Caesars Entertainment Inc. has once again taken the US legal sports betting industry into uncharted territory. It was just last month the retail and now mobile betting behemoth won the right to become the first major US sportsbook to secure a deal for naming rights for an iconic sports venue in the US, the Louisiana Superdome.
On Monday, it was announced that Caesars was able to establish an unlikely partnership with College Football’s Fiesta Bowl, which takes place in the yet-to-be-launched Arizona market. What makes the deal particularly intriguing is the longstanding and institutional opposition the NCAA has had for the legal sports betting industry.
“We’re thrilled to work with the Fiesta Bowl Organization on this landmark partnership to bring college football fans closer to the game and build awareness around the importance of responsible gaming practices,” said Dan Shapiro, chief development officer of Caesars Digital, in a statement. “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.”
More on the Evolution of the NCAA and Sports Betting
In the latest sign of the evolution and mainstreaming of legal sports betting in America, one of the two College Football Playoff semifinals matchups, the Fiesta Bowl will have a sports betting and Fantasy component. Mark Emmert, current president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in just July of 2019, at the NCAA’s annual convention in Orlando went on record saying that sports betting would “threaten the integrity of college sports in many ways unless we are willing to act boldly and strongly.”
In just under three short years, one of the NCAA’s premier annual events has a sports betting partner. New ground has officially been broken for the NCAA. “This is a new frontier in the college football space, and the Fiesta Bowl is again out in front with this fan-focused partnership,” said Fiesta Bowl Chief Marketing Officer Jose Moreno.
“There was significant interest in the marketplace to partner with the Fiesta Bowl; where Caesars stood out was with its similar community mindset and a creativity toward setting a new standard. We are teaming with an industry leader who is dedicated to working with us to elevate our offerings for college football and all sports fans across Arizona.”
More on the Deal
Financial terms for the Caesars/Fiesta Bowl partnership weren’t released but it is said to be a multi-year agreement. Thanks to the deal, Caesars will get the chance to host some of college football’s biggest fans at an 800-seat branded lounge in-stadium at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, as well as the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, which also takes place in Arizona. Caesars will become the title sponsor of pre-game parties and other related Fiesta Bowl events taking place before, during and after the game.
Caesars presence with the Fiesta Bowl will provide fans an educational betting angle and an enhanced, unique fan focus never seen in a collegiate sporting event. Under the agreement, Caesars will also make contributions to Fiesta Bowl charities, while increasing the sagging exposure and ultimately the revenues of college sports across the country.
“Every sports entity is under pressure to increase revenue,” said Nick Carparelli, the Bowl Season executive director. ” It’s logical that we’re now seeing the gambling category open up, especially as we’re seeing the laws in most states open up on gambling. I certainly expect more of this. Any time somebody does something for the first time, it’s going to open up some people’s eyes to the opportunity it presents.”
The Caesars Sportsbook app will be available to those wanting to place a bet on the Fiesta Bowl, both at the stadium and around Arizona. You can bet there will be other promotions at Caesars branded properties throughout its throng of US locations as well.
Building the Brand
Caesars has been making a splash all over the country in attempts to become the preeminent brand in US legal sports betting. From their takeover of the Heavyweight William Hill brand to their official sports betting partnerships with NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB and a few of those sports’ iconic teams, to the launch of their much-anticipated app, to the rebranding of the Louisiana Superdome and their Fiesta Bowl relationship, Caesars has made shrewd moves to elevate their brand to a whole new level.
Caesars gets an immediate leg up when the Arizona market goes live September 9 and Caesars Sportsbook is launched out of the Arizona Diamondbacks home, Chase Field. The sports betting provider could also open the flood gates for similar future partnerships. “It’s game-changing,” says Jose Moreno. “It’s only a matter of time before the other bowls get into this space.”