Pat McAfee’s Bet Pays Off with Multi-Million Dollar FanDuel Partnership

On Thursday morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that The Pat McAfee Show and FanDuel have agreed to a new contract which continues to make FanDuel the exclusive sportsbook of the show. The deal is reportedly set to last for four years with an opt-out after three, and per Shams Charania of The Athletic, it’s worth about $30 million per year. Pat McAfee has been a valuable partner of FanDuel Sportsbook, and this new contract will allow him to earn significantly more money from this partnership.

Who is Pat McAfee?

Pat McAfee was born in Plum, Pennsylvania, and attended college at West Virginia University before being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. McAfee spent eight seasons in the NFL as a punter and made two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team in 2014. Per Spotrac, McAfee made over $15 million in total throughout his NFL career. McAfee retired from the NFL in 2017 and became an analyst, starting at Barstool Sports and later developing his own company, Pat McAfee Inc. McAfee has appeared on several NFL and college football broadcasts for Fox Sports and ESPN. He is also WWE’s color commentator for its SmackDown brand as of April 2021.

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Why is McAfee so Valuable to FanDuel?

When McAfee retired from the NFL to pursue a career in sports media, he was met with his fair share of criticism as he was turning down a significant amount of guaranteed money to bet on himself. Michael Wilbon of Pardon the Interruption was quoted as calling McAfee “nutty as a fruit cake” and instructing the people close to McAfee to “stage an intervention” and “make him put his helmet on and get back to camp.” Wilbon was far from the only talking head in the media to show this level of disdain for the move that McAfee made.

McAfee has cultivated an awe-inspiring brand with a devoted following despite the criticism he faced and has been rewarded with lucrative partnerships from companies like FanDuel. The Pat McAfee Show has proven to be a valuable driver of sports betting traffic to FanDuel Sportsbook as sports betting continues to be legalized on a larger scale in the United States. While, of course, he has his employees and various expenses, McAfee will now make twice as much money from one year of this FanDuel contract than he did in his entire eight-year NFL career.

What Does the Partnership Entail?

FanDuel will remain the official sportsbook partner of Pat Mcafee Inc. (PMI) and the Pat McAfee show as part of this deal while working closely with the PMI team to develop new media content. FanDuel is investing in a new campus to boost PMI’s production and will also hold the naming and branding rights for the new Pat McAfee Show live studio, which will be called “The FanDuel Igloo.” The new campus will reportedly include production studios, lounges, basketball courts, and a golf simulator. McAfee has already announced that he will be donating $6 million of the money from FanDuel to youth programs, children’s hospitals, domestic violence shelters, and other charities, per Joe Pompliano of Huddle Up.

Sports Betting and Media Integration

One of the ongoing topics we’ve covered extensively here at Lineups has been the integration between sports media and the constantly expanding betting industry. DraftKings recently announced a deal with Meadowlark Media’s “The Dan Lebatard Show with Stugotz,” worth $50 million over three years. Penn National Gaming purchased a significant stake in Barstool Sports. PointsBet works closely with NBC, and Fox Bet is, of course, closely tied with Fox Sports. Fubo Gaming is pioneering the first large-scale integration between a sports betting platform and streaming service. ESPN could potentially dive into the sports betting industry soon, as well.

Pat McAfee has a whopping 2.2 million Twitter followers and 1.57 million YouTube followers, many of whom live in a state where sports betting has been legalized. Sports betting companies have prioritized media to supplement customer acquisition, which led to huge deals like this one with McAfee. McAfee bet on himself at the perfect time with the growing convergence between sports betting and media, and this FanDuel partnership should be wildly lucrative for all parties involved.

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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