The National Football League, along with most other major sports organizations in the US, was opposed to the Supreme Court overturning the federal ban on gambling. However, once sports betting was legalized, there was not much that the NFL could do except call for protective measures. In an interesting move, the league has given the green light to teams who want to obtain sponsorship from casinos, even those that are affiliated with sports betting.
NFL and sports betting
The major sports organizations in the United States, such as the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, and NCAA, were strongly opposed to the introduction of legalized sports betting. They were concerned that it would negatively impact the integrity of their events.
They took legal action, and they put a lot of money into lobbying to try and prevent it from happening but to no avail. The NFL didn’t waste much time following the announcement of the Supreme Court decision to propose certain industry controls to Congress. They wanted measures to be implemented to protect consumers and to protect the league’s valuable data.
CBS, one of the major television partners of the NFL, has announced that its broadcasters will not make any reference to sports betting during their broadcasts. People are waiting to see if the other television partners like ESPN and Fox will follow suit. They will more than likely want to keep the NFL happy, with new television deals not due until 2022.
NFL accepting casino sponsorships
Because of the NFL’s stance against sports betting over the years, it is surprising that the league will allow teams to get sponsorship from casinos, even those that are affiliated with sports betting.
Around the world, gambling company sponsorship is a significant source of revenue for teams and sports. Without this money, a lot of teams would struggle financially.
There have been calls in certain circles to prohibit gambling companies from sponsoring teams and players, as it normalizes gambling for the youngsters who are watching the events.
The NFL team owners voted on this issue. There is still a league rule that sportsbooks cannot be advertised directly alongside their deal with a team. The previous rule, however, has been eased somewhat, as it prohibited all forms of bookmaker sponsorships.
This rule also applies to fantasy sports. This upcoming season, these casino partners will be allowed to showcase their ads in the pre- and post-game shows and during the preseason matches.
The casinos will be allowed to use the NFL team’s brand logo in all forms of advertising. There is a restriction on teams being allowed to partake in revenue-sharing agreements with any business related to gambling or sports betting. Stadiums are now allowed to accept naming rights form these companies.
The NBA already got into the action by signing a deal worth around $25m (£19.2m) with MGM Resorts, which became the official gaming partner for the WNBA and the NBA.
Since the Supreme Court overturned the ban, been many partnerships have been created. For example, Buffalo Wild Wings has joined forces with the leader in fantasy sports, DraftKings, for the NFL season.
A new version of fantasy football will be created only for fans in Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants every Sunday during the season. Called “Blazin’ Fantasy Football,” it will be released on September 9.
The game will be free to play, and many prizes will be offered, including a year’s supply of wings.