- Betway has announced a partnership deal with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
- The Mavs have named Betway as their ‘Official and Exclusive Free-to-Play Partner’.
- Last month, PointsBet became a founding sponsor of MLS side FC Austin.
Texas has a ton of potential as a sports betting market despite the fact that the state is run by religious fundamentalist kooks. That’s why sportsbooks have already started to ‘build their brand’ in the Lone Star State. The latest to do so is Malta based Betway. They’re a well known brand throughout Europe but one that is just now being established in the embryonic US betting market. Betway has launched their mobile sports betting platform in Colorado along with Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Iowa with more in the pipeline. Today, they’ve announced a multi-year partnership deal with the NBA Dallas Mavericks.
Every US facing sportsbook has taken a different approach to establishing their brand and Betway is no exception. There’s no shortage of sportsbooks that have tried to leverage promotional partnerships with sports teams and leagues, Betway included. They’re an ‘Official Sports Betting Partner of the NHL, an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA and their website also indicates that they use ‘Official NFL Data’. They’ve partnered with the Chicago Bulls in Illinois and with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the presumably ‘soon to launch’ state of Ohio. They’ve also added a twist to their sponsorship deals that other sportsbooks are starting to follow–they’ve established sponsorship deals with teams in states that have yet to regulate sports betting. They did this in California with the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors and are now doing it in Texas with the Dallas Mavericks.
This is a clever approach and it’s not a surprise to see other sportsbooks try the same thing. Betway gets the opportunity to build their brand in some of the biggest potential sports betting markets in the US as well as further establishing themselves on a national level. It’s also a good tactic to emphasize to state government types that there are a number of ancillary economic benefits to sports betting in addition to more tax revenue. In mid-September, PointsBet announced a sponsorship deal with the expansion FC Austin MLS soccer team. Even the state’s NFL teams have (tentatively) started to dip their toes into the gaming revenue stream. Technically speaking, they’re ‘casino partners’ with properties in neighboring states–eg: the Houston Texans’ recently announced deal with Caesars Entertainment. As for the Dallas Cowboys–strangely enough, they were the first team in the NFL to announce a partnership with a casino. They signed a deal with Oklahoma’s WinStar World Casino way back in 2018. Of course they don’t dare announce a ‘sports betting partner’ until the snake handlers that run the state say it’s OK but the fact that there’s a Dallas Cowboys’ branded sports bar at the WinStar property makes the proverbial ‘writing on the wall’ perfectly clear.
The ‘official’ title that the Mavs have bequeathed upon Betway is ‘Official and Exclusive Free To Play Partner’, which means they’ll be launching a free to play game at some point. The ‘free to play’ game has become a de rigueur marketing tactic in states that have yet to leave sports betting’s dark ages. As far as what Betway gets out of it, the press release is vague saying only that ‘the company’s internationally recognized branding will be shown around the court at American Airlines Center’.
Anthony Werkman, Betway CEO, plays along with the ‘don’t upset the fundamentalist kooks in the state house’ charade by giving this quote without even *mentioning* sports betting, free to play or otherwise:
“Continuing the growth of the Betway brand in the US, we’re delighted to be partnering with the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are a globally recognized team that will help promote the Betway name around the world. We are excited to be showcased to their amazing fanbase whose loyal support helped the Mavs achieve the outstanding record for the longest run of sold-out games in major league sports.”
Ryan Mackey, Dallas Mavericks SVP of Corporate Sponsorships, spends as much time giving a ‘we know sports betting isn’t legal in Texas’ disclaimer as he does showing love to the new sponsor:
“Betway has been a phenomenal partner from the beginning, working with us to navigate this industry in a state where there are still many uncertainties yet potential for massive growth. We look forward to providing tremendous value to both Betway and our fans.”
I usually don’t bother quoting the ‘about us’ part of the press release since it’s usually self aggrandizing and pointless but the one in this press release is interesting:
Betway is part of Super Group: the global digital company which provides first class entertainment to the worldwide betting and gaming community.
Super Group is the holding company for leading global online sports betting and gaming businesses: Betway, a premier online sports betting brand, and Spin, a multi-brand online casino offering. The group is licensed in over 20 jurisdictions, with leading positions in key markets throughout Europe, the Americas and Africa. For more information, visit www.sghc.com.
Betway Group is a leading provider of innovative and exciting entertainment across sports betting, casino and esports betting. Launched in 2006, the company operates across a number of regulated online markets. Betway prides itself on providing its customers with a bespoke, fun and informed betting experience, supported by a safe, secure, fair and responsible environment.
Note that they never mention that they’re already licensed and operational elsewhere in the US. Even if it *is* just a few states they are arguably five of the most influential jurisdictions in the country. Actually, I’d call it four of the most influential states (Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey and Iowa) along with the ‘too big to fail’ despite an absurd tax rate jurisdiction of Pennsylvania.