Since the NFL announced in February that franchises could take on sports betting partners, there has been a flurry of activity. Across the football league, we have seen a number of betting companies attempting to take advantage of this. In the latest partnership, it was just announced that BetMGM will partner up with the Detroit Lions.
This deal, announced on Thursday, will see BetMGM gain exclusive rights for broadcasting, digital marketing, and promotions within the stadium. MGM and the Detroit Lions have worked together in the past; this is a deal that looks set to be beneficial for both.
Looking For New Ways to Entertain The Fans
In a press release discussing this news, Detroit Lions President Rod Wood spoke about the importance of how this move would engage the fans:
“The Detroit Lions historic relationship with BetMGM has been years in the making and we’re proud to announce details of our official partnership. We’re continuously seeking new ways to entertain and involve our fans which is especially important during such unusual times; this partnership with BetMGM will provide additional and exciting opportunities to engage our fans.”
It is clear this is something that fans will love. Evidence of this can be seen with the Denver Broncos which has had a deal in place with BetMGM since March. Despite there being no football since that deal, there has already been a clear indication of MGM’s marketing power. It has doubled down on their digital marketing efforts and the same can be expected in Detroit.
Looking Outside New Jersey For Success
This year has seen sportsbooks like BetMGM branch outside New Jersey and Vegas for the first time since 2018. New Jersey has provided a happy hunting ground for the likes of MGM, who owns The Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. The mobile-ready sportsbook, reviewed here, has found great success since its launch last year.
Mobile betting, which we covered in this piece, has been the key to success in New Jersey as casinos and sportsbooks have been forced to close.
As more and more states allow mobile betting, BetMGM has taken advantage of the opportunity to spread its wings. It is therefore no surprise that a company like MGM would try to capitalize on its success with partnerships in sports leagues.
MGM’s Attitudes Towards Tough Economic Conditions
MGM, like many of its competitors, has struggled in 2020. This is a bold statement to try and maintain a strong reputation and keep revenue coming in. We covered here that the company had sought a big investment from stakeholders IAC, as they tried to boost revenue from the mobile betting app.
We also covered the breaking story when two of IAC’s execs transitioned to MGM to focus on digital growth, a clear sign of where MGM was heading. The company has had to make tough decisions to reduce jobs in its resorts both inside and outside New Jersey.
Getting Ahead of the Curve
Outside New Jersey, a number of states are deciding about making mobile betting legal. Michigan is still very much in the process of allowing mobile sports betting, but at the time of writing, this was not fully approved. In July, the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced that it was happy to begin accepting applications for internet gaming and sports betting licenses.
MGM has a presence in Detroit in the MGM Grand Detroit, but it will have to wait until the end of the year or early 2021 before it is able to launch its sports betting app. This is further evidence of the potential marketplace that can be found outside New Jersey.
BetMGM Chief Marketing Officer Matt Prevost was feeling optimistic when discussing the deal:
“When we first opened the BetMGM Sports Lounge at MGM Grand Detroit in March, we hoped to develop deep relationships with the state’s top teams. We are honored to be the first sports betting partner of the Lions and to offer their fans access to a variety of best-in-class promotions and perks only available on BetMGM.”
Sports Betting and NFL Partnerships
This is the latest in a series of partnerships between the NFL and sports betting companies. We have already seen the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders join with Caesars and MGM, respectively. What is also interesting here are the franchises that have taken on multiple partners such as the Denver Broncos.
The return of the nation’s big sports leagues has come at the optimal time for those in the gambling industry following a year of closures and economic difficulty. In the MGM press release surrounding the deal, David Tsai, president of the Midwest Group for MGM Resorts, spoke about the future of this deal for fans.
“We know everyone is eager to get out of their homes and add some fun into their calendars. We are committed to raising the bar in delivering unique and entertaining experiences.”
We can certainly expect to see more partnerships of this nature take place in the coming months.