The NHL announced Monday that MGM Resorts would be the first official sports betting partner of the league. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held a press conference Monday morning and made the announcement alongside MGM Resorts Chairman & CEO Jim Murren.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 29, 2018
During the press conference, Bettman had the following to say:
“The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our League,” Bettman said. “As a leading global gaming operator and entertainment company, MGM Resorts is the perfect partner for us to begin our transformative entry into this space. Fan engagement, technological advancement and innovation are paramount to our progressive approach and will be at the forefront of everything we do.”
In the same press conference, Murren would say the following:
“We couldn’t be more excited to enter into this historic partnership with the NHL,” said Murren. “The League is home to some of the most exciting action in sports, and we are thrilled to join with them to create new immersive and exhilarating experiences for hockey fans. Combining MGM Resorts’ world-class sports betting operations and technology with the NHL’s top-level competition, iconic brands and cutting-edge data will further transform the rapidly growing sports betting marketplace and solidify our position at the forefront of the industry.”
A Major Deal for the NHL and MGM Resorts
As a result of this partnership, MGM Resorts will also be an official resorts partner for the league. This will allow them to market its own products, services and the like to the NHL through their platforms and vice versa.
Also interesting to note in regards to this partnership is the fact that MGM Resorts will also have access to enhanced NHL proprietary game data that will be generated by the NHL’s new tracking system that is currently in the works.
With the NBA working hard to get involved in the sports betting world and forming a partnership with MGM just a few months earlier, the NHL has quickly followed suit and has formed a premier partnership of the same ilk. According to Darren Rovell, the NBA’s deal is thought to be worth $25 million over three years. It’s unclear what the NHL’s deal is set to look like, though the long-term opportunities between both sides are seemingly endless.
It’s a partnership that should serve to benefit the league in the long-run given the many opportunities financially that this could lead to over the course of the deal. At the same time, MGM Resorts will also be able to use this partnership to reach a larger audience with the NHL’s already devoted fanbase in place.
Bettman has worked hard in recent years to secure big money streams for the league, most notably when the league signed a landmark 12-year deal with Rogers for the league’s Canadian broadcast and multimedia rights. The deal is worth $5.232 billion and is also Canada’s largest sports-media rights agreement.
Similarly, the NHL has also continued their efforts to grow the game specifically through expansion. The beneficiaries of that thus far have been Vegas with the Golden Knights and the soon-to-be Seattle franchise.