It was not enough for DraftKings Sportsbook to launch its mobile app in New Jersey last week. Not enough to become the first NJ sports betting platform to go mobile thanks to its partnership with Resorts Atlantic City. DraftKings wants more.
And they made it known Thursday.
After posting a tease on Twitter late Tuesday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook sat on its news for nearly 48 hours. Until early Thursday morning, all the company had said was that “something exciting is coming” and that its “newest partner” would be announced Wednesday.
That didn’t happen. But it did Thursday, when, finally, DraftKings Sportsbook made it official: Charles Barkley has partnered with the company to promote the NJ online sportsbook.
Strong get by DraftKings Sportsbook
With its sportsbook app currently only operational in New Jersey, it made sense for DraftKings to bring in a recognizable figure from the region. An NBA Hall of Famer who was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984, Barkley spent just less than a decade in that area.
Now a popular commentator, Barkley will appear in several ads promoting DraftKings Sportsbook, which will launch nationally on Monday, Aug. 13, according to DraftKings. Here’s a sampling:
“I’m excited to be partnering with DraftKings as they introduce their new sportsbook app,” Barkley said in an announcement from DraftKings. “Their products and their advertising are great, and I’m happy to be part of their team going forward.”
Barkley has long made known his history with gambling — the good times and the bad. He has also long supported legalized sports betting, and made it known on more than one occasion, such as in an interview on the Dan Patrick Show in May.
“First of all, the notion that people don’t gamble on sports is ridiculous and silly,” Barkley said. “I mean, I love to gamble. The notion that you have to go to Vegas and bet on sports is silly. It should have been legal a long time ago.”
DK Sportsbook up and running in NJ
The last two months have been building up to a wild week for DraftKings.
Even as the US Supreme Court was contemplating striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), DraftKings made it clear that it wanted to dip its toes into the legalized sports betting industry.
In February, the DFS company hired a “Head of Sportsbook” to oversee its office in Hoboken. A month later, DraftKings released a statement, claiming to be “perfectly positioned to succeed in a legal sports betting market.” By June 1, the company struck a deal with Resorts Atlantic City to be its sports betting partner in the Garden State.
For much of June and July, DraftKings and Resorts remained tight-lipped about their plans. That is, until last week, when the DraftKings Sportsbook app was launched to become the first mobile sports betting platform in New Jersey.
Now, in an effort to continue moving forward and gain more traction, DraftKings landed Charles Barkley as, essentially, its hype man. Certainly, this will not be the last we hear from DraftKings and its sportsbook.