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Justin Thomas plays a shot during his final practice round prior to the 2024 PGA Championship, as we discuss Justin Thomas signing with Fanatics Sportsbook.
Justin Thomas plays a shot during his final practice round prior to the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 15, 2024 in Louisville, Ky. Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images via AFP.

Fanatics Sportsbook and pro golfer Justin Thomas have agreed to a partnership agreement ahead of this weekend's PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky. - a clear move by the growing sportsbook to expand its Kentucky sports betting footprint ahead of the second major of the year.

The deal, which makes Thomas the first "official sports betting partner" for one of the best sports betting sites in the U.S. market, comes just days before the tournament returns to Thomas's home state of Kentucky. He won the PGA Championship in 2017 and 2022, but it hasn't been held in the Bluegrass State since 2014.

It also comes as those who use the Fanatics promo code will notice increased golf betting options. The sportsbook is looking to compete with the best golf betting sites and wrestle away market share from the rest of the Kentucky sportsbook apps.

“Justin Thomas is one of the biggest names in golf and an amazing ambassador for the game," Ari Borod, chief business officer at Fanatics Betting and Gaming, said Tuesday in a press release. "With him coming home to Kentucky to try to win his third PGA Championship, the Fanatics family couldn’t be more excited to partner with him.”

Some details on the partnership

As mentioned, Thomas is the first athlete partner to represent the Fanatics Sportsbook brand. He will become a face of Fanatics Sportsbook and will be a huge part of the promotions and highlighting of new product enhancement for the company.

He is expected to be a factor in Fanatics' social media initiatives and the creation of new content. He is also expected to "engage with the Fanatics community over the course of the next year," per the release.

“I am excited to be the first official partner of the Fanatics Sportsbook,” Thomas said. “Whether it's football, basketball or golf, I'm a big sports fan. So I’m looking forward to getting involved in the world of Fanatics and engaging with their customers."

Fanatics is in the midst of improving its overall golf betting experience, making Thomas seemingly the right person at the right time for Fanatics to align with.

In the Fanatics press release, the company highlighted improvements that include:

  • "Data Visualization: Fanatics Sportsbook now offers an enhanced live event center with shot-by-shot data, leaderboard tracking and course maps directly in the app."
  • "Odds Factory: Fanatics Sportsbook has fully integrated Odds Factory from Banach Technology to enhance our golf offerings, which means more betting markets, improved uptime and faster settlement speeds."
  • "Coming Soon: Customers will be able to stream select Par 3 holes in the app."

Fanatics on fire

Fanatics has been busy swapping its Fanatics Sportsbook platform from previous PointsBet locations across the country. It has been exactly a year since Fanatics acquired PointsBet and all its assets for $225 million in May 2023.

Its expansion into the New Jersey sports betting market last month was the final of 20 states for the sportsbook to transition away from the former PointsBet branding.

In many of those states, which include some of the biggest legal sports betting jurisdictions in the country, Fanatics has outdone what PointsBet managed to accomplish in terms of market share as it looks to carve out a larger share from the other best sports betting apps.

Fanatics Sportsbook is marking the Thomas endorsement with some extra incentive to sign up for the brand and place a wager on the PGA Championship. The company is giving "FanCash Rewards" for each birdie recorded in the first round of a bettors' choice to win the tournament.