Another NFL team has joined the sports betting revolution with the news that the Detroit Lions have struck a deal with a leading betting company.
The Lions have had a mixed start to their campaign in the perennially tough NFC North Division, but when it comes to sports betting, they are one of a handful of NFL franchises to be at the forefront of the revolution sparked by the Supreme Court decision to strike down the PASPA Act in 2018.
The Lions have now signed up with betting company BetMGM, who has been named as the franchise’s first official sports betting partner. Under the terms of the arrangement, BetMGM will be permitted to display their branding across a range of platforms. Their logo will feature on Lions digital marketing, team broadcasts, signage, and other in-stadium promotions at Ford Field.
In addition, the BetMGM sportsbook, which is based in the state of Michigan, will be able to display its branding as the sponsor of Lions Bingo, the franchise’s free-to-play game, and Lions Perks loyalty scheme, aimed at Detroit Lions fans. The BetMGM sportsbook, based at MGM Grand Detroit Casino, will provide access to deals and rewards for Lions fans.
The state of Michigan was relatively late to the sports betting party but has been busy making up for a lost time. The legal framework for sports betting in the state was signed late last year, and the first sportsbooks in the states began taking bets in March. Currently, sports betting is limited to in-person venues, but it has been reported that online sports betting could be on the way, perhaps as early as the end of the year or at the beginning of 2021.
In line with the trend elsewhere in the US, the growth of sports betting in Michigan has not been overlooked by the local sports franchises. The deal between BetMGM and the Lions is the second major deal struck between a sports franchise and a betting company. Earlier this year, the Detroit Tigers MLB franchise signed up with PointsBet, and similar arrangements in neighboring states have also been driving the trend. In September, it was announced that DraftKings had signed a deal to open a retail sports betting facility at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.
Although the NFL was initially reluctant to embrace the sports betting phenomenon, that attitude has changed dramatically in recent months, and in welcoming the deal, the Lions’ team president Rod Wood focused on the potential for fan engagement that the arrangement would bring:
“The Detroit Lions historic relationship with BetMGM has been years in the making, and we’re proud to announce details of our official partnership. We’re continuously seeking new ways to entertain and involve our fans, which is especially important during such unusual times; this partnership with BetMGM will provide additional and exciting opportunities to engage our fans.”
The Chief Marking Officer for BetMGM, Matt Prevost, echoed those sentiments, stating that the company was honored to strike this historic deal with the Lions and that the company was determined to offer Lions fans access to industry-leading promotions and deals.
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