Caesars Entertainment has signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE).
HBSE owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils as well as the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
Per the press release:
“In a series of playful online and in-game contests, Caesars will promote Harrah’s Philadelphia and two of its other signature brands to Philadelphia 76ers’ regional and international fanbases. 76ers fans will have the opportunity to win a complimentary stay at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino or an all-expense paid weekend getaway to The LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas via the new “Score for the Shore” in-game, on-court promotion and the “Live Like a Caesars VIP” 76ers social media contest, respectively.”
The deal is focused on New Jersey. However, it has a clear cross-over to Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania sports betting.
Caesars owns Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino located on the Chester, PA waterfront. The casino already received Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approval for all three interactive gaming licenses. The company plans to launch online casino and online poker during Q1 of 2019.
The company will appear in front of PGCB tomorrow to present its sports betting application.
Multi-faceted opportunities in New Jersey
The Caesars deal has an interesting structure. New Jersey sports fans will have access to a new Caesars Club at the Prudential Center.
“The 5,000-square-foot premium restaurant and bar will be located on the main concourse, providing Caesars Entertainment’s signature VIP hospitality to Premium Seat members for all New Jersey Devils home games and will be open to all event attendees during more than 175 live events, games and concerts held at the world’s No. 8 “Most Played Venue”* annually.”
Caesars has two casinos in New Jersey that offer sports betting, Harrah’s and Bally’s. Sports betting won’t be allowed at the club in the Prudential, but Caesars will use the facility to promote sports betting to sports fans.
For those fans who don’t want to make regular trips to the Atlantic City casinos, Caesars will promote its online app.
The Caesars Casino & Sports app offers online casino games and sports betting to anyone with a mobile device or access via a desktop computer.
Additionally, fans going to the games will see Caesars branding on a range of items:
“… on Club Level tickets, premium wristbands, concourse pillars and more. Caesars branding, including signage and waitstaff attire, will complete the Caesars premium experience in Caesars Club. Caesars will also have a presence at 76ers games through advertising placements. In a Caesars-branded “Shoot for a Million” on-ice promotion, select New Jersey Devils fans will have the chance to win $1 million during the second-period break in 10 regular-season games.”
No longer are sponsorship deals simply putting brand names on shirts or advertising hoardings.
The marketing gurus have created a different experience that aims to increase engagement between fans and their sports teams.
Pennsylvania can expect to see similar deals
Pennsylvania is home to eight major sports league teams:
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Philadelphia Union
PGCB is busy authorizing its licensed casinos to offer sports betting.
Some sports betting could start within a few weeks. However, most of the casinos will be operating sportsbooks in the first few months of 2019.
The casino and online sports betting operators are not slow to try to seize a competitive advantage if they can. So, the odds are that all of Pennsylvania’s major sports teams are talking to potential sponsors.
The money that sponsorship injects into teams is a win-win for everybody. Fans, teams, and casinos will benefit.
Sports betting is spurring team sponsorship deals
The American Gaming Association (AGA) asked Nielsen Sports to estimate the additional revenues sports leagues would make from legal sports betting.
Nielsen’s answer was staggering. Survey results indicated that the four main leagues would benefit as follows:
- NFL should see total revenues rise by $2.326 billion
- MLB should increase revenues by $1.106 billion
- NHL should see $216 million in total
- NBA will get an extra $425 million
Sports betting sponsorship deals will account for a fair amount of the extra income
In the last few weeks, the pace at which deals have been made has increased. The 76ers deal is the eighth deal announced so far. Others include:
- Horseshoe Baltimore and the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL
- NBA and MGM
- NHL and MGM
- Dallas Cowboys and WinStar World
- Vegas Golden Knights and William Hill
- New Jersey Devils and William Hill
- New York Jets and 888
As one of the earliest states to get into the regulated sports betting market, Pennsylvania can look forward to a substantial injection of marketing expenditure.
The market already looks like it will be crowded. And in a crowded market sports team sponsorship is one way for operators to differentiate themselves from the competition.