FanDuel Group has enhanced its roster of exclusive sports betting talent after partnering with two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion and Emmy Award-winning sports analyst Kenny “The Jet” Smith.
The exclusive content deal, making the New York City-based company the exclusive sports betting and daily fantasy provider for the 56-year-old Queens, NY native, will also see Smith feature in FanDuel advertising as well as TNT promotions spotlighting the operator’s free-to-play contests. Additionally, the two-time NBA Champion and analyst for TNT’s Sports Emmy Award-winning show Inside the NBA will provide FanDuel’s social media channels with original content.
Commenting on the new partnership in an official press release, Smith said that he looks forward to collaborating with the sports-tech entertainment company on “future projects,” as well as, “interacting with our viewers each night through FanDuel’s new free to play game that will become a bigger part of our broadcasts.”
As an official member of the FanDuel Team, working opposite his TV partner 11-time NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, Smith features in a new free-to-play game, FanDuel Over/Under, which debuted Thursday, March 11 on TNT when the Brooklyn Nets playing at home at the Barclays Center beat the Boston Celtics 121-109.
The game, which is exclusive to Turner Sports, can be accessed on the official website and features between eight and twelve Over/Under-style questions, with Inside the NBA and every NBA on TNT broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. Each night, fans compete for a share of a $5,000 prize pool as they test their knowledge alongside Smith for Over/Under supremacy.
Turner Sports contracts:
Both, FanDuel and Boston-based daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting operator DraftKings (Nasdaq: DKNG) inked multi-year partnership deals with the division of AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia [Turner Sports] in October last year, while “Sir Charles” also signed an exclusive content deal with FanDuel in December 2020, making him the company’s brand ambassador and spokesperson.
Almost identical, the deal made FanDuel the exclusive sportsbook partner for NBA programming on Turner Sports properties including content integrations across Bleacher Report, while DraftKings’ deal excluded NBA programming.
The two former NBA stars have been schooling viewers on sports betting through FanDuel Sportsbook integrations since the 2020 NBA playoffs.
Will Funk, who is the Executive Vice President, Sports Partnerships and Branded Content, for Turner Sports, also commented on the new partnership, saying that during Kenny Smith’s (pictured, left) 23 years with Turner Sports, his “trademark humor and insight has stirred the pot and helped make Inside the NBA one of the best shows on television and they are “excited to feature him as part of FanDuel’s branded content across our NBA programming.”
Welcome to the club:
Smith joins FanDuel’s lineup of “sports betting talent and influencers,” which, along with headliner, and former punter for the Indianapolis Colts, Pat McAfee, and the PMI team, features Charles Barkley, Twitter basketball king Rob Perez, a.k.a. World Wide Wob, Jimmy Kimmel Live’ on-air personality Cousin Sal and Editor and Chief at FanDuel, JJ Zachariason.
McAfee left digital media company Barstool Sports in 2018, while the same year Perez signed a multi-year deal with The Action Network making him Senior NBA Producer, before joining FanDuel in 2020 just prior to the NBA playoffs.
Lastly, Chief Marketing Officer for FanDuel Group, Mike Raffensperger said…
“Kenny Smith is an NBA Champion, a beloved NBA analyst, the all-time assist leader at the University of North Carolina and someone whose magnetic personality and smile brings people together.” He added, “We love Kenny on TV every Thursday night, but it’s his positivity and tireless dedication to the community that made us want to add his voice to our brand roster of sports personalities.”