Sports betting to accelerate significant growth of North American sports

Increased sponsorship opportunities and the heightened value of media rights are set to elevate the growth of North American sports in the coming years according to research by the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The research suggests that new inventory related to gambling, digital media platforms, uniform rights, and incremental in-venue signage and naming rights opportunities will play a key role in enhancing the value of sports in the region.

In total, the research details that the value of sports betting in North America will increase to $80.3bn by the year 2022, with the sponsorship value of the leagues increasing from $14,565 to $15,238, and media rights hiking from $20,141 to $23,803.

The data confirms the assumption that media rights remains the strongest asset of North American sports, with its annual growth being estimated at 4.5%, more then any of the other elements, including sponsorship and gate revenues.

Furthermore, the liberalisation of sports betting could allow North American sports to see levels of fan engagement that would have previously seemed, with potential engagement increasing 13.4%, with the NFL overall potentially could intake $2.326bn from sports betting.

Identifying how North American sports may benefit from the heightened sponsorship opportunities brought on by sports betting, the research stated: “ In September 2018, the NFL relaxed its existing policies on accepting advertising from casinos. The NFL is now accepting sponsorships from casinos that offer sports betting (with certain restrictions).

“Under one of the restrictions, casinos with sportsbooks cannot mention the sportsbook in their advertising. Another restriction prohibits any type of revenue sharing with sportsbooks and teams. Still, this enables the league, individual teams and broadcasting networks to participate in a new advertising revenue source.

“Over the last few years, leagues have become less averse to Las Vegas. The NHL placed an expansion franchise in Las Vegas and the NFL has approved a team to relocate to Las Vegas. Casinos will be sponsors and purchase premium seating as well as season tickets. Later in this Sports Outlook we will examine the potential future state of media deals (post 2022).”