[Editor’s note: FanDuel is an advertiser of PFT and PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. Also, NBC Sports has an equity stake in FanDuel.]
The challenges facing the daily fantasy industry have taken yet another twist. For one of the major DFS companies.
Washington receiver Pierre Garςon has filed a class-action lawsuit in Maryland against FanDuel. The complaint alleges that player “names and likenesses have been misappropriated” and that FanDuel “knowingly and improperly exploits the popularity” of players at “offensive skilled position” absent their permission.
The press release announcing the lawsuit, posted by Mike Garafolo of FOXSports.com, contends that FanDuel “routinely uses the names and likenesses of some of these NFL players without authorization to promote FanDuel’s commercial enterprise, collecting huge revenues from entry fees.”
The press release states that FanDuel “continues to promote and to operate its daily fantasy football gaming product on the backs of NFL players like Mr. Garςon, whose popularity and performance make FanDuel’s entire business model possible.”
DraftKings presumably was not sued because it has struck an advertising deal with the NFL Players Association, allowing DraftKings to use player images and names. The next question becomes whether the lawsuit was in any way instigated by DraftKings or the NFLPA, as part of an effort to help DraftKings prevail in the cola war that has been unfolding between the two primary DFS companies.