Boost Mobile is betting that online betting will boost its appeal to new customers. The Dish Network-owned reseller of T-Mobile’s service announced a partnership Thursday with DraftKings that will spot Boost subscribers in the right states a little extra money to gamble on sports.
As part of this deal, Boost says subscribers in states that have legalized sports betting who sign up with DraftKings will get a $50 credit after they deposit $5 and place a bet. DraftKings offers its service in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
In the other states in which DraftKings can only offer daily fantasy sports, Boost subscribers who sign up will get a $3 credit after they deposit $5 and enter a daily contest.
Not yet eligible for either offer: Boost subscribers in Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, and Washington, where state laws have restricted or banned sports betting and daily fantasy sports.
The offer posted on Boston-based DraftKings’ site Wednesday for a user in Virginia was a 20% bonus on the customer’s initial deposit, so Boost subscribers stand to get an outsized starting benefit.
This partnership won’t initially result in the DraftKings app being preinstalled on phones that Boost Mobile sells, but the Irvine, California firm plans to do so eventually.
In a press release, Boost also said it will let customers put money into their DraftKings accounts at its stores.
“Joining forces with DraftKings to make sports entertainment more convenient for our customers is the next step in delivering value-added services and entertainment to our users,” the release quoted Andrea Henderson, marketing head at Boost Mobile. “We want to be more than just a utility to our users, serving as a lifestyle resource and a source of entertainment.”
Boost, with some 9 million subscribers, has seen numerous changes since its sale to Dish as a condition of T-Mobile buying Sprint, Boost’s former owner. Dish is committed to building a 5G-only network and wean itself off of relying on T-Mobile’s network. But T-Mobile’s plan to shut down its CDMA service starting in January may give it much less time to do so.
As part of this transition, Dish hired Stephen Stokols, formerly founder and CEO of FreedomPop, to run Boost as its executive vice president. Since his arrival in September, Dish’s wireless subsidiary has adopted some of the unconventional marketing tactics of Stokols’ old shop.
In March, Boost began selling a $5.99/month add-on set of privacy tools, and at the start of May it said it would make K Health’s $9/month telemedicine service a free bonus for subscribers of its unlimited-on-phone data plans.
Back in March, Stokols told Fierce that he saw four areas in which Boost could help its customers and itself by bundling third-party services: privacy, financial services, healthcare and gambling.
“When you think about our strategy, we’re looking to offer relevant value across all four dimensions, starting with the privacy bundle,” he said then.
Presumably, we’re only weeks or months away from finding out what financial app or service Boost will start offering to its customers.