A pending merger between DraftKings and FanDuel is being held up by the Federal Trade Commission, but that is not deterring DraftKings from continuing to expand its own offerings. Roughly four months ago, the daily fantasy sports operator raised over $100 million, which supplements the more than $650 million raised prior to that round.

And very recently, DraftKings expanded in an area it is very familiar with -- sports marketing partnerships -- striking a deal with the EuroLeague to make DraftKings the "Official Fantasy Partner" of the popular European basketball league. The deal is for multiple years, but compensation terms have not been revealed.

DraftKings will develop different fantasy products based on the EuroLeague as part of the deal, according to a release from the league. Its existing "EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge" boasts more than one million teams engaging in the contest, which was created in 2004. The deal extends beyond the more popular EuroLeague to include the EuroCup as well.

The EuroLeague deal, coupled with DraftKings' recent raise of significant capital, demonstrates that DraftKings is not content with simply sitting on the sidelines while federal authorities, and now a court of law, determine whether a merger between FanDuel and DraftKings would be too anti-competitive to authorize. Contingency plans are important to establish for all companies who may have the structure of an acquisition or merger in place, but are in the pre-closing period. It is better to plan than to pray for luck to strike in the form of receiving federal approval or otherwise.

The deal also provides proof that DraftKings is very focused on international growth and sees Europe, as well as other emerging markets, as having a lot of potential for improving its user base. Earlier this year, DraftKings acquired a gaming license in Malta, which paved the way for this type of expansion. The license only benefits DraftKings, unless its merger with FanDuel is ultimately approved, but there are no promises at this point and DraftKings is determined to not just sit around and wait while things get sorted out.

Published on: Jul 6, 2017
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