The National Football League has recently signed a multiyear deal with Caesars Entertainment Corp. making the latter the NFL’s first-ever casino partner. While the deal does not include sports betting, the partnership sets them up for more discussions that make a sports betting agreement very possible. During the announcement of the deal, it was revealed that both organizations have agreed to a three-year deal that is worth about $30 million annually.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with one of the world’s largest gaming and entertainment companies,” Renie Anderson, the NFL’s senior vice president of partnerships, sponsorships, and consumer products, said.
What the Deal Entails
The sponsorship agreement will officially kick off during the 2019 playoffs and will give Caesars the exclusive rights to use NFL trademarks including the Super Bowls in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, the NFL’s trademarks will not appear on Caesars sportsbooks. According to Renie Anderson, the sponsorship deal is primarily concerned with providing fans with unique experiences by combining the NFL with expertise from Caesars. This will involve the combination of access to NFL events with Caesars stable of famous celebrity chefs, musical acts and locations across the United States and the United Kingdom.
This is a great step forward for the National Football especially considering the fact the major United States sports leagues are still grappling with how to approach the country’s new legal and rapidly growing state-driven sports betting industry. According to the American Gaming Association, the league eventually stands to reap revenues of as much as $2.3 billion every year from the gambling industry.
Prior to the sponsorship deal with the National Football League, Caesars Entertainment Corp. had already signed contracts with seven of the league’s teams – the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles – all of which will be included in 2020 NFL draft events in Las Vegas.
Not Yet Ready for Sports Betting?
Clearly, the NFL is still pretty hesitant when it comes to the direct promotion of sports gambling despite the fact that eight states have already legalized the activity and many others are considering a similar move. Renie Anderson said that while the league is still noncommittal about venturing into sports betting at this time, it would still be monitoring sports gambling.
“We’re not rushing into anything. We’ll continue to look at the industry as it evolves but it’s still has a lot of evolving to do,” he said.
The deal that has already been created between the two organizations effectively creates a working relationship which means that should the industry evolve in ways that would compel the NFL to venture into the space, then they can work up an agreement that is suitable for both of them. In the interim, the league is seemingly wading closer and closer to the casino space and thus sports betting might not be that far behind.