EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The NHL and FanDuel announced a multiyear partnership on Monday that makes FanDuel the exclusive daily fantasy partner and an official sports betting partner of the NHL.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the key to the partnership is the ability for hockey fans to connect with the game, their favorite teams and players, in a new way and with a trusted partner.
"As the sports betting environment increases, meaning we now have teams in two markets where sports betting is legal, Nevada and New Jersey, to have the daily sports fantasy element everywhere, gives our fans an opportunity to interact with FanDuel," Commissioner Bettman said during a roundtable discussion at FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack. "And FanDuel has made an amazing transition from daily fantasy sports to sports betting, doing both extraordinarily well and becoming leaders in technology in both spaces. For us, the opportunity to grow with them in this environment is going to be terrific."
The New Jersey Devils and FanDuel also signed a partnership that is the first sports betting agreement between the daily fantasy sports and sports betting provider and an NHL team.
FanDuel is the second sports betting partner for the NHL. The League announced a multiyear partnership with MGM Resorts last week, making it an official gaming partner and the official resort destination of the League.
"We're talking about having relationships with a number of entities in addition to these two," Commissioner Bettman said.
The NHL will be able to influence the types of bets made available by each betting partner.
"Having a direct relationship gives us the input to do that and that's important to us, because some bets make more sense than others. Or saying it differently, some bets make less sense than others," Commissioner Bettman said. "That's something we're going to keep an eye on."
Video: FanDuel becomes the official fantasy partner for NHL
FanDuel, through the partnership, also can offer its customers access to exclusive NHL content, including real-time data, and special prizes, including VIP experiences at major NHL events.
To start, FanDuel will introduce a "Skate to the NHL Winter Classic" contest, which will allow fans to enter daily contests to win a VIP trip to the 2019 NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).
"The only reason we do these deals is because it gives us access to stuff like the data that is going to make it better for the fan," FanDuel CEO Matt King said. "It means we're going to be able to have more ways to improve and differentiate the product in the eyes of the fan."
FanDuel will get access to currently available NHL data as well as advanced real-time data still in the development and testing phases. Commissioner Bettman said last week the League hopes to roll out the new data next season.
King said FanDuel likely would use the new data to create new categories for its game play. But most important, he said, the data will give users the ability to do greater research with the use of a trusted source.
"Sports betting is something new and one of the things that we want to make sure of is that we differentiate for fans that want to partner with a legal and regulated entity like ourselves vs. those that might be using an offshore book," King said, "Frankly the imprint of the NHL and the Devils is a huge differentiator in terms of building that trust."
In its separate agreement with the Devils, FanDuel will connect with fans at Prudential Center through social, digital and in-game activation platforms. They'll have in-arena access to company's app for in-game betting options.
"It allows the live experience to be differentiated," said Hugh Weber, president of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the Devils and Prudential Center. "So when you come to Prudential Center to watch a Devils game you can not only take in live action, you can actually do a thing you love to do as well, which is take a place in the action and have fun."
FanDuel joins William Hill, a global sports book operator, and Caesars Entertainment, as the Devils' sports betting partners.
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