The Indianapolis Colts and sports betting partner FanDuel this week launched what’s believed to be a first-of-its-kind ticket package aimed at sports bettors.
The Colts FanDuel Pass costs $200 and includes tickets to four preselected regular season home games, along with $25 per game in gaming credit for FanDuel’s sports book app.
The package has two variations: The first includes home games against Seattle, Tennessee, the New York Jets and New England. The second features contests against the Los Angeles Rams, Houston, Jacksonville and Las Vegas.
The Tampa Bay game—which Colts executives expect to be a sell-out—is not available with either package.
Roger VanDerSnick, chief sales and marketing officer for the Colts, said the move to offer free betting credits is likely to draw a younger, more bet-friendly crowd than those who typically invest hundreds of dollars in season ticket packages.
“FanDuel is a sizable partner of ours, so we’re routinely looking for activation ideas that work for them. Data shows that legal sports betting folks generally skew younger.” he said. “This is an idea that been percolating on for a while in other forms, but this is how it materialized. We pitched it to FanDuel and they liked it—our ticketing group loves it.”
The promotional packages are open for anyone 21 years and older, although new bettors will have to create a FanDuel account to claim their credit.
That credit—deposited in $25 installments the week of each game—is also limited to $100 per account, meaning if someone buys two sets of tickets they won’t receive double the betting credit, VanDerSnick said. Terrace level seats will be assigned to the tickets 48 hours before each game.
The move to provide a partnership is a win for both the Colts and FanDuel, he said, because “as we continue to fill the stadium back up with season ticket holders, generally those are the last seats that sell.”
The partnership also gives exposure to FanDuel to bring in new customers, who will be able to use the betting credit however they wish.
“FanDuel knows what happens when people bet and what the take rate is,” VanDerSnick said. “They’ve done the math … and they’ve decided that it makes sense for them to provide $100 credit in this situation, as a way to drive their business through incremental signups.”
Colts FanDuel Fan Pass members are also expected to have priority access to 2021 playoff tickets—after current season ticket holders—and location preference for 2022 season tickets.
Mark Ganis, owner of Chicago-based agency Sportscorp Ltd., said the move is unusual and perhaps among the first of its kind—a claim the Colts franchise itself has also made.
Ganis said the deal “is a smart approach” because it offers fans a new way to experience games, generally at lower costs than they’d pay separately to attend four games—which can fluctuate in ticket price based on several factors—and to put money toward sports betting.
“Get-in” tickets for the four games in each of the two packages in the Fan Duel deal are generally selling for more than $200 collectively on the NFL’s ticket exchange and through Ticketmaster.
“What FanDuel is really doing is they are aligning themselves with the Colts in a creative manner—this likely being only one part of the activation between the parties. There will be other components,” Ganis said. “The key for FanDuel is to get new customers. The key for the Colts is to get revenue and sell all their tickets. They have a heck of a home schedule this year to do that.”
The ticket partnership also comes as the Colts prepare to introduce at least two new sports betting focused spaces at Lucas Oil Stadium for the 2021 season.
VanDerSnick said the franchise isn’t yet able to share details on those areas, which IBJ first reported on in May, but said they would include areas for ticket holders to use their phones to place legal sports bets.
“We will have legal sports betting spaces in the stadium, I just unfortunately can’t say who [the partners] are at this point in time,” he said. “But construction and design work is underway.”
He said one of the spaces is expected to be open by preseason, which kicks off Aug. 15, but the second, “more comprehensive” space won’t debut until the regular season starts.
The Indianapolis Colts have three partners in the sports betting and fantasy sports sponsorship spaces: FanDuel, Caesars Entertainment/William Hill and PointsBet.
Ganis said betting fans are likely to have a deep interest in the promised sports betting spaces at Lucas Oil Stadium, regardless of the partnerships the Colts have in place for them.
“The fans are not going to care because they still are going to have to place their bets on the on their mobile devices,” It’s just an environment where you can watch multiple games on multiple screens and have a cocktail or something to eat in a comfortable environment.”
VanDerSnick said the Colts plan to release full details of the new bet-friendly spaces in the next few weeks.