While usually not a “turrible” idea to fade Charles Barkley when he offers his picks, bettors will also have the chance to tail him more often through FanDuel.
The online sports betting titan and the “Round Mound of Rebound” entered an exclusive content partnership Monday in which the Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer will be FanDuel’s spokesperson and brand ambassador. Barkley, named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History when the league put together the all-time list in 1996, is an analyst for “Inside the NBA” and “The NBA on TNT” for Turner Sports, which also has a deal with FanDuel as the exclusive sportsbook for NBA programming across its properties.
“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,” said Barkley, who played for the 76ers, Suns and Rockets and was an 11-time NBA All-Star, in a joint statement. “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.”
The deal is another deepening of the ties between the sports betting industry and the NBA, which was the trailblazer among the four major U.S. sports leagues in pushing for its legalization starting with Commissioner Adam Silver’s op-ed in the New York Times in support of such a move in November 2014. The league has multiple authorization deals with sportsbook operators, and FanDuel recently became the official sportsbook partner of the Memphis Grizzlies in Tennessee.
Barkley no stranger to sports betting, but hardly an expert
Today, we welcome Charles Barkley to the FanDuel family!
Better known as… ????? ??’ ????? ????? ?
Chuck is helping us tip off the season of giving by delivering more than $30 million worth of free gifts to FanDuel users ?
Details: https://t.co/nL9my9KMpl pic.twitter.com/JzdIsuIaIY
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) December 21, 2020
Never shy to express his opinion on the NBA, sports betting, or any subject, Barkley is arguably the most recognizable sports analyst in the United States — and that status carries outside the studio. Last month he competed in “The Match III,” a golf tournament in which he teamed with three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson to defeat NBA star Stephen Curry and former NFL quarterbacking great Peyton Manning in a match-play format that has proven to be highly attractive for in-play wagering among sportsbooks.
In October, he recounted losing $100,000 betting on the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI on “The Dan Patrick Show” when the New England Patriots had their record comeback from a 28-3 deficit to win in overtime.
Barkley is a three-time Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Studio Analyst for his NBA work with Turner Sports as well as a contributor to NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament coverage for CBS and Turner Sports, and the momentum for this agreement picked up steam earlier this year when the two sides collaborated for the “Charles Barkley Guarantee,” in which Barkley would offer his picks on NBA games on Turner programming.
The segments quickly became social media favorites in part because Barkley’s track record was, to use his famous quote, “turrible” as his fellow studio co-hosts needled him endlessly for his ill-fated offerings.
“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,” said Will Funk, executive vice president for sports partnerships and branded content, Turner Sports. “We look forward to featuring him in engaging FanDuel brand integrations on Turner Sports’ and Bleacher Report’s NBA programming.”
Chuck’s guarantee win % ? @br_betting pic.twitter.com/wYNga6NI4p
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 19, 2020
FanDuel will be running a series of Barkley-themed promotions for both its sportsbook and daily fantasy sites for the holiday season, including “Barkley Boosts” and Christmas-themed offerings with the NBA season set to begin Tuesday night. Barkley is the fifth individual to enter an exclusive content arrangement with FanDuel, joining former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee, Worldwide Wob, Cousin Sal, and JJ Zachariason.
“Charles Barkley is an American sports icon, a television legend, and gaming royalty, so he’s the perfect person to ring in the holidays for our customers,” said Mike Raffensperger, chief marketing officer of FanDuel Group. “For the next few years, we look forward to amplifying his voice and adding Barkley’s one of a kind personality will continue to differentiate FanDuel and make sports betting fun for everyone.”
Additionally, FanDuel has aggressively landed content deals in the sports media landscape throughout the year, also entering agreements with Entercom, The Ringer, and Bleacher Report in addition to Turner Sports.