- BetMGM has announced the signing of former US National Soccer team goaltender Tim Howard.
- Howard will be the public face of a $250,000 USD bracket challenge for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- In addition to his run with the USMNT Howard played extensively in the English Premier League (EPL) and Major League Soccer (MLS).
North American bookmaking companies are looking to capitalize on the popularity of the World Cup–as well as the unique scheduling that has it being played in November and December. If you guessed that will mean sportsbooks will be trotting out ‘brand ambassadors’ with a soccer connection, go to the head of the class. BetMGM loves their ‘brand ambassadors’ and unlike some of their competitors they’ve brought in celebrity promoters that aren’t completely pointless. Their most recent announcement has actually played in the World Cup–former US National Team goaltender Tim Howard.
Unlike many of the totally useless ‘brand ambassador’ signees of late (Vanessa Hudgins?), Howard makes sense. He’s well known by serious soccer fans in the North America and Europe due to his experience with the US national team and his long English Premier League run with Manchester United and Everton. He’s currently a minority owner and sporting director of the USL Championship team Memphis 901 and a smart, media savvy guy. I’m still not sold on the effectiveness of ‘brand ambassadors’ in terms of attracting players and getting them to bet. That said, if that is the strategy you’ve chosen someone like Howard is a good choice.
Here’s what BetMGM has planned for Howard during the World Cup:
Howard’s addition to the BetMGM team launches a series of free-to-play games and promotions, among other activations, that the sports betting leader is planning in conjunction with the upcoming 2022 international soccer events and matches.
Howard will engage with BetMGM players and MGM Rewards members through public and private events, both virtual and in-person. He also will appear in BetMGM social media content and make guest appearances on nationwide radio and television programs.
‘2022 international soccer events and matches?’ It looks like we’re going to be subjected to the same nonsense that we get in the NFL close to the Super Bowl….errrr…..’the big game’. Sure enough, the term ‘World Cup’ is not to be found in the BetMGM press release. They obliquely refer to ‘the 2022 tournament’ but it looks as if the ‘go to’ euphemism is ‘2022 International Soccer Matches’.
Here’s a rundown of the BetMGM promos and free-to-play games during the ‘2022 International Soccer Matches’:
- $250,000 Bracket – BetMGM players will have the opportunity to compete for a $250,000 grand prize by correctly predicting a perfect bracket. If nobody correctly predicts a perfect bracket, the free-to-enter competition will reward $50,000 to the user with the most accurate bracket. Additionally, participants will win $5 in free bets for each group winner correctly selected.
- Tim Howard’s Shootout Challenge – The daily free-to-play game will give BetMGM players the opportunity to face off against the iconic American goalie in a shootout. Participants are guaranteed to win a range of prizes including $100 in free bets.
- New Customer Offer – Any sports fan who signs up for a BetMGM account during the tournament will earn a risk-free bet up to $1,000. New users who bet $10 on their first game will be rewarded $200 in free bets if a goal is scored.
- Existing Customer Offers – During the tournament, all current BetMGM customers will have access to a portfolio of benefits including risk-free, one-game-parlay wagers, daily odds boosts and tokens, as well as insurance on wagers placed on the first goal scorer.
Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer of BetMGM and one of the best press release quotes in the business opted for brevity:
“Tim Howard’s performances on the pitch thrilled a generation of U.S. soccer fans. With Tim’s support, we will bring a similar level of excitement to our customers through various games and interactive opportunities.”
BetMGM’s promotions for the tournament will be available in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Ontario, Canada. Conspicuously absent is the one time ‘sports betting capital of the world’, Nevada. The fact that BetMGM can’t offer promos in the Silver State is an embarrassment for the Nevada gaming industry.
Here’s the full press release about the Tim Howard signing and the ‘2022 international soccer matches’ promotional slate: