Caesars Entertainment finally grew tired of watching the competition partner with sports teams. The hospitality giant inked partnership deals with both the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the two teams, announced the multi-year on Tuesday. The financial terms of the agreement will remain confidential.
Caesars now has league presence in NJ, PA
Caesars’s rationale behind the deal is fairly easy to see. The two teams are from states either with sportsbooks already open or with sportsbooks that soon will open.
New Jersey casinos are already accepting $184 million in sports bets every month. Pennsylvania‘s 12 casinos are slowly submitting their licenses to offer wagering on sporting events.
In fact, Caesars already owns three land-based properties (Caesars, Bally’s, and Harrah’s) in New Jersey. From those holdings, the company offers two retail sportsbooks in Atlantic City and an online version accessible from anywhere in the state.
Caesars also owns a casino in Philadelphia. Harrahs Philadelphia will likely receive its sports betting license approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board at the board’s Oct. 31 meeting. A Pennsylvania sports betting license allows Caesars to open a retail and online sportsbook in the Keystone State.
This partnership will be critical for Caesars from a marketing perspective. The end result will be basketball or hockey fans betting on the game they’re watching right from their seats.
However, from the perspective of the two teams, the value of Caesars’s non-gaming holdings may be equally valuable. Caesars will now promote both teams at its properties across the world.
Both teams also gain the ability to run cross-promotions with Caesars. Fans will now try to win complimentary stays, money, or other goodies at locations in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.
Sportsbook and pro team deals all over
As part of the deal, Caesars will build a 5,000-square-foot lounge at the Prudential Center in Newark. The lounge, which will be open for Devil Club members, will put the gaming giant’s name prominently on the arena’s main concourse.
“Caesars Entertainment has enjoyed a long relationship with the New Jersey community,” said Chief Marketing Officer for Caesars Entertainment Chris Holdren. “With the introduction of the Caesars Club Sports Lounge, we’re excited to expand our relationship and deliver our world-class hospitality and entertainment in a new part of the Garden State.”
That deal also provides for William Hill to open a lounge area at the arena. The sports lounge will also be in the Prudential’s main concourse, although it’s unclear how close it will be to the Caesars area.
Finally, Oct. 29 marked the beginning of a joint chapter for MGM Resorts International and the NHL. The two organizations announced a multi-year partnership that covers the entire league.
Although the MGM deal did not mention a venue at the Prudential Center, it is possible that advertising for the hospitality company could show up there. MGM can certainly use the Devils logo in its marketing.
The NBA, in turn, also has a leaguewide deal with MGM. The deal, which came at the end of July 2018, was the first of its kind between a sports league and a gaming company.
Frankly, these deals seem to fly in the face of the leagues’ longstanding opposition to sports betting. However, five months after the demise of PASPA, it seems that the leagues have collectively decided that accepting the new reality is the best way to ensure they don’t get left out in the cold.
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