iGaming operator bwin.party digital entertainment have announced the first ever US professional sports team and igaming partnership with US National Basketball Association franchise – the Philadelphia 76ers and National Hockey League New Jersey Devils.
Both sports franchises are controlled by private equity and financial investment billionaire Josh Harris. The partnership deal is the first between US based sports franchises and igaming operators, it comes just 10 months after the state of New Jersey agreed to legalise igaming wagering within its state borders.
Early speculation by Bloomberg News sets the sponsorship value at an estimated $10 million between the igaming operator and the two US sports franchises. Scott O’Neil Chief Executive of the Philadelphia 76ers commented – “This is our flag in the ground that we do things differently, We’re looking for ground breaking opportunities with companies willing to take chances.”
The partnership deal between bwin.party will see the promotion of the Party Poker brand at the Philadelphia 76ers Wells Fargo Arena and the New Jersey Devils Prudential Center. The bwin.party brand will further be displayed to customers through IP protected inventory on the franchises digital channels. It is unknown whether other bwin.party products will be given coverage by the partnership.
bwin.party digital CEO Norbert Teufelberger commented on the agreement “These are two of the most iconic names in American hockey and basketball with huge and loyal fan bases throughout New Jersey and the surrounding metropolitan areas,”.
As mentioned previously the partnership is the first between an igaming operator and a US professional sports team. It is yet unknown whether other sports leagues and franchises will follow suite and allow promotions of igaming brands.
National Football League (NFL) and Major League Soccer (MLS) rules prohibit teams from accepting online gaming sponsors. Major League Baseball (MLB) media spokesman Pat Courtney said the MLB would consider such deals on a case-by-case basis, he further added that the MLB was unaware of any potential future deals to promote igaming via baseball partnerships.