eSports & Gaming

New York Knicks and Rangers owner MSG extends DraftKings deal

MSG to promote fantasy sports and betting operator across digital and in-game assets.

by Steven Impey

New York Knicks and Rangers owner MSG extends DraftKings deal

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), owner of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) New York Knicks and the National Hockey League’s (NHL) New York Rangers, has renewed its partnership with US fantasy sports operator DraftKings.

Under the terms of the deal, the gaming platform will become the exclusive daily fantasy sports and betting partner of the Knicks and the Rangers, as well as Madison Square Garden, where both major league franchises play their respective home basketball and ice hockey fixtures.

The agreement will grant DraftKings brand integration across multiple MSG assets, including its digital platforms, in-game promotions and out-of-home signage.

The move comes shortly after DraftKings became the latest sports betting operator to partner with the NBA in a multi-year deal signed in November.

“DraftKings has established itself as one of the most successful gaming companies in the industry and we are honoured to continue our partnership with their incredible brand,” said Ron Skotarczak, MSG’s executive vice president for marketing partnerships.

“We are both committed to ensuring that our customers have the best possible experience and we look forward to continuing to work closely with DraftKings on programs and promotions that benefit both of our businesses in significant and measurable ways.”

DraftKings’ contract includes significant exposure at Madison Square Garden during all Knicks and Rangers games broadcast on MSG Networks, the company’s satellite TV service.

Integration during NBA games will also include digital and static signage throughout the arena, such as exposure on GardenVision, the venue’s centre-hung multi-media screen, and on-court branding during Knicks and Rangers games.

DraftKings will also have the ability to set up activation areas at a variety of fan events hosted by the Knicks and Rangers throughout the year, in addition to a presence on seven video boards on the outside walls of Madison Square Garden.

In addition, the betting platform will also launch promotions for daily fantasy sports during home games played by Westchester Knicks, the Knicks-owned NBA G League outfit.

“We are proud to be named the official sports betting partner and continue as the daily fantasy partner of the world’s most famous arena and for two of the most iconic franchises in all of sports that play there,” said Ezra Kucharz, the company’s chief business officer.

“The Madison Square Garden Company is known for providing fans with unforgettable moments, and this emphasis on immersive engagement perfectly complements DraftKings and our likeminded commitment to experiential excellence.”

In December, MSG notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of its intention to spin off its entertainment business, with an eye on creating two separate entities by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, DraftKings’s chief executive Jason Robins has also announced plans to take the company public this year as part of a venture with acquisitions company Diamond Eagle Acquisition and US gaming technologies firm SBTech, valuing the firm at US$3.3 billion.