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While “Sir” Charles Barkley has often tried to hide the nightmares of his gambling past, it appears he has welcomed sportsbook monolith FanDuel back into his dreams, courtesy of TNT.
Just in time for the NBA season tip-off, Barkley has signed on with FanDuel to be an ambassador and spokesperson for the gaming company. A major part of that will include the NBA’s most popular analyst making predictions and “guarantees” for that night’s NBA games, also coinciding with those games appearing on the TNT telecast.
As part of the new arrangement, Bleacher Report will also produce content with sports betting elements earlier in the day of a TNT-NBA broadcast. Additionally, Barkley will be scheduled to appear on FanDuel advertising, social media, and podcasts, along with Turner Sports spots promoting the company’s free-to-play contests as part of the deal.
Barkley entered into an exclusive content partnership agreement on Monday in which the NBA Hall of Famer will be a spokesperson for FanDuel and brand ambassador. Currently, he serves as an analyst for TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and also “The NBA on TNT” in contract with Turner Sports. FanDuel also has an agreement with Turner Sports, acting as the exclusive sportsbook for NBA programming, covering their networks.
Whether known as “Sir Charles” or “The Round Mound of Rebound”, Barkley played 14 fun seasons in the NBA for The Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, making the NBA All-Star team 11 times. Probably his greatest regret as never winning an NBA championship, but coming close in 1993 by losing to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls.
In a statement, Barkley said:
The Inside the NBA crew and I really enjoyed working with FanDuel during last season’s playoffs and I’m grateful to now be their brand ambassador. FanDuel helps our show be more informative and interactive, and they do it in a way that any knucklehead could understand. So even if your team is down by 20 in the fourth quarter, with FanDuel you’ll have a reason to keep watching.
Yes, that is the frank and uhm, honest ambassador commentary you can expect from Sir Charles.
Mike Raffensperger, the Chief Marketing Officer at FanDuel mentioned that the company has a goal of becoming not only the largest but the best sportsbook in America. To achieve that status, they would need more than significant advertising. He stated that FanDuel would need partnerships with popular teams, their leagues, and with media companies like TNT as well to deliver sports wagering directly to fans.
This would be the first time the company has approached this type of programming on a national level. Projecting into early 2021 it appears as many as 21 US states will have legalized sports wagering with as many four to six other states having the potential to join the list during the year.
With the NBA season beginning this week, FanDuel is offering its customers a Christmas Week Tip-Off. A special $30 million dollar holiday delivery in the form of prizes, credits, and free bets. Among the Tip-Off gifts are:
It appears TNT is fully behind Barkley’s new association with FanDuel and offering full support. Will Funk, Executive Vice President for Sports Partnerships & Branded Content, Turner Sports commented:
Charles has been with the Turner Sports family for more than 20 years, bringing his unique flair, personality and predictions to our ‘NBA on TNT’ telecasts. We look forward to featuring him in engaging FanDuel brand integrations on Turner Sports’ and Bleacher Report’s NBA programming.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
Email: [email protected]
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