NHL Announces Deals With BetMGM and FanDuel as Ontario Sports Betting Market Expands

NHL Announces Deals With BetMGM and FanDuel as Ontario Sports Betting Market Expands
By Mark Keast

We should have guessed, with those Wayne Gretzky/BetMGM ads popping up more and more all over the city and on television. The Great One signed a multi-year brand ambassador deal with the sportsbook last year.

Gretzky has been the face of hockey for as long as we can remember. And BetMGM also has a brand ambassador partnership for with the Oilers’ Connor McDavid, the new face of the NHL (Auston Matthews’ fans might argue), which they locked up in March. So the announcement Thursday that BetMGM and FanDuel are now official NHL betting partners of the league in Canada and the U.S. in a multi-year deals comes as no surprise.

On Monday, the regulated single-game Ontario sports betting market launched.

With BetMGM Ontario and Fan Duel Ontario coming online that day, as fully registered and approved operators, now taking bets, the two sportsbooks will have rights to use official NHL branding and category designations in a whole variety of ways, targeting fans and sports bettors, according to a news release.

BetMGM and FanDuel Ontario will also get custom content access across NHL-controlled media channels. They will also be worked into NHL’s marquee events across North America, with camera-visible signage and on-site activation opportunities, along with premium event hospitality opportunities throughout the NHL season, the release said.

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What They're Saying

The objective for both, they said Thursday morning, is to use this relationship to help deepen engagement with customers.

“Our existing partnership with the NHL accelerated our ability to reach hockey fans and has allowed us to deliver an enhanced hockey wagering product,” BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said in the release. “Expanding our partnership with the NHL throughout North America, aligned with our recent launch in Ontario, puts us in a great position for long-term success in Canada."

”We’re excited to further our relationship with the NHL including incorporating some of its all-time greats from Wayne Gretzky to Connor McDavid into our brand marketing.”

Said Amy Howe, CEO of FanDuel Group, also in a statement: “This partnership has allowed the NHL and FanDuel to collaborate and become true innovators in sports betting with initiatives like the NHL Network's first-ever Odds Ticker and custom NHL sports betting content for social media.”

On Monday, The Sports Network announced that FanDuel Ontario will be the official sportsbook partner of the media company.

OLG Also Has NHL Partnership

In March, the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp., with its PROLINE brand, announced a similar multi-year partnership with the NHL, making it the NHL’s first official sportsbook partner in Canada.

Under that deal the OLG became an official NHL partner for sports betting on both the PROLINE+ digital sports betting platform and the PROLINE product at retail lottery outlets across Ontario.

That deal included distribution rights to the NHL’s official logos and cross-promotion across NHL digital and social channels.

For months, PROLINE was the only legal option for bettors in Ontario. That changed Monday when the full, regulated market launched in the province.

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Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.

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