The MLB is leading the charge from a partnership perspective as the sports betting industry continues to evolve in the US, as revealed in the MLB 2022 Marketing Partnerships Report released last week.
According to the report, 13 MLB teams hail from states where retail and online betting have been legalized. In states where online gambling approval is still pending, teams have inked in-venue signage assets to stake their claim as future official partners to sports betting brands.
Take the Chicago White Sox, for example. Illinois’ first retail sportsbook debuted in March 2020, and the team unveiled teaser signage with Caesars Sportsbook in September 2021. Following the state’s legalization of online sportsbooks in March 2022, the White Sox named Caesars Sportsbook its official sports betting partner.
The deal includes the following assets:
- Entertainment content, such as the “KLINKO Challenge”
- 1st & 3rd base digital ads
- Outfield wall signage
- Backstop rotating banner ads
- Digital ads in the outfield’s mid-upper level
- Ribbon board digital ads
- Inner bowl signage
- Digital ads on the Videoboard
- Stadium concourse TV commercial
- Exterior ground rotating billboard
During the 2022 season, the Houston Astros, Cleveland Guardians, and St. Louis Cardinals were just a few teams that followed the White Sox’s lead, selling outfield wall signage in anticipation of online betting’s imminent legalization in their home states.
On January 8th, 2022, online sports betting was legalized in New York. Big companies like DraftKings and FanDuel quickly launched earning an estimated $91.4 million in revenue through the first 16 days according to legalsportsreport.com. DraftKings has the most partnership deals in the betting services / DFS space. FanDuel ranks #4 according to the SponsorUnited platform.
DraftKings leads the way in the category having the most active deals in the New York market. This includes deals with the New York Giants and New York Mets. In 2021, DraftKings had a 56% increase YOY sponsorship increase while having 85+ deals within 30+ leagues. The most common assets bought besides use of marks, is social media posts 57% of the time, and event content/activation 41%.
Betway ranks #2 in this category having more deals internationally than in the United States. Betway has 19 deals in the UK, 10 deals in Germany and 18 deals in the United States. 13 of the deals in the United Kingdom are with the Premier League. Their largest deal is with West Ham United which includes 12 unique sponsorship assets, this is 10 more than the Totthenham Hotspurs.
After having a deal with the Pat McAfee Show since 2019, FanDuel signed the podcast to a mega deal at roughly $30 million/year according to multiple reports. With online betting now legal in New York state, the New York market is tied with Pittsburgh as FanDuel’s top market. 57% of the brands sponsorship deals are with the 5 Major Pro Sports in the United States.
In total, there is currently over 320 active brands buying sponsorship or media within the betting services & DFS categories while each brand averages 7 deals.
The Houston Dynamo of the MLS and their sister team the Houston Dash in the NWSL have signed a deal with Fubo Gaming, the betting subsidiary of FuboTV. This partnership marks the first deal for Fubo Gaming in the MLS but also rumored to be the most lucrative partnership ever for an MLS club coming in at nearly $180 Million.
The partnership makes the brand the Official Sports Betting Partner of both clubs and the FuboTV logo will be featured on both of the teams training kits during the 2022 season. The agreement also includes branding and signage through the club’s home field, PNC Stadium, as well as promotions on the teams social media channels and podcasts. The two organizations will work together to support community initiatives throughout the duration of the partnership.
The deal within the MLS marks Fubo Gaming’s 3rd Major Pro Sports League deal in the US. According to SponsorUnited data, they currently have a deal in the NFL with the New York Jets. This deal includes naming rights to a lounge now named the Fubo Sportsbook Lounge. In addition, the brand has a deal with the NBA as an authorized gaming partner which allowed them to sign a multi-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.