- BetMGM has announced that they’ve signed on former University of Michigan and NBA player Jalen Rose as a Celebrity Brand Ambassador.
- BetMGM launched sports betting in Michigan in mid-February 2021.
- BetMGM is a sports betting/interactive gaming partnership between MGM Resorts and Entain PLC.
For some reason, there is a perception that sports betting is a personality driven industry. The notion that I’m going to patronize one sportsbook over another because they have a celebrity I like involved with their business is a real headscratcher. Maybe in some states like Tennessee where it’s obvious that sportsbooks aren’t drawing customers from the best and the brightest it works. If you don’t understand math maybe you’re also the sort of knuckledragger that is impressed by celebrities. Other than that, there’s little to suggest that anyone other than the noobiest noob would bet at a sportsbook simply due to celebrity involvement.
Not that I have any issue with the concept of ‘celebrity brand ambassadors’–I just don’t know how effective they are. I guess they’re handy to have around just to have someone to place ceremonial first bets at new sportsbooks in the land of the big catsup bottle like former St. Louis Cardinals legend Ozzie Smith did for FanDuel. The latest addition to the celebrity brand ambassador roster comes to us from BetMGM (drumroll please)….and it is none other than former member of the University of Michigan ‘Fab Five’ and 13 year NBA veteran Jalen Rose! Rose was a very solid NBA player best known for his run with the Indiana Pacers along with Reggie Miller during the late 1990’s/early 2000’s.
Actually, the press release I received came from MGM Resorts’ (NYSE: MGM) partner in the BetMGM venture, Entain PLC (LSE:ENT). Here’s what it said about MGM’s signing of Rose and the parameters of his duties as Celebrity Brand Ambassador:
BetMGM announced today the signing of Jalen Rose as a celebrity brand ambassador. The Michigan basketball legend and award-winning analyst will be featured in BetMGM’s upcoming marketing campaigns and participate in a variety of BetMGM fan events.
Rose will engage with BetMGM customers and MGM Resorts’ M life Rewards loyalty members, both virtually and in-person. He also will appear in BetMGM social media content and make guest appearances on radio and television programs nationwide.
Rose has always been pretty smooth on the mic and knows the game when it comes to sponsorship deals. Here’s his quote from the press release:
“The excitement around sports and the growth of sports betting, and BetMGM in particular, this year has been special to witness. I’m beyond excited to go from a spectator to a player joining the BetMGM team, continuing to defy industry expectations.”
Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer, BetMGM, spoke not only of Rose’s stellar career but his sharp analysis of the game on ESPN:
“Jalen Rose is an All-Star addition to the BetMGM team. The impact he has had on the game of basketball is surpassed only by the exceptional analysis he provides fans daily. We anticipate a great relationship and look forward to the initiatives we’ll pursue together.”
Although I’m not sold on the value of Celebrity Brand Ambassadors in sports betting Jalen Rose is definitely everything you’d want from one–well liked, smart, articulate, publicity savvy. Tough break for those of you who wagered on Pete Rose to win the ‘first US sportsbook Celebrity Brand Ambassador with the last name Rose’ prop bet.