Last month when the NFL announced it would hold its 2020 draft in Las Vegas, it also publicly wished for a gaming partner. Poof! Less than a month later, the league has signed a deal with Caesars Entertainment to be its casino partner. To be clear, this is not a sports betting deal, like the ones the other major professional leagues have signed with MGM International, but a casino deal.
According to Bloomberg News, the multi-year deal is worth nearly $30 million a year to the NFL.
The deal is effective immediately, according to the NFL’s Thursday morning press release, and Caesars will provide “unique experiences for NFL fans” at its properties across the country beginning Saturday, when the Wild-Card round of the NFL playoffs begins. Those experiences will focus on entertainment options, including celebrity chefs and well-known music artists.
NFL deal similar to Cowboys-WinStar pact
In a Tweet, Caesars says it is “the Official Sponsor of #SuperBowlLIII.”
Today, the @NFL selected Caesars Entertainment its first-ever casino sponsor! We will be the official sponsor of #SuperBowlLIII. We're excited to provide #NFL fans unique experiences at our properties across the US and UK. https://t.co/CavatBFlZn pic.twitter.com/GeklNzWPSh
— CaesarsEntertainment (@CaesarsEnt) January 3, 2019
The deal gives Caesars the exclusive right to use NFL logos and marks at its U.S. and United Kingdom properties, and “activate” at major NFL events, including the Super Bowl and NFL Draft.
The deal appears similar to one that the Dallas Cowboys made last fall with the Oklahoma-based WinStar Casino Resort, which allows the casino to use official Cowboys logos and marks, but is not a sports betting deal.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with one of the world’s largest gaming and entertainment companies,” said Renie Anderson, Senior Vice President, NFL Partnerships, Sponsorship and Consumer Products. “Combining the NFL with Caesars’ expertise in world class entertainment will provide our fans unique experiences both here in the United States and abroad.”
Three other pro leagues have signed sports betting deals
The NFL continues is moving more slowly, or cautiously, than three other major professional sports leagues when it comes to finding a sports betting partner. The NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball have all partnered with MGM last fall in deals that give MGM non-exclusive access to “official league data” to use in connection with sports betting odds, pricing and such.
Going forward, the question will be whether the NFL chooses Caeasars or MGM — or another partner — to be the first to make a data-sharing deal with. In the end, though, all of the leagues could end up with sports betting deals with multiple casino companies.
— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) January 3, 2019
Seven NFL teams already have relationships with Caesars — the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, and Philadelphia Eagles. Like the league deal, these individual team deals are for the casino category only rather than sports betting deals.
According to the press release, Caesars will be among the properties to host events during the NFL Draft in 2020.