FanDuel Ads Tease Would-Be MN Sports Bettors During Timberwolves Game

Written By Adam Hensley on May 28, 2024
Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns taking a shot in the Western Conference Finals

For Minnesota residents watching the Timberwolves‘ Western Conference Finals series against the Dallas Mavericks, you more than likely got your fair share of FanDuel advertisements.

Lawmakers failed to pass Minnesota sports betting legislation during the 2024 legislative session. Thus, the advertisements are nothing more than a reminder of what could’ve been on the way.

But FanDuel was front and center for most of the series’ first game.

FanDuel sportsbook featured in-game ads

Right after the first commercial break of the game, TNT’s broadcast had a split screen that featured a shot of Anthony Edwards on the Timberwolves’ bench and a smaller screen with hosts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley. The FanDuel logo sat in the bottom right corner, and on the top of the screen were the words “America’s #1 Sportsbook.”

“Don’t forget to download the FanDuel Sportsbook app,” said Smith. “It’s got live betting, live parlays and it pays instantly.”

Then, the big blue FanDuel logo appeared on the court for the entire second quarter of the game. The digital ad sat to the right of the lane on each basket, parallel to the sidelines.

These digital on-court ads appear in every game, not just Minnesota’s. Other sponsors, such as Emirates and Carmax, appear every quarter. However, FanDuel’s logo was front and center, regardless of which team had possession.

About halfway through the third quarter, Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns shot a pair of free throws. After his first attempt, the FanDuel logo and a graphic showing the point spread at that point in the game compared to before tipoff appeared on the screen.

“Let’s take a look at the FanDual live point spread for tonight’s game,” announcer Kevin Harlan said.

When the game wasn’t taking place, FanDuel’s commercials took center stage, too. The advertisements showcased the operator’s promotional offering of betting $5 to get $150 in bonus bets.

Minnesotans won’t be able to bet on sports until at least late 2025, and it’s unclear if the landscape will change in that time frame. ge next year, but in the meantime, there are still plenty of advertisements for it during the national broadcast.

Since basketball could be Minnesota’s most popular sport to bet on, they won’t be a stranger to Timberwolves betting in the future if their state gives the green light.

FanDuel is one of the NBA’s official sportsbooks

FanDuel is the NBA’s official sports betting partner, hence its numerous appearances during the Timberwolves’ WCF game. That deal includes not just traditional sports betting but also daily fantasy sports and online casinos.

“FanDuel’s partnership with the NBA has been a cornerstone of our success for many years, and together we have revolutionized what is possible in a partnership between a professional sports league and a sports gaming operator,” said Amy Howe, FanDuel President & CEO Amy Howe said back in 2021.

It’s worth noting that DraftKings is a sponsor, too.

The NBA also released a new feature in its League Pass streaming service, incorporating a gambling aspect. Fans who reside in states with legal sports betting can opt-in to view bets directly on League Pass and can be directed to FanDuel or DraftKings to make a wager.

Minnesota residents won’t be strangers to sportsbook advertisements

It’s unclear how exactly a legal sports betting market would look in Minnesota due to the power of the tribal gaming sector. Minnesota tribes want exclusivity over a potential sports betting industry. And many lawmakers were willing to give it to them.

In some states, tribal exclusivity means there is only one sportsbook available. For example, the Seminole Tribe’s monopoly on Florida sports betting meant Floridians only have access to the tribe’s Hard Rock Bet sportsbook, and thus, mostly Hard Rock Bet ads.

However, other states with multiple tribes have brought commercial operators in through partnerships.

Given the vast number of Minnesota tribes, any legislation would likely fit in the latter format. Commercial operators like Fanduel, DraftKings, and BetMGM would have access to the state’s industry.

DraftKings and FanDuel typically gain a large market share in the states they operate in. But since Minnesotans are already used to seeing their ads, they might have an even bigger advantage in the North Star State.

Photo by AP Photo / Gareth Patterson
Adam Hensley Avatar
Written by
Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, with experience covering online sports betting and gambling across Catena Media. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

View all posts by Adam Hensley
Privacy Policy