09/08/2014 12:42PM

Fantasy sports site to sponsor BC Filly and Mare Sprint


DraftKings, one of a number of online fantasy sports sites that have emerged over the past several years, will sponsor the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint this year and launch fantasy contests centered on racing results, the company and Breeders’ Cup announced Monday.

DraftKings allows paying customers to enter daily fantasy tournaments that award cash prizes to winners, a business that has rapidly grown in the past several years. Under the deal with the Breeders’ Cup, the site will offer 12 racing contests this fall, with winners receiving trips to the Breeders’ Cup two-day event scheduled for Santa Anita in Southern California on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, the companies said.

Fantasy sports have become a multibillion-dollar business embraced by major sports leagues as a way to generate and maintain interest from fans. A number of racing sites offer fantasy games, but racing games have rarely been offered alongside mainstream sports on the market’s most popular sites, in large part because of the sport’s small fan base and the difficulty in crafting a marketable league format centered on horses whose schedules are highly variable and unpredictable.

DraftKings, which was launched in 2012, also will promote the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, a handicapping tournament held in conjunction with the Breeders’ Cup event that requires a $10,000 buy-in, the companies said.

“The wide-ranging popularity that DraftKings has established in daily fantasy sports is an excellent fit for the challenge and excitement of Thoroughbred racing and the Breeders’ Cup,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup president and chief executive, in a statement.