MGM Loads The Bases, Becomes ‘Official Gaming Partner’ Of MLB

Three of the four major professional sports leagues in the US have now partnered with MGM Resorts International.

Major League Baseball on Tuesday announced “the formation of an all-inclusive partnership agreement” with MGM, according to a press release.

The agreement “combines the MLB brand with MGM Resorts and playMGM brands across league and team sponsorships,” per the release. Also included are data usage in gaming, promotion across MLB-owned media platforms and “domestic and international activations at MLB events.”

As such, this multiyear agreement makes MGM the “Official Gaming Partner of MLB” and “Official Entertainment Partner of MLB.”

What’s included in the MGM-MLB deal

In joining MLB’s corner, MGM now has an avenue to promote its brand and gaming options throughout the league’s digital and broadcast platforms.

Included are MLB, the MLB At Bat app and any additional “fan engagement offerings” that would be “jointly developed” by the MLB and MGM.

The partnership also makes MGM an “MLB-Authorized Gaming Operator” while using the league’s official statistics feeds on its digital and live sports betting options. Such usage, the MLB specifically noted, would be on a nonexclusive basis.

That said, according to the release, the MLB will make “enhanced statistics” available to MGM on an exclusive basis.

The agreement also sets up the league and MGM to collaborate on comprehensive responsible gaming measures while working to “protect the integrity of the game both on and off the field.”

Additionally, MGM has authority to use MLB intellectual property in advertising and promotions. To boot, this little nugget:

“MGM also will broaden its commitment to baseball by securing multiple MLB Club partnerships.”

What they’re saying

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed his pleasure to join forces with MGM, which he dubbed as “a clear industry leader in the sports gaming area.”

With this partnership, he said, the league and MGM will be able to work together to bring “innovative experiences” to fans and MGM customers.

Manfred added:

“Our partnership with MGM will help us navigate this evolving space responsibly, and we look forward to the fan engagement opportunities ahead.”

Jim Murren, MGM chairman and CEO, noted that the two new partners will create a “one-of-a-kind fan experience.”

“Combining MGM Resorts’ world class entertainment and technology with MLB data will continue to transform a rapidly changing industry. This partnership further amplifies the significance of our GVC JV, firmly establishing MGM Resorts and playMGM as the market leader in partnerships with major professional sports leagues.”

The news was noted by many in the industry, including the American Gaming AssociationSara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the AGA, commented:

“Agreements between sports leagues and the gaming industry enable all sports stakeholders to work together to eliminate the illegal sports betting market. With MLB’s announcement today, three major sports leagues now have official sports betting partners – evidence of our continued commitment to protecting the integrity of both consumers and sporting competitions and that contracts remain preferential to statutes in all sports betting deals.”

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MGM adds to its partnership portfolio

A day after hinting at a partnership, noting a “major sports gaming announcement” coming, the MLB did what many speculated: MGM will partner with the MLB.

Murren noted the “historic” deal. Within the last few months, though, MGM has landed similar partnerships.

In July, a month before rolling out its playMGM mobile product for sports betting in New Jersey, MGM entered into a partnership agreement with the NBA.

Then, in October, the company did the same with the NHL.

With three of the four biggest professional sports leagues in North America secured, a new question arises:

When does the NFL enter the fold?

About the Author

Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.