• NFL players union signs marketing agreement with DraftKings
  • DraftKings was TV's biggest ad spender at start of NFL season

The non-stop ad blitz for daily fantasy sports is about to get a little more real. DraftKings, one of the two biggest fantasy sports companies, just signed a deal with the National Football League Players Association that will allow players to appear in its ads.

The announcement comes three weeks after the start of the NFL season, which saw a dramatic increase in ad spending by DraftKings and its main rival FanDuel. In the opening week of the NFL season, DraftKings dropped $17.8 million on television ads, more than any other U.S. company, according to iSpot.tv. In the past seven days, FanDuel has been the top spender ($16.9 million) with DraftKings ranked sixth ($12.6 million).

Both DraftKings and FanDuel have money to spend. Each is valued at more than $1 billion. Most recently, DraftKings in July said it raised $300 million from investors including Fox Sports, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and Madison Square Garden Co.

The NFLPA, which declined to comment on the size of the deal with DraftKings, has become newly aggressive marketing its players. It has added six new licensees so far this year, and last week launched a new media company, Athlete Content & Entertainment, to promote players off the field.

DraftKings is the second daily fantasy company to partner with NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the union, joining TopLine Game Labs’s DailyMVP.

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