The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and FanDuel announced this week the two organizations have agreed to a multi-year extension of their current partnership.
The deal means that FanDuel will continue to be an authorized gaming operator for the WTA Tour in North America and South America. WTA President Micky Lawler said in a statement on the WTA website:
“Our extension with FanDuel represents the WTA’s ongoing commitment to innovation. As we continue to diversify how fans consume and engage with sports, we’re pleased to have a gaming operator who not only shares our vision to strengthen the exposure of women’s tennis but who is dedicated to developing responsible gambling standards and practices that allow fans to do so in a fun and safe way.”
Additionally, FanDuel announced this week it signed a deal to become the first authorized gaming operator and sportsbook partner with the Canadian Football League (CFL).
FanDuel supports women in sports
FanDuel was the WTA’s first authorized gaming operator when the two organizations launched their partnership in August 2021. Since then, the sports betting operator has focused on “ushering women’s tennis into the gaming movement” in North and South America.
The company integrated women’s tennis into its fantasy sports options and promoted WTA storytelling through video highlights and a celebration of Title IX’s 50th anniversary in 2022.
“This partnership has given us the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the WTA to develop new, exciting products that have increased engagement and excitement for women’s tennis,” FanDuel Strategic Partnerships Vice President Clifton Ma said.
“FanDuel is committed to supporting women in sports and this partnership has been a key pillar of that commitment as we’ve worked with the WTA to celebrate key women’s initiatives through unique storytelling opportunities.”
Partnership raises women’s tennis profile at a crucial time
Women’s tennis in North America, particularly in the United States, enjoyed a spectacular run from the late ’90s through 2017. During that time, US women won 36 grand slams. From 1999 to 2003, US women triumphed in 15 of 18 Grand Slam Finals, reeling 11 straight titles from 2000 to 2003.
It watched Serena Williams, one of the greatest athletes of all time, tally 23 Grand Slam titles, the most by any female tennis player in the Open Era.
However, the sport’s popularity has declined since American tennis’ heyday. Only one of the past 21 Grand Slam winners was an American, not counting Naomi Osaka, who had dual citizenship with the US and Japan.
And, perhaps more importantly, no US female tennis players have won a Grand Slam since FanDuel inked its partnership with the WTA. That lack of an American presence certainly does no favors for the sport’s popularity in the US.
The news of FanDuel’s partnership extension is a good sign for the WTA and points to the sportsbook’s belief that there’s still an opportunity to grow America’s interest in the game.
Canadian Football League deal expands FanDuel’s North American presence
A couple of weeks before signing its WTA extension, FanDuel landed the first-ever sportsbook partnership deal with the CFL.
Through the partnership, FanDuel will offer in-game player props, futures, and other types of wagers.
“In addition to taking in our fun, fast and entertaining brand of football, some fans may wish to engage with the game on a more personal level,” CFL Chief Commercial Officer Tyler Mazereeuw said in a statement on the CFL website. “We’re excited to work with FanDuel to deliver an exciting and innovative betting experience.”