After scoring the first team sponsorship deal between a casino and sportsbook operator and a Major League Baseball (MLB) team, MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) has further padded its betting sponsorship portfolio by signing a four-year sports betting partnership agreement with Major League Soccer (MLS).
According to SportsPro citing the SportsBusiness Journal, via the new deal, the Las Vegas-headquartered global hospitality and entertainment company will gain non-exclusive rights to the men’s professional soccer league data for sports betting customers and fans.
Additionally, MGM will reportedly become part of the league’s pitchside signage that will be seen during nationally televised games, as well as its digital and social channels.
“our clubs are looking to be very aggressive”
The news outlet further reports that the tie-up will also see the two parties work towards bringing soccer events and a range of other activations, such as esports and league business meetings, to Las Vegas.
In speaking with the SportsBusiness Journal, Gary Stevenson, MLS’s Deputy Commissioner & President of MLS Business Ventures, said…
“Sports betting has the ability to engage new fans in the sport, and provide existing fans with deeper engagement. Our clubs are looking to be very aggressive in this space, so we want to give them an opportunity to grow their fan bases and realise revenues around it,” as cited by SportsPro.
Fourth U.S. major league:
The most recent deal is on the heels of the March 8, 2019, agreement between the Red Sox and MGM Resorts, which follows the operator’s historic November 2018 deal that saw it designated as the Official Entertainment Partner of Major League Baseball (MLB) as well as the inaugural Official Gaming Partner of MLB.
The November agreement was just ahead of MGM Resorts’ multi-year agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) to serve as its first official sportsbetting partner, and on July 31, 2018, its deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Continuing its push for a casino license in Japan, in February this year, MGM Resorts announced its title sponsorship of MLB’s “Japan Opening Series.” The gaming giant is said to be a leading suitor for one of three coveted Japanese integrated casino resort licensees, which are part of the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill, ratified by the upper house of the nation’s bicameral National Diet on July 20, 2018.