Women’s sports betting and thus sponsorship are entering a new era in terms of visibility. Just like their counterpart men’s leagues and teams, gambling companies are part of that rise.
Both the LPGA and WNBA recently announced new partnerships with popular online sports betting brands. The result could be a flood of such deals for athletes and franchisees in the relevant jurisdictions in the coming months.
New sponsors for sports betting for women
Prominent sponsors of women’s sports companies that are not part of the game of chance include:
- Dick’s sporting goods
The gambling sector is not on the sidelines in the midst of this trend.
Just before the Pure Silk Championship in Virginia, BetMGM Sportsbook announced its new collaboration with the LPGA. BetMGM becomes the tour’s official betting provider. In return, the sports betting app offers a wider range of betting options for the events of the tour.
Later in May, PointsBet Sportsbook made a similar collaboration with the WNBA public. In the same way, PointsBet gets access to WNBA brands in exchange for a more robust betting product.
While these deals can provide a new level of visibility for such partnerships, they are not the first intersection between gambling companies and women’s sports companies.
Sports betting were already on the move in women’s sports
In fact, the Mohegan tribe, who operate several digital gambling and retail gambling properties across the country, own the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. Other past and present connections were:
- DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook are the main kit sponsors of the WNBA’s New York Liberty
- The WNBA made MGM Resorts an official gaming partner in 2018. Additionally, MGM owned the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces from 2017 until late last year when they sold the team to Mark Davis
- William Hill Sportsbook operates a sports betting company in the Entertainment and Sports Arena, home of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics
- Plans are in the works for a FanDuel book in the Phoenix Suns Arena, which the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury calls home
- Several state lotteries sponsor teams in their jurisdictions, for example, the Minnesota Lottery is a sponsor of the Minnesota Whitecaps
The general manager of these Metropolitan Riveters, Anya Packer, wants the National Women’s Hockey League to build on what her organization has achieved with the NJ Lottery. Packer sees it in particular as an engagement tool.
Sports betting partnerships for women produce results
“A league-wide sports betting platform deal would absolutely increase the height and success of the NWHL,” said Packer. âFrom more complex data and analysis of our product to high-stakes fan bases who have a real stake in a team’s success, sports betting offers a lot of entertainment value. If it’s a fun product with the ability to monetize it will further increase our ratings and fandom. â
Packer isn’t the only person in a similar position to see gambling partnerships this way.
âInnovations at the WNBA and improving the fan experience start with realizing how our fans want to interact with the players, teams and the league Engelbert. “We are delighted about the partnership with PointsBet to further expand the sports betting area and look forward to the innovative ideas that you will bring to our game.”
The National Women’s Soccer League and Women’s Tennis Association lack such partnerships across the board, although bettors find their events regularly booked for betting across the country. Such agreements could appear shortly, finalizing the book on sponsorship at this level in women’s sports in North America.
This means that the possibilities for further synergies between gambling and women’s sports will be more localized and targeted in the future.
What about athletes and individual teams?
Even after the NWSL and WTA begin adding gambling partners, there will still be plenty of opportunities for these sponsors to grow. Since gambling is regulated by individual jurisdictions, local partnerships may have advantages.
Take the riveters mentioned above, for example. The club usually plays its home games at the ProSkate Ice Arena in Monmouth, NJ. Could there one day be a branded betting lounge and other activations for gambling partners during Riveters games? It seems foolish to bet against it.
“Sports betting will give women’s hockey an incredible presence,” commented Packer. âIt’s a great way to generate a lot of interest in the sport, and we’ve seen that growth and advancement in the WNBA. A sports betting deal in NJ would be a great sign of investment and sustainability for the Riveters. It would prove that the entertainment value is investable and scalable. “
Partnerships with individual athletes could bring similar value to golf, MMA, motorsports, and tennis. Such women are more visible than ever in the US media today, what is the time to go on strike for gambling companies.
Women’s sports companies see the value of women’s sports betting partnerships and that’s a two-way phenomenon. Fans should be prepared for many more of these announcements in the near future.