Two Ravens-branded tournaments per year
The Baltimore Ravens have signed a multi-year partnership deal with Esports Entertainment Group (EEG). The agreement, announced on Thursday, will see EEG act as the esports tournament provider for the NFL franchise. EEG will run esports tournaments for the Ravens twice per year through its Esports Gaming League (EGL) platform.
EEG will be able to use images of Ravens players in the local market. It will also collaborate with players from the team to promote events. EEG will be featured in the Ravens’ digital marketing campaigns across various channels.
Esports growing in popularity
Esports are becoming increasingly popular, with many NFL players and other sports stars now live streaming when they play video games. Reacting to the announcement of the new partnership with EEG, Baltimore Ravens chief sales officer Kevin Rochlitz said: “The growing popularity of esports provides a great opportunity for our team to create deeper connections and engagement with our fans.”
will help the Ravens strengthen connections with their fans”
EEG CEO Grant Johnson referenced the strong traction its esports tournaments platform has been seeing with leading professional sports franchises. Referring to the deal with the Ravens, he stated: “Our robust tournament platform will help the Ravens strengthen connections with their fans, while providing new avenues for engagement.”
The only other NFL franchise to partner with an esports organization to date is the Philadelphia Eagles. The team signed its own multi-year deal with EEG in December 2020, agreeing to bi-annual esports tournaments with the company. Other professional sports teams that EEG has partnerships with include the LA Kings (NHL), LA Galaxy (MLS), and the Philadelphia Union (MLS).
Pursuing gambling-related opportunities
Both EEG and the Baltimore Ravens have been looking at opportunities in the burgeoning US gambling landscape. The Ravens were one of the first NFL franchises to get a casino partner on board after it became allowable in August 2018. That October, the Ravens entered an official partnership with the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino.
EEG has an eye on launching an esports-focused betting platform in the US. It does not currently have permission to launch in any state, but it did sign a New Jersey market access deal with Twin River Worldwide Holdings (now Bally’s Corporation) in August 2020.
On Tuesday, EEG announced its submission of an application to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to acquire a gaming license in the state. EEG CEO Grant Johnson said that if its license application gets approval, the company is “ready to move quickly” in launching its betting platform.