The National Football League is partnering with Caesars Entertainment as the “Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL”. The deal gives Caesars exclusive rights to use NFL trademarks, including the term “Super Bowl”, in the United States and United Kingdom.
The multiyear sponsorship begins this weekend during the first round of the NFL Playoffs. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.
Renie Anderson, the NFL’s SVP of Partnerships, Sponsorship, and Consumer Products, announced the deal in a press release. Anderson said, “We couldn’t be more excited to work with one of the world’s largest gaming and entertainment companies.”
The statement continued: “Combining the NFL with Caesars’ expertise in world class entertainment will provide our fans unique experiences both here in the United States and abroad.”
The sponsorship, while it sets Caesars apart from the competition, does have some limitations.
NFL-Caesars: Terms of the Deal
NFL trademarks will not appear in Caesars’ sportsbooks. The deal is for “casino gaming only“, so the Las Vegas casino company will have to be inventive with the way it promotes the sponsorship. Caesars Entertainment is not the official NFL sponsor for “sports betting, daily fantasy, or hotel/resorts”.
The same terms cover Caesars’ deals with seven NFL franchises: the Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles.
Caesars CEO on NFL Sponsorship Deal
Mark Frissora, the CEO of Caesars Entertainment, gave his own statement in the press release, stating, “All of us at Caesars Entertainment are thrilled to be the first-ever casino partner of the NFL, the most prominent sports league in North America.”
The departing chief executive added, “Combining the league’s 180 million fans with our 55 million Total Rewards loyalty program members will expose millions of people to the exclusive and exciting year-round opportunities at our properties.”
Caesars Entertainment Sports Betting App
Caesars Entertainment has been making strategic partnerships in the sports betting industry since July 2018. At that time, Caesars signed a partnership deal with Scientific Games, the lottery giant which supplies lotto tickets to 44 US states.
The two announced at the time they would build a mobile sports betting app together. The app, which is designed for Android and iOS, would be associated with Caesars’ dozens of casinos across the United States.
Caesars New York Deal with Oneida Nation
While sports betting is not legal in most US states, Caesars has casinos in several states which have legalized sports wagers: Nevada, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Caesars also announced a deal with the Oneida Indian Nation in New York state. The Oneida own Turning Stone Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, and Point Place Casino in New York.
New York’s state legislature has not legalized sports betting at the moment, but several other American and UK bookmaker companies have made deals with New York casinos. Paddy Power-Betfair has a deal with Tioga Downs, while MGM Resorts has a deal with Del Lago Resort & Casino.
MGM Resorts Sports Deals
The deal is a major coup for Caesars, because a top rival secured the official sponsorship of three other major US sports: the NBA, MLB, and NHL. MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren signed a data-sharing deal with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shortly after the US Supreme Court repealed a federal ban on sports gambling.
That was followed with a sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball, which includes MGM Resorts branding on MLB.com live streams and MLB television broadcasts. That deal appears to go further than Caesars’ deal with the NFL, though the NFL has higher ratings than MLB.
All three of MGM’s deals centered more on sports betting. Despite a variety of deals between teams and Caesars, the NFL wants to keep its distance for sports betting.
The Super Bowl and the Big Game
Having the right to advertise using the term “Super Bowl” is a huge factor in Caesars’ deal. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell enforces the Super Bowl trademark aggressively, so most businesses refer to the biggest football event of the year as “The Big Game”.
For instance, when the Las Vegas Linq Casino’s Fan Cave promotion advertises private sports betting experiences for customers, it sells its $250 Super Bowl package as the “Big Game Package”. Such limitations no doubt make it harder to promote such deals, but Caesars Entertainment now can advertise Super Bowl events as much as it likes.