With sports betting legal in Colorado, Broncos and Fanduel ink partnership for future

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 9:38 PM MDT
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When sports return to America, the Denver Broncos have their wingman.

On Monday, the Broncos announced a multi-year agreement with sports betting website FanDuel to become their "official team sportsbook". The move makes the Broncos the first NFL team to announce such a partnership with a daily fantasy website in league history.

"You look at the Broncos and their affinity across the is universally really high," Chief Marketing Officer for FanDuel, Mike Raffensperger said Wednesday about the partnership. "It's even above and beyond some other NFL franchises. And we were really excited to take advantage of that. They're a really innovative football club."

It was only possible thanks to a recent law change in Colorado, legalizing sports betting as of May 1st. With the COVID-19 pandemic suspending most American sports leagues throughout the spring and summer months, web traffic for daily fantasy sites has (understandably) dipped.

But when the NFL eventually starts a new season, Raffensperger says there will be special value for those who bet on the Broncos, including one option to choose a Broncos victory and 30 point spread during week 1 of the season.

"We'll be doing things like that all throughout the season with the Broncos. Creating special opportunities, fan experiences, places to get involved," Raffensperger says.

There's a positive and a negative to daily sports betting. Colorado has levied a 10% tax on casinos' net sports betting proceeds, with many projections expecting tens of millions of dollars to flow into the Centennial State's annual budget. If you're not a shark, perhaps consider it a donation to the Colorado Water Fund.

The negative? The odds may not always be in your favor. In a 2016 report from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, only about 15% of daily fantasy players were winners during the first half of that year's MLB season. An even smaller fraction, 1.3% of betters were able to turn a profit consistently. Raffensperger says those numbers are likely skewed due to the style of play on FanDuel's site.

"Those numbers [...] tend to be those really, really large contests on Sunday where we have hundreds of thousands of people playing. The chances of winning on those are less than if you played in a head to head contest where it's closer to a coin flip whether you'd win."

FanDuel may be the Broncos' largest sports betting partner, but they aren't exclusive. Denver signed another multi-year deal closer to home, partnering with Betfred USA Sports, who opened a sportsbook at Saratoga Casino in Blackhawk on Wednesday. The Broncos plan to add a sports betting lounge right outside of Empower Field this season.

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