College Football Embraces Legal Betting As Caesars Becomes Bowl Sponsor
If you can’t beat them, join them. This concept has become very meaningful as Americans continue to embrace the fact sports betting is becoming a part of American life.
We are reminded of this when we see how businesses are clamoring to become part of the U.S. sports betting community. That community includes online/retail bookmakers, sports betting licensees, the taxman, the prognosticators, corporate America, professional sports teams, and of course, sports bettors.
You can now add NCAA Football to that list. Caesars International’s sports betting operations have officially inked a deal to serve as the corporate sponsor for the Fiesta Bowl. As part of the agreement, Caesars will be looking to enhance the engagement of fans with the college football experience.
They will be offering fan lounges for both the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. They will also be sponsoring pregame parties, and serving as host of the annual Arizona Bank & Trust Fiesta Bowl Kickoff Luncheon. Of course, Caesars intends on advocating for the education of responsible gaming.
According to Dan Shapiro, Chief Development Officer of Caesars Digital (in a press release):
“We’re thrilled to work with the Fiesta Bowl Organisation on this landmark partnership to bring college football fans closer to the game and build awareness around the importance of responsible gaming practices.” He later added, “These fans are unrivaled in their passion, and we look forward to offering Caesars Sportsbook to them this fall. Our offering provides a leading user experience where every wager gives players more through our award-winning Caesars Rewards.”
For decades, the NCAA has avoided any connection with the sports betting community. They did this under the guise of protecting the integrity of college sports. With assurances in place from responsible sports betting operators and NCAA watchdogs, the possible integrity issues seem inconsequential with money on the line.
Caesars has struck a historic deal. They have officially become the first sports betting operator to partner with any NCAA sports division. That’s important because it signals to the sports betting community that the NCAA now accepts and embraces sports betting.
Going forward, this is likely to become a trend. With hundreds of NCAA sports divisions and dozens of major sporting events, partnerships are there for the taking. As bowl game sponsorships and partnerships become available, there are at least 10 bookmakers that will want in. Why? The number of college students who love to bet on sports is going through the roof.
Caesars Big Push
Recently, Caesars International spent $3.8 billion to purchase William Hill. William Hill has been serving as the world’s leading legal bookmaker for over 85 years, mostly in Europe. The purchase signals that Caesars is very bullish about sports betting in America.
With their eyes on the competition, management at Caesars knew that now was the time for a big marketing push. The market is quickly becoming populated with foreign and domestic bookmakers that want a piece of the pie. It’s a pie that might well be worth over $250 billion a year in sports betting handle. At current revenue rates of around 10%, that is $25 billion a year for the sharing.
Leading the way in the U.S. sports betting market is domestic operators like DraftKings and Fanduel. History shows that management at Caesars International plays second fiddle to no one. That’s the primary reason for the big marketing push.
It was just a month ago that Caesars struck a deal for the naming rights to the Superdome stadium in Louisiana. The Superdome is home to the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and plays host to the NCAA Football Championship’s Sugar Bowl. The deal was priced at $138 million for 20 years of naming rights. It’s worth noting Caesars also has partnerships with the National Hockey League (NHL) and DC United of Major League Soccer (MLS).