FanDuel Signs First NBA Partner, Memphis Grizzlies Ink First Sports Betting Deal

  • FanDuel can use Grizzlies marks and logos across sports betting and daily fantasy channels
  • Online and mobile sports betting went live in Tennessee on November 1, 2020
  • TELC approved licenses for FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, and Tennessee Action 24/7
FedExForum exterior
Both FanDuel and the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies made organization history by agreeing to a multi-year sports betting and daily fantasy partnership in Tennessee on Monday. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Sports betting, daily fantasy partner

In a first for both parties, FanDuel’s agreement on November 2 with the Memphis Grizzlies gave the sportsbook its first NBA wagering partner, while the Tennessee basketball franchise in turn inked its first-ever sports betting deal.

The New York-based betting firm becomes the Grizzlies’ official sports betting partner and its exclusive official daily fantasy partner in a multi-year deal. The Grizzlies communications department posted a link to the press release via a tweet:  

The wagering partnership follows the launch of legal online and mobile sports betting in The Volunteer State on November 1.

Benefits of the deal

As part of the deal, FanDuel gets the rights to use official Grizzlies marks and logos across its online sports betting channels and daily fantasy sports products. The sportsbook also gains access to marketing assets, including in-arena signage at FedExForum plus access to radio, TV, and digital advertising platforms in order to promote its offerings directly to fans of the team.

In addition, FanDuel will present the Grizzlies’ home and away television broadcasts, which will feature multiple integrations to enhance the home viewing experience. According to the official press release, the Grizzlies and FanDuel also plan to offer the sportsbook’s customers “several once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”

CMO of FanDuel Group Mike Raffenspberger said the partnership was a “no-brainer”

Speaking of his brand’s expansion into Tennessee, CMO of FanDuel Group Mike Raffenspberger said the partnership was a “no-brainer.” Raffenspberger said his claim comes from the team’s popularity, its record of success, and its “shared mindset of being absurdly fan-focused.”

President of the Memphis Grizzlies Jason Wexler expressed the franchise’s happiness with selecting its first sports betting marketing partner and exclusive daily fantasy partner. He said Grizzlies fans were among the NBA’s most passionate, and that the partnership would help them discover “new ways to access their sports fandom.”

Tennessee residents who signed up for the FanDuel sportsbook in the first 24 hours after it went live were entered into a draw for an autographed Grizzlies jersey. Volunteer State residents who sign up and enter a promo code receive a free, no-deposit-required $20 wager. The FanDuel app also offers residents a risk-free introductory bet up of to $1,000.

Turning the tide in Tennessee

The launch of legal online and mobile sports betting on November 1 comes as welcome news for the state’s sports fans, following a circuitous road to legislation which included the cancellation of a proposed September go-live date.

The Tennessee sports wagering journey began in January 2019 when Tennessee representative Rick Staples filed sports betting Bill HB0001. Neighboring Mississippi, however, had already legalized sports betting as far back as August 2018.

But, after announcing it was taking vendor, supplier, and operator applications in mid-August 2020, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TELC) moved fast to give FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, and Tennessee Action 24/7 the all-clear to launch their sportsbooks on November 1.