The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Francaise Des Jeux (FDJ), operator of France’s national lottery, have announced a multiyear partnership.
The deal, according to FDJ’s press release, is the first the league has made with a European sports betting partner, and the first with a French gaming partner.
Under the terms of the agreement, the FDJ, using its ParionsSport brand, will be provided official NBA data, thus giving its sportsbook a competitive advantage. It will also be able to use NBA intellectual property for its land-based and digital sports gaming products in France.
ParionsSport will also receive increased visibility and media exposure, in the NBA’s website and other digital platforms available in the country.
As part of the deal, the NBA and FDJ will exchange information on best practices in sports betting. The FDJ said that its three decades of experience in the Football Loto could be of benefit to the NBA in this regard.
NBA Europe and Middle East Vice-President for Global Partnerships Vandana Balachandar said, “This collaboration will result in the best possible gaming and entertainment experience for consumers through the use of accurate, official, real-time NBA data, and demonstrates our collective efforts to maintain the integrity of our games.”
FDJ Head of Gaming Operations Richard Courtois said, “Partnering with the NBA, the most prestigious basketball league in the world, will allow ParionsSport to get even closer to the action and offer a more refined gaming experience for gamers, enabling us to reach yet more fans.”
Ranked among the 10 best sports betting operators worldwide, FDJ’s sales have doubled since 2010, with 2017 sales of €2.5 billion ($2.8 billion). Basketball is ParionsSport’s third largest sport in terms of bets placed, and the NBA is the second most bet-on sports league. Nine French players are currently active in the NBA, which according to FDJ makes France the third most represented country in the league.
The NBA has just begun fashioning deals with sports betting companies in the U.S., after a federal ban on the industry was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional last May. In August, the league partnered with MGM Resorts International to provide the casino operator with official game data. A similar deal has been made between MGM and the National Hockey League (NHL), as well as with the National Football League’s (NFL’s) New York Jets.