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BetMGM Announces Partnership With Sports Audio Platform Audacy

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • BetMGM has announced a multi-year partnership deal with sports audio platform Audacy.
  • On the same day, Audacy announced that they’re rebranding from their previous name of Entercom Communications.
  • The move comes as the sports betting industry is increasingly focused on creating or otherwise obtaining top quality content.

The sports betting/content feeding frenzy continues apace. DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) wasn’t the only company making a deal to shore up their content–BetMGM was also making a ‘content centric’ move. They might not have landed as impressive of a catch as DraftKings’ purchase of VSIN but there’s definitely a lot that MGM will be able to do via a multi-year partnership with sports audio platform Audacy (NYSE: ETM) Haven’t heard of Audacy? There’s a reason for that–in a bit of curious timing Audacy also announced today that they are rebranding from Entercom Communications Corp. effective immediately. The company’s ticker symbol will change from ETM to AUD ‘on or about Friday, April 9, 2021).

Audacy is probably best known for the consumer facing Radio.com brand but they’ve also decided to ‘sunset’ *that* name as well. They’ll rebrand their direct to consumer platform under the name ‘Audacy’. How about let’s start with the name change and *then* go to the BetMGM deal? The press release announcing the name change didn’t give any especially valid justifications for the move. Instead, it was a festival of corporate jargon and buzzwords:

Over the past three years, the company has purposefully evolved into a scaled, multi-platform audio content and entertainment organization with the country’s best radio broadcasting group and a leadership position in virtually every segment of the dynamic and growing audio market—including broadcasting, podcasting, digital, network, live experiences, music, sports and news. Audacy isalso the #1 creator of original, premium audio content.

David Field, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Audacy, then stepped to the mic and presumably freestyled this buzzword laden quote:

“We have transformed into a fundamentally different and dramatically enhanced organization and so it is time to embrace a new name and brand identity which better reflects who we have become and our vision for the future. Audacy’ captures our dynamic creativity, outstanding content and innovative spirit as we aspire to build the country’s best audio content and entertainment platform.”

So what is in it for BetMGM partnering with a platform that put a greater emphasis on Demi Lovato’s new podcast? There’s a heavy emphasis on sports on the platform and the company has made it clear that they want to expand into the wagering component to a greater degree. Late last year, they acquired sports data and iGaming affiliate platform QL Gaming Group–once they start to leverage that acquisition it starts to make a lot more since for the sports betting/interactive gaming division of MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM).

Sounds like BetMGM will get a lot of advertising, integrated content and what we call in the radio business ‘live reads’:

BetMGM announced today a multi-year deal with Audacy, formerly Entercom Communications Corp., (NYSE: ETM), designating the market-leading sports betting and gaming platform as a preferred sports betting partner of Audacy across its best-in-class sports broadcast stations, the Audacy and Bet QL apps and digital platforms, and the “BetQL Audio Network.” Key partnership details include integrated content across Audacy’s broadcast sports stations, customer acquisition opportunities, and talent endorsements across Audacy’s wide spectrum of local and national sports betting content.

Mike Dee, President of Sports, Audacy, had this to say about the deal:

“The advent of legalized mobile sports betting has presented an unprecedented opportunity to bring the action closer to the audience than ever before and, as a result, provide our partners with a direct line of sight to tap into an attentive, fully engaged audience of potential sports bettors. We are proud to partner with BetMGM and wish to thank them for their confidence in us as we become one of their largest media partners. In light of our BetQL acquisition and related offerings, we believe this commitment is the latest validation that no other media company offers the wide variety of ways to connect with the sports betting audience the way that we do on a multi-platform basis.”

Matt Prevost, BetMGM’s Chief Revenue Officer, took the return volley for his company:

“Audacy is a leader in sports radio, digital audio and now the direct-to-consumer betting analytics space. In Audacy, we’ve found a long-term strategic partner that shares our goals, enabling us to further amplify BetMGM’s reach to sports fans through the most trusted audio personalities and sports betting data and analytics platform in their respective markets today.”

There’s a lot of potential reach for MGM in this deal. Here’s another blurb from the press release about the Audacy audio platforms:

Audacy is the unrivaled leader in sports radio, reaching three times more people than the leading competitor. Audacy is the #1 sports radio ownership group, which owns and operates 39 all-sports stations across the U.S., including WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM (WFAN-FM/AM) in New York, SportsRadio 94WIP (WIP-FM) in Philadelphia and 670 The Score (WSCR-AM) in Chicago. Its unparalleled broadcast portfolio reaches nearly 30 million sports fans monthly and boasts the nation’s leading collection of radio play-by-play coverage. Audacy also serves as the flagship home of 41 professional teams and over 50 Division 1 collegiate programs, including the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls, and University of Michigan and University of Oregon, among others.

While it might not be the obvious slam dunk that DraftKings got with the VSIN purchase we’ll watch and see what comes of this.

At the time of publication, James Murphy has a long position in DKNG and MGM.

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