambling ends up being legalized.

But the real question here is, as a property, what are the key drivers for a Daily Fantasy site to sponsor? While exposure and the ability to attach their brand to a credible property (team, league, building, etc.) is immensely important to their strategy, having an authentic way to tie gaming into the sponsorship is vital. DraftKings and FanDuel typically create games with their partners where instead of winning money, players win merchandise, and they win new registrations on their site. 

One other thing to keep in mind is that while FanDuel and DraftKings have received the most traction, there’s a plethora of other sites trying to break through the clutter. That’s a scenario in which a sponsorship would make perfect sense. Some sites that are just starting to receive traction are USA Today’s Fantasy Score and VICTIV, amongst many others. 

Daily Fantasy Sports is officially the industry’s hottest category and isn't going away any time soon.

Welcome to the Navigate Blog!

Navigate Research - Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Welcome to the new and improved Navigate blog! As the industry leader in evaluating and measuring marketing investments, Navigate has a wealth of knowledge in the sponsorship and marketing space. We’ll be using this blog to share some of that knowledge as well as comment on the current events of the sports business, marketing, and sponsorship worlds.

Things you can look for on the Navigate blog:

-          Daily sponsorship link roundup: Most mornings, we’ll post a quick post of the most interesting and relevant things in the sports marketing and sponsorship worlds. It will be a link round up that allows easy access to ideas.

-          Posts from our experts: Each week, we will feature a new blog post from one of our employees talking about current trends in the industry or commenting on a recent campaign or article that caught his or her eye.

-          Activation best practices: Every now and then, we’ll pull great examples of sponsorship activation from our databases and share them here on the blog for creative inspiration.

Comments/questions/ideas? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us on Twitter at @Navigate_Res or contact Preston McClellan via email at