- Caesars Sportsbook has been named the ‘exclusive gaming and sportsbook partner’ of the Louisiana State University (LSU) athletic department.
- Caesars signed a deal to be the naming sponsor of the New Orleans Superdome in late July.
- The University of Colorado signed a deal with PointsBet in September 2009 to become the first major university to partner with a sports betting provider.
In late July, Caesars Entertainment announced that they had signed a deal with the New Orleans Saints to take over as naming rights sponsor of the Superdome. On Friday afternoon, Caesars announced a partnership with an even more iconic Louisiana sports property–the LSU Bayou Bengals. The multi-year partnership deal worth ‘seven figures’ makes Caesars Sportsbook ‘the exclusive gaming and sportsbook partner of the Louisiana State University athletics department’. If you guessed that Caesars would be opening a sportsbook lounge as part of the deal go to the head of the class.
Louisiana has one of the most bizarre and convoluted gaming ecosystems in the US but on balance its a very lucrative jurisdiction. Sports betting is launching soon in ‘The Pelican State’ and Caesars Entertainment has made a number of other significant investments in the area. Two Caesars owned gaming properties are in the process of renovation and rebranding–Harrah’s New Orleans to Caesars New Orleans and Isle of Capri Lake Charles to Horseshoe Lake Charles. Most significant of all is the rebranding of the New Orleans Saints’ home field, now known as Caesars Superdome. The naming sponsorship deal is for 20 years with a price tag rumored to be $11 million USD per year.
So what will Caesars get from their partnership with LSU? Would you believe there’s a sportsbook lounge involved?!?
Caesars will receive a multitude of marketing and sponsorship assets from LSU Athletics, including naming rights for the new Caesars Sportsbook Skyline Club at Tiger Stadium, signage throughout Tiger Stadium, as well as additional signage at the Maravich Center, Alex Box Stadium and an exclusive presence on the LSU Sports Mobile App. The deal also includes broadcast and digital sponsorship rights, as well as visibility for Caesars Sportsbook throughout all of LSU’s 21 men’s and women’s varsity athletics programs.
Once sports betting is approved in Louisiana, Tiger fans and sports fans above the age of 21 in the state can enjoy Caesars Sportsbook’s state-of-the-art product offerings. The easy-to-navigate Caesars Sportsbook app integrates mobile sports betting with the company’s industry-leading loyalty program, Caesars Rewards, where every bet, win or lose, rewards the bettor with Tier Credits and Reward Credits that can be used to unlock unbeatable experiences within the Caesars portfolio of properties and partnerships. Caesars will not market to students or fans under the age of 21.
The press release announcing the partnership does assure us that Caesars will be ‘providing a significant financial commitment to LSU’ as well as creating an annual scholarship fund. LSU Athletics Director Scott Woodward’s press release quote is pretty good for a first timer but he neglected to emphasize ‘fan engagement’ and ‘responsible gaming education’:
“LSU has always taken pride in providing fans with unique, innovative, and world-class experiences, and our new partnership with Caesars Entertainment will do just that. We share a clear vision of how athletics and entertainment can come together to enhance the fan experience and we are excited to join with Caesars to make that vision a reality.”
Chris Holdren, Co-President of Caesars Digital, focuses on the ‘scholarship opportunities’:
“LSU athletics programs have always exemplified excellence, and at Caesars, we couldn’t be happier to partner with such an iconic brand in college athletics. We have a proud legacy in Louisiana, and bringing LSU fans closer to the sports they love while also offering scholarship opportunities will help us build upon that.”
Also contributing a quote is Michael Schreiber, Founder & CEO of Playfly Sports. Playfly Sports is the marketing group that handles branding rights deals for LSU:
“As a proud partner of LSU Athletics, we are focused on creating innovative partnerships to engage sponsors and unlock meaningful new revenue sources. Given the explosive interest in and access to gaming, we are excited to responsibly bring Caesars Sportsbook and LSU together.”
You’re about to see the same sports betting driven revenue feeding frenzy we’ve seen in US pro sports coming to US college sports. In late August, Caesars announced a partnership deal with the Fiesta Bowl–the first college football bowl game to sign on with a sports betting provider. The press release announcing the LSU deal tries to suggest that it’s somehow a ‘landmark deal’ and downright revolutionary. That’s not the case as the first major college to partner with a sports betting platform was likely the University of Colorado who signed a deal with PointsBet in September 2020.