The New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers are officially the first two professional sports team to sign an online gambling sponsorship deal in the US. Earlier today, Bloomberg and other sources announced a multi-year marketing deal between the two teams and partypoker.
The deal will see partypoker become the official betting partner of the 76ers, the Devils and the Prudential Center, the current home arena for both teams. Social media and digital asset creation are also part of the deal, including mobile. The company will also be prominently featured in TV ads for the teams and in the arena.
This deal is very similar to those that many online sites have made with sports teams around the world. Bwin.party has long been a sponsor of international football and are the current betting partner for Manchester United.
With the deal, you can expect to see promotions from partypoker that specifically target fans of both squads. Some online gambling sponsors have even setup team-themed sites or skins to draw fan support. Since Fantasy Sports is big in the US, don’t be surprised to see partypoker attempt some type of fantasy basketball or hockey league.
Some of the promotions already on the horizon are tickets and luxury suites for both squads as well as road trips with the teams. Contests for tickets to marquee events are also in the plans, including tickets to the Jay Z concert on January 22nd at the Prudential Center.
Bwin CEO Norbert Teufelberger commented on the deal, stating, “These are two of the most iconic names in American hockey and basketball with huge and loyal fanbases throughout New Jersey and the surrounding metropolitan areas.”
Scott O’Neil, COO of both the Devils and 76ers, praised the deal, stating, “These are two of the most iconic names in American hockey and basketball with huge and loyal fanbases throughout New Jersey and the surrounding metropolitan areas.”
The Devils are not the first NHL team to be sponsored by an online gambling site. The Toronto Maple Leafs once were sponsored by an online gambling site. NBA rules also allow teams to sign with an online gambling partner provided that the sponsor does not allow sports betting or sports gambling on their sites.
This type of deal was inevitable with the recent expansion of online gambling in the United States. For now, you will likely only see these deals signed once other states come on board. Online gambling sponsorships give teams much needed revenue to help build their squads and give the sponsor company a captive audience for their product. It is a win-win situation that has a proven track record internationally and should prove just as successful in the United States.