DraftKings Joins 23XI Racing for Pocono Race


Getty

The DraftKings website.

A new sponsor has joined the 23XI Racing team ahead of a June doubleheader at Pocono Raceway. DraftKings has agreed to become the Official Daily Fantasy Sports, iGaming, and Sports Betting Partner of Wallace and the No. 23 Toyota Camry. The two forces will work together at Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, May 23, but this NASCAR race will only mark the start of the relationship.

According to a press release from DraftKings, a special paint scheme will debut at the Tricky Triangle on Sunday, June 27. The race will mark a drastic change from Wallace’s normal designs with its green, orange, and black color scheme. The No. 23 Toyota will continue to run a smaller DraftKings logo for the remainder of the season.

“Joining forces with the 23XI Racing organization near the beginning of its growth makes this collaboration all the more impactful for DraftKings,” said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer at DraftKings. “Beyond the brand and product integrations of this deal, we also greatly admire Bubba Wallace’s ongoing advocacy for social justice and Inclusion, Equity and Belonging efforts because they align perfectly with our company values.”


The Partnership Will Feature a Multi-Part Collaboration

Bubba Wallace Bubba Wallace

GettyBubba Wallace prepares for a race at Dover.

Along with the paint scheme reveal, the press release confirmed that the DraftKings partnership will also include an “authentic, in-app experience for racing fans.” For example, DraftKings Sportsbook will launch a free-to-play pool prior to the Pocono race featuring custom prizes.

23XI Racing and DraftKings will also collaborate on a series of “cross-channel social media content videos.” The full list is not yet available, but it includes race previews and data for the racing fans and users of the sportsbook.

“I’m excited to see what we are capable of creating together as we welcome DraftKings to the 23XI Racing family,” Wallace said in a press release. “As a big fan of the company, this relationship marks a historic moment as we integrate with a leader in sports technology and entertainment to enhance the experience of racing fans across the board.”


The Sponsor Addition Paves the Way for the Future

The addition of DraftKings as a partner comes at an interesting time for 23XI Racing. The team originally sold out all of its primary sponsor opportunities earlier in the year, so the addition of DraftKings came as a surprise for some fans. However, Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal reports that the partnership could pave the way for future expansion.

“DraftKings coming on board will help 23XI with its expansion plans, as the team is in talks to acquire a second charter as soon as next year, per sources,” Stern tweeted on Thursday. “23XI was already sold out on its sole car this year, but DraftKings could grow with the team and help fund a second car.”

23XI is only in its first year after Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin joined forces, but there are already discussions taking place about whether the team will expand for 2022. The free-agent field is sizable and includes such names as Ryan Newman, Matt DiBenedetto, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, and Alex Bowman among others.

Prior to the 2021 season, Hamlin said that the plan was to expand to a multi-car program “as soon as possible,” per Racer. If the team continues to grow with DraftKings joining the fold, there will be no shortage of potential drivers. Though 23XI will simply continue trying to contend for wins for the remainder of the season.

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