Eberlein Drive Wins DraftKings Sponsorship


After competing (or at least trying really hard) in The Basketball Tournament in 2014 and getting profiled by Sports Illustrated ahead of former All-Americans and first round draft picks, it’s tempting to say that the boys from the cul-de-sac in Fraser, MI, that gives Eberlein Drive its name are lucky. Having been celebrated for their lack of on-court success in last year’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, Eberlein Drive seems poised to change the narrative—dramatically—in 2015. And luck isn’t the reason why. Well, not the whole reason, anyway.

Leading the Midwest region in votes, Eberlein Drive, which joined forces in the off-season with Matt Mitchell, former GM/SG of 2014 TBT participant Olivet Nazarene, has made “worst to first” an unofficial mantra for 2015. Having landed big name talent in Von Wafer and Renaldo Balkman, not to mention high caliber, if unheralded, players like Tyler Laser, who put on a dominating performance in TBT last year—and followed up his strong showing by winning MVP of the Bulgaria NBL—Eberlein Drive has already improved its fortunes several times over.


But on Monday evening, Eberlein’s 2015 prospects turned even brighter…as in neon green brighter. After first place finisher ZviciousZ failed to come forward to claim the TBT DraftKings Sponsorship Contest grand prize, the second place finisher Dylan Creger, a cousin of Eberlein GM Jacob Hirschmann, was named the winner of the TBT DraftKings Sponsorship Contest.

Creger, a fan dating back to last year, was alerted to the DraftKings sponsorship contest by Hirschmann. Getting as many friends and family to play the DFS game as possible, Eberlein was intent on leaving nothing to chance. “Our strategy was to put in as many entries as possible,” explained Hirschmann.

Tracking the contest live on DraftKings.com all night, Eberlein had assumed that all was lost when Creger came up just short, but ZviciousZ’s failure to come forward changed all that. Maybe luck did have something to do with it.

“[We] initially tried to diversify our entries with no duplicates as best we could, but when you have 30-40 entries and only 4 [NBA] teams playing, it gets pretty difficult to keep track of all the options,” said co-GM Matt Mitchell.  

The DraftKings sponsorship, which includes travel, a per diem, gear, and a first-of-its-kind jersey sponsorship from DraftKings, will allow Eberlein to continue the massive roster overhaul it has undertaken since last year. While the DraftKings sponsorship is in their back pocket, don’t expect to see Eberlein leave much to chance over the next few weeks.

“We are thrilled to have won the sponsorship. We feel it gives us some more ‘ammo’ to go after our last couple targets to complete our roster,” said Mitchell. If the thought, effort, and planning that went into its DraftKings strategy are anything to go by, it seems likely Eberlein already knows how to get those final pieces. If luck continues to be on their side, look for those final pieces to be just the ones Eberlein Drive needs to continue its worst to first transformation.