Since the first sports wager was legally placed in Pennsylvania in 2018, several betting platforms have created synergies with the state’s professional sports teams to attract, promote and market sports wagering.
This creates new ways to strengthen current relationships with their Pennsylvania fanbase and also attracts and grows new customers to their brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and online sports betting accounts.
In November 2020, BetMGM was the first official gaming partner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and then a month later, it announced a partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“We see immense value in partnering with teams in that it enables us to deeply engage with fans of those individual teams,” said Elisa Richardson, head of public relations and communications for BetMGM. “For both the Steelers and the Sixers, our partnerships give us the ability to offer customized branded games and activations, which helps us better reach and engage their fans.
”Reception to BetMGM’s entry into Pennsylvania has been great and we’re looking forward to really activating on our partnerships, especially as the NBA season gets into full swing.”
Early on, Unibet was one of the first companies to establish a partnership beginning with the Philadelphia Eagles (November 2019) and later with Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union (February 2020).
“Our partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles has been fantastic for us. We timed our partnership to coincide with our Unibet launch in Pennsylvania,” said Phil Valente, partnerships and VIP senior manager U.S. at Unibet. “From the moment we went live, it helped to have such a beloved partner in the state. In addition, we’ve been able to innovate together to deliver unique experiences for our clients and their fans.
”This includes our new Eagles Slot and Blackjack games, which can only be found at Unibet. With our global presence and roots in soccer, it made sense for us to partner with the Philadelphia Union. It’s been fantastic to work with their team as soccer continues to grow here in the U.S.”
Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers.com and PlaySugarHouse.com has been active with Pennsylvania sports teams and athletes since early October 2019. That’s when they introduced a partnership with the Philadelphia Flyers and opened the BetRivers.com Sports Lounge and Rivers Casino Philadelphia Sports Lounge within the Flyers home arena, Wells Fargo Center.
In late September 2020, Rivers Casino became the official casino and sportsbook operator of the Pittsburgh Penguins and opened a branded, sportsbook-style lounge within PPG Paints Arena, home of the Penguins.
On Jan. 6, BetRiverscom signed former NBA coach George Karl to an exclusive content deal and two days later, named former Steelers and Notre Dame running back Jerome Bettis as brand ambassador.
“At RSI, our mission is to enhance the user experience for our sportsbook players on BetRivers.com and PlaySugarHouse.com in every way we can, and that includes building even more excitement around sports events,” said Mattias Stetz, COO, Rush Street Interactive. “We believe in multilayered and authentic partnerships, and our sports partnerships provide a great opportunity to add unique and innovative gaming experiences.
“In Pennsylvania where we see a huge interest in sports betting, the relationships we share with the Flyers and Penguins, and their respective arenas, allow us to enhance a fan’s game day fun and provide a new level of excitement.”
DraftKings also has official partnerships with the Eagles and 76ers as a daily fantasy sports and sports betting provider.
Unibet’s Valente said “in Pennsylvania, there’s a great deal of affinity for local teams.”
”We see incredible fans who support their franchises through it all,” he said. “Whether it’s a college or professional team, the loyalty is always there.”