In today’s digital age it is no wonder that we sometimes see weird sponsorship deals, especially in the sports industry. The USA may be the biggest perpetrators of such sponsorships because of the size of their major sports leagues like the NBA and the NHL.
The most recent partnership was made between the NHL and betting operators which we will reveal in the next paragraph. But if you want to guess who it is, here’s a hint. They also purchased the same deal last month with the NBA.
What is the deal about?
As some of you may have already guessed by now, and by looking at the title, of course, the betting operator is MGM Resorts, who became an official betting partner with both NHL and the NBA. However, in these two deals, the partnership was referenced differently. With NHL MGM is referred to as “betting partner”, while with NBA they’re named as an “official gaming partner”. Why such differences were made is unknown.
The deal is not too big in terms of features. It will continue for several years and will entail that MGM will have the right to use the logos of the teams, have data rights and an NHL-sponsored resort destination.
Even though the US is a popular place for sponsorships, casino sponsorships are still on a small scale because of the relevancy. For NHL it was a good addition because of the teams they feature from Las Vegas, casinos + Vegas = relevant. Besides, the sports betting laws are now flexible as ever, since the 1992 Amateur Sports Protection Act was ruled out as unconstitutional.
Some opposition well handled
Even though the deal has already been made, it doesn’t mean that there was no opposition. In fact, the person with the highest authority in NHL, had a say in this, being quite public about his stance towards the betting industry.
Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner has always been a staunch resistor of the betting industry finding a place in the NHL. According to his statements way back in 2012, he couldn’t see a place for sports betting in the NHL because of the value he provided for the fans.
But, despite the opposition, Bettman changed his mind about the whole ordeal, saying that since the deal was already made and it was there from the beginning, it would be foolish to pass it up and offer more engagement and interest for the fans.
MGM is now considered as a sponsor for the Vegas Golden Knights, who recently announced a non-exclusive sportsbook sponsorship. It was initiated by William Hill a prominent sportsbook owner in the state. MGM is also the owner of the T-Mobile Arena, where most of the games played by the Knights are held, a project that cost the company $700 million.