Pro sports leagues look for branding partnership deals after seeing legal sports betting take off.
It hasn’t taken long to see legal sports betting in the US skyrocket, beginning with the success of NJ sports betting. And even though professional sports leagues in the US fought hard to block legal sports betting in New Jersey, they were quick to realize the potential of sports betting, and even asked for an “integrity fee.” As we’ve seen legal PA sports betting and legal WV sports betting unfold, none of these states have agreed to this type of fee.
But despite that shortcoming for pro sports leagues, they have soon found another way in terms to get in on the sports betting success. Leagues have adapted through the use of promotional deals and sponsorship deals, both with pro sports leagues and with teams.
Sportsbooks like 888sport, MGM Resorts and online sportsbooks like FanDuel Sportsbook, have worked their way into big money deals. There have been a dozen of these types of deals in many different iterations among the pro leagues, specific franchises, land-based casinos and sportsbooks.
Let’s take a look at all of these deals and see which ones are the best for the parties involved.
MGM Resorts Partners With The NBA
After the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, it signified what the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver had been pining for, for years. Based on their op-ed column for the New York Times in 2014, Silver called for PASPA to be struck down, as US sports betting was already so prevalent.
So they were primed and ready to strike a deal when legalized US sports betting took place, as they made MGM Resorts the official gaming partner of the NBA. This allows MGM to use official NBA data at land-based casinos and online sportsbooks, and also includes cross-promotion between the two entities.
MGM Resorts Strikes Again, This Time With The NHL
Soon after that deal was struck in October 2018, the NHL got in on the action with their own MGM Resorts deal as their official NHL sports betting partner. Even though it’s a major sponsorship deal that includes marketing and promotions between both the league and MGM Resorts at some of the biggest NHL events like the Winter Classic, hockey in the US isn’t as popular as the NBA is, so the deal may be worth less overall.
FanDuel, NHL Agree To A Partnership
Daily fantasy sports company FanDuel announced a deal with the NHL in November for daily fantasy hockey and for NHL sports betting with their FanDuel Sportsbook app. FanDuel and the New Jersey Devils also struck a deal, so expect to see a lot of FanDuel branding around many hockey events like the All-Star Game as the official sports betting partner of the NHL.
Winstar Casino Partners With The Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys and Winstar Casino inked a partnership in Oklahoma, which makes America’s Team the first NFL franchise to have a partnership with a casino. There isn’t legal sports betting in Oklahoma yet, so the deal is largely ignored by the NFL, but things could change in the Sooner State quickly to legalize sports betting.
Caesars Entertainment’s Branding Deal With The Raiders
Currently known as the Oakland Raiders, the Black and Silver signed a 15-year deal with Caesars Entertainment that includes Caesars-branded suites and an entrance in their soon-to-be home in Las Vegas when they move there in 2020.
Caesars Entertainment Sign Branding Deal With The Baltimore Ravens
A bit different than the Raiders deal, Caesars Entertainment has a branding partnership in place with the Baltimore Ravens to use their branding and logos at Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, specifically at their three-level bar.
888sport links up with the New York Jets
888sport skirted the NFL’s rules a bit in reference to advertising any sportsbooks, but so far they are an official sponsor of the New York Jets and use them in branding to advertise their NJ mobile sportsbook with NJ online gambling taking off over the last few years.
MGM Resorts Also Partners With The Jets
The Jets are working their way through many of the NJ land-based casinos, and MGM Resorts is another sportsbook they signed a partnership with this year after the NFL relaxed its normally-strict policy against ties with gambling. This also includes branding within the PlayMGM mobile sports betting app.
Caesars Entertainment Gets 76ers Together With Harrah’s Philadelphia
Caesars Entertainment’s deal with the 76ers ties well with Harrah’s Philadelphia’s budding PA sports betting setup. The deal signed in October includes Caesars’ offering of online contests and NBA live sports betting.
William Hill Joins Up With The New Jersey Devils
William Hill has made a big push for branding deals in New Jersey, as a third of the sportsbooks in New Jersey have a connection to William Hill. The New Jersey Devils are also a part of that, with a mobile sportsbook in New Jersey opening up a sports betting lounge inside the Prudential Center for hockey fans to place bets on the NHL. NJ legal sports betting has opened up many avenues for those to bet on sports.
Caesars Entertainment Partners with Devils, Opens Club In Prudential Center
An enormous Caesars Club bar and restaurant in the Prudential Center is part of this partnership between Caesars and the Devils, which will help promotion of the Caesars mobile sports betting app, along with Caesars branding in and around the Prudential Center.
William Hill Takes On Vegas With Golden Knights Partnership
As the largest sportsbook in the world, it makes sense that William Hill would partner with the Las Vegas Golden Knights. This will have the William Hill sportsbook branding all over T-Mobile Arena and more.