The NFL regular season is two months away, but that has not kept fantasy football players from participating in newly launched CFL contests at DraftKings. The Daily Fantasy Sports operator announced plans for the new games prior to the start of the CFL season, which kicked off on June 23, expanding into Canada for the first time.
While the Boston-based DraftKings continues to battle for legality throughout the United States, the growth of their contests in another country can only help promote the brand.
The CFL’s partnership is viewed as a win-win for both the league and DraftKings, who will work to make the actual games more exciting for football fans and fantasy players alike. Contestants can win tickets and exclusive VIP CFL experiences in addition to other prizes typically offered to winners who participate in the various games.
However, this is not the first time DraftKings has tried to carry their American success into another country. In February, the company launched contests in Great Britain, but to underwhelming results so far. The goal was to capitalize on the growing soccer market, although the launch missed the English Premier League season that will start again in August.
DraftKings has been limited financially with money tied up fighting legal battles. Still, DraftKings and the CFL have an advertising and promotional partnership as well, and the games will provide contestants throughout North America with the opportunity to further engage in the sport. CFL games are currently televised on ESPN, and viewers now have the chance to engage with the league with the different contests.
The hope is that Canadians will be more familiar with DraftKings than players across the pond, where betting is legal in many European countries. One of the major complaints with expansion into Great Britain is that U.K. bettors do not even know what DraftKings is, and they are competing with the likes of established sportsbooks like Ladbrokes, Bet365, William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair.
Without more advertising, their reach will be limited there. But with the CFL, Americans are also very familiar with the sport and enjoy watching games, so they will likely participate in the contests as well.