DraftKings Lands Partnership with NBA Superstar LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers forward reaches multi-year agreement with DraftKings as talent ambassador around football, key tentpole events.

Jan 31, 2024 • 12:51 ET • 4 min read
LeBron James NBA Los Angeles Lakers
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

From one king to another.

NBA superstar LeBron "King" James announced Wednesday that he’s joining DraftKings to provide the sports betting operator with football insight. 

“Welcoming one of the most influential and greatest athletes of all time, LeBron James, to the DraftKings family is an absolute honor and privilege,” Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings, said. “We look forward to working with a passionate sports fan who shares the same competitive mindset that echoes throughout the walls at DraftKings, while delivering exciting engagement opportunities to our customers and his loyal fanbase for years to come.”

James will be a “talent ambassador around football and select key tentpole events as part of a multi-year agreement,” according to DraftKings.

Terms of the deal were not released.

Star of stars

The Los Angeles Lakers forward is one of the best basketball players of all time and one of the most marketable athletes in the world. 

The reach of the four-time NBA champion, four-time NBA MVP, and 20-time All-Star selection is strong. James has more than 150 million Instagram followers and more than 52 million followers on X, giving DraftKings one of the most valuable partners in the sports betting industry.

The sportsbook is already one of the top operators in the U.S. market, ranking second behind FanDuel in market share in the fourth quarter. 

Not here for basketball

A change in last year’s collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the players association allowed stars to represent sports betting companies as long as it doesn’t involve the league. NBA policy does not allow James or any other player to bet on the basketball. 

He can, however, place NFL bets and drive his audience to football. James played the sport in high school and could’ve pursued pigskin over hoops. 

How that will resonate and bring in new customers is unknown, but DraftKings pointed out that James’ passion for the sport certainly won’t hurt. 

James said he was offered multiple NFL contracts during the 2011 NBA lockout and frequently posts social media messages about football games.  

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