Jordan Spieth is one of the most popular players on the PGA Tour. Today, the three-time major champion announced he’s partnering with one of the most popular sports betting companies in the United States.
PGA Tour fan-favorite Jordan Spieth high-fives patrons’ hands at the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Texas. Spieth is joining forces with sports betting operator FanDuel. (Image: Getty)
The 28-year-old Spieth and FanDuel have struck a deal that allows the sportsbook to market its platform through the golf superstar. The deal includes FanDuel featuring Spieth in its national television commercials, and he will become the face of the sportsbook and daily fantasy sports operator’s golf products.
FanDuel says it will additionally support the mission of the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation, which focuses on special needs youth, junior golf, and military families.
Spieth said he believes the ongoing expansion of legal sports betting will continue to increase golf’s fanbase.
I think it would be foolish not to be getting involved in this, there’s so much potential,” Spieth told Golf Digest of his FanDuel pact. “It’s going to make the PGA Tour better for us by generating more interest, because it was going to happen anyway.
“The fact that they’re [PGA Tour] leaning all-in makes us, as players, feel more comfortable, because they’re going to figure out a way to make it a safe space for us to feel like we can do our thing,” Spieth added.
Changing Sportsbetting Attitudes
FanDuel currently operates sports betting in 10 states, a number that will only grow in the coming months and years. Twenty-one states, plus DC, have legal sportsbooks up and running just a little more than three years after the US Supreme Court repealed the longstanding federal ban on such gambling.
The PGA Tour has reached agreements with several sportsbooks that allow them to use the title of “Official Betting Operator of the PGA Tour.” Platforms include FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet, BetMGM, and theScore. Being an official betting operator allows the sportsbooks to incorporate the tour’s logos in its marketing, and use tour-distributed video content and data in each sportsbook’s app.
Following the Supreme Court’s May 2018 repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, one major PGA Tour star expressed concerns.
“It is part of sport that people are going to root against you, people who don’t want you to win for whatever reason,” four-time major winner Rory McIlroy opined in August of 2019.
I think that’s going to be one of the big things about golf and legalizing sports betting in this country. What is going to happen is you will see more of this heckling occurring because there are going to be those who have bet against you,” the Northern Irishman declared.
McIlroy has refrained from entering into a marketing sponsorship with a sportsbook. But Spieth doing so isn’t a first. Bryson DeChambeau took that honor in November of 2020 when he reached a marketing arrangement with DraftKings.
DraftKings’ rival is FanDuel, which might have prompted the latter into trying to land Brooks Koepka for a sponsorship deal. Koepka and DeChambeau are bitter enemies whose recent confrontations have been popular fodder among golf fans and on social media.
FedEx Cup Playoffs Odds
The 2021 FedEx Cup Playoffs tee off tomorrow at The Northern Trust. Contested this year at Liberty National Golf Club just outside New York City in Jersey City, NJ, Spieth has the second-shortest odds of winning at 18/1.
Defending champ Jon Rahm, fresh off yet another bout of COVID-19, is the favorite at 9/1.
With the announcement of its marketing deal with Spieth, FanDuel is offering an “odds boost” for the superstar’s opening round tomorrow. The book adjusted its line on Spieth shooting par or better (71 or lower) in the first round, from -200 to +100. The adjustment means a winning $100 wager now nets $100 instead of $50.
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