XFL openly embraces gambling, reaches large audience
The XFL is back again, trying for a second time to be an off-season competitor to the National Football League in the United States. The second season began the week after the Super Bowl, on February 8, and the league’s owner — the WWE’s Vince McMahon — is hoping for better, more long-lasting results this time around. One positive thing McMahon and the league were able to do for this second go-around was securing broadcast rights from top partners. In the United States, games will be broadcast on ESPN and Fox Sports, and in Canada, the league secured a deal with TSN. Known for disrupting the industry, the XFL also struck a deal with DraftKings for both daily fantasy sports and sports gambling initiatives. Sports gambling is also something this operator focuses on.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a federal ban on sports gambling in America in 2018, professional sports leagues have rushed to create partnerships in the sports gambling industry. Originally, they were fighting against the legalization of sports gambling, but once they lost that battle, the leagues changed their tune quickly.
And while several professional sports leagues have embraced sports gambling partnerships now, none have taken it to the level that XFL has. The league not only has a sports gambling partner to share official league stats and allow for promos on marketing materials, but actual broadcasts of games will include graphics and commentary about gambling. This takes the word “embrace” to a new level when it comes to sports gambling.
With DraftKings as its gambling partner, fans will be able to bet on a variety of different wagers on the XFL as well as participate in Daily Fantasy games — at least in states where daily fantasy sports and/or sports betting has been legalized.
DraftKings will also have the rights to integrate the league’s logos, marks and player imagery into their marketing promotions as well as their gaming platforms as part of the partnership deal. Get in on the XFL betting action by visiting the online sportsbook here.
When McMahon and others launched the XFL’s first iteration back in 2001, they wanted to be a disruptor to the NFL. They instituted a number of different rules that made the sport more “extreme,” much like McMahon’s professional wrestling franchise.
But that endeavor lasted only one season before it folded. Now, in its second time around, the XFL is looking to be a disruptor again. Having learned from the first try, though, the XFL is being smarter. While they have a bunch of rules that differ from the NFL, their big claim to fame so far is this open and willing partnership with sports gambling.
McMahon is a great marketer, and he often has a good pulse on what fans want. Ultimately, the XFL will only succeed if there’s a solid product on the field each and every week. But since they don’t compete with the NFL head-to-head in the same season, they have a chance to attract fans who crave football in the NFL’s offseason.
It seems that one strategic way the XFL is attempting to do that is to quickly reach an international audience — with the partnership in Canada with TSN — and by openly embracing sports gambling. Football fans love to bet, so why not make it easier for them to do so? The XFL will be interesting, for sure. If you want to get in on the XFL betting action, check out one of the online sportsbooks below.
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