PartyPoker Sign Deal With US Basketball And Hockey TeamsJanuary 10, 2014 2:12 pm
For more than 100 years, US sports teams and athletes have been cautioned against associating themselves with anything connected to betting, in order to avoid tarnishing themselves with the negative stigma associated with gambling. This is especially true for American football clubs which are expressly forbidden from partnering with such gambling companies.
In recent years, however, some of these prohibitions have loosened, and currently the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team, Connecticut Sun, is owned by the Mohegan Sun casino, while 28 of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) 30 teams have sponsorship deals in place with various casinos.
Continuing the recent trend, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers have now become the first major US professional sports teams to sign a sponsorship deal with an online poker business.
Both teams, which are owned by Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris, will now become “official online gaming partners” with nj.partypoker.com, and amongst the Devils and Philadelphia 76ers’ commitments are radio, television, and internet advertisements, as well as ads being displayed around the teams’ home grounds. In addition, various booths will be set up around the arenas, offering fans the chance to try the game online and even win prizes, including tickets for special events.
Commenting on the ground-breaking deal, chief executive of the teams, Scott O’Neil, was keen to express his respect for PartyPoker, an iconic online poker brand which already has huge sponsorship deals in place with other top sports teams around the world, including Manchester United and Real Madrid. As Scott O’Neil, explains:
“They understand the power of big sports, and of leveraging our brands..They are progressive thinkers who are smart and aggressive, and we want to be with people who also think differently.”
In November, 2013, New Jersey opened its first online poker website and there are currently fifteen online gambling poker rooms operating, all of which are affiliated with one of Atlantic City’s eleven casinos. Over the past few couple of months, over 150,000 online gambling accounts have been created in the state, with PartyPoker and its partner BorgataPoker.com, having already captured around 50% of the market.
Commenting on what the latest New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers’ds deal means to PartyPoker, bwin.party CEO Norbert Teufelberger, said: “There is a much bigger opportunity to engage fans in the arena here. European fans go to the stadium and watch the game, where [in the U.S.] things are much more interactive.”