Are Betting and Sportsbooks Making Inroads into Professional Sports?

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The deregulation of the betting market in the United States, and the administration of sports wagering passed onto individual states, paved the way for sportsbooks and betting, in general, to make significant inroads into professional sports.

The 2018 Supreme Court ruling regarding betting heralded a revolutionary change in the way sports wagering is done in the United States.  Following the verdict, the legal jurisdiction over sports betting was extended to individual states, who became solely responsible for this form of wagering on their territory.  Several states, like New Jersey, acted quickly to seize the opportunity brought on by the legislative relaxation by introducing online sportsbooks and betting.

The introduction of sports betting on the state level has allowed local residents to enjoy betting on an extensive range of sports, with a broader selection of sportsbooks available for all interested.  Today, you can browse through lists of mobile sportsbooks and betting sites in each state that has rolled out sports betting and chose ones that best suits your taste.

Professional Sports and Betting Opportunities

Not only was the introduction of sports betting beneficial for local punters, but it also opened up opportunities for US professional sports teams.  Sponsorship deals are a crucial channel that sportsbooks and betting houses use to make headway into the arena of US pro sports.

The National Football League (NFL) informed its members in February 2020 that they can make official sponsorship deals with US-based regulated sportsbooks.  After that, it was just a matter of time before several sports teams took advantage of legislative changes governing betting.

However, this is nothing new to the NFL, where sponsorships from casinos have been legal since 2018.  Caesars Casino offered the NFL its first betting sponsorship in early 2019, and, thanks to legal sports betting, the league estimates that it will see an additional US$2,3 billion in annual revenue.

During the 2019 NFL season, there were 21 gambling-related advertising deals throughout the campaign.  This resulted in an increase of six per cent for the sponsorship revenue across the entire league.  NFL is expected to continue to make notable inroads into the sports-betting sponsorship market.

XFL, a new pro football league founded by Vince McMahon, has not held back either from gambling sponsorships, having completed several sportsbook funding arrangements.

NFL Partnership With 888Sport

The NFL has also linked up with 888Sport, making the popular sportsbook the league’s official betting partner in Ireland and the UK.  888Sports also acts as the official sports betting partner of the Super Bowl for fans in Ireland and the UK.  This ultimately demonstrates that betting and sportsbook sponsorships can be tailormade for specific countries and markets, thus maximising the potential revenue streams.

In terms of individual National Football League teams, a large number of them have been quick to jump onto the bandwagon in terms of sportsbook sponsorships.  The Philadelphia Eagles are a great example of this proactive approach, having signed a deal with Unibet.  Additionally, Denver Broncos have an arrangement in place with both Bet Fred USA and Fan Duel.  

With the liberalisation of the sports betting industry across the US, many new opportunities have arisen.  The inroads made by sportsbooks into the professional sports market segment have brought additional revenue to the teams and generated more choice for the punters. With the projected expansion, it will only be a matter of time before the majority of teams will have a sports betting sponsor.