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National Hockey League Names Liga Stavok Exclusive Russian Sports Betting Partner

Ross Everett
by in NHL on
Liga Stavok retail storefront in Moscow
  • The National Hockey League (NHL) has announced Liga Stavok as an Official Sports Betting Partner and the Official Sportsbook of the NHL in Russia and the CIS Region.
  • Liga Stavok becomes the NHL’s first ever exclusive partner in Russia.
  • The NHL partnership with Liga Stavok was brokered by betting data company Sportradar.

One important point often ignored by the mainstream media in the US is the reality that sports betting is a massive global industry. Unfortunately, since so many media types drafted to cover sports betting have no actual background in it it’s not surprising they’re oblivious. Spoiler alert–sports betting is a massive global industry. It’s so big and so diffuse that it’s impossible to quantify. In the past, some financial analysts studying worldwide sports betting have suggested that it is a trillion dollar plus industry. That number was being tossed around a few years ago so I’d strongly suspect that the 2021 value is well over a trillion USD.

Another important concept–North American sports have a worldwide audience. While the international might not be as large or as enthusiastic as the hometown fans it is significant. This is especially true in hockey–hockey is a huge sport throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe as well as in the US and Canada. You can make a case that none of the major North American pro leagues have as solid of an understanding of sports betting as the National Hockey League (NHL). Since they’re well aware that the NHL has an international audience they’ve started to leverage this fact to increase revenues from sports betting in Europe and elsewhere. In early 2021, the NHL announced that Czech Republic-based Tipsport had been named as the league’s first European based sports betting partner. In June 2021, the league named OlyBet as the official sports betting partner of the NHL in the Baltic region. In the US, the NHL has signed on several sportsbooks as official league partners including Bally’s, PointsBet, FanDuel, Betway USA, William Hill and BetMGM.

You can add another international ‘first’ to the NHL’s sponsorship portfolio: Liga Stavok has been named the NHL’s first ever exclusive sports betting partner in Russia. In fact, Liga Stavok has a bunch of sobriquets: Official Sports Betting Partner of the NHL and Official Sportsbook of the NHL in Russia and the CIS Region. Despite the international jurisdiction the terms of the deal are fairly typical:

As Official Sports Betting Partner of the NHL, Liga Stavok will conduct dynamic marketing campaigns utilizing NHL branding across the company’s digital sports betting offerings in Russia and the CIS region. Liga Stavok will receive premier marketing positions on NHL digital assets including NHL.com/ru, the official Russian language version of NHL.com.

As part of the partnership, Liga Stavok will have rights to use NHL marks, logos and official designations designed to help create authentic NHL fan and consumer marketing programs. Additionally, Liga Stavok will have access to a full portfolio of NHL-controlled media assets throughout the term of the partnership, including custom digital, social and email marketing campaigns focused on building brand awareness and driving new customer acquisition. For the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Liga Stavok served as the presenting sponsor of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge on NHL.com/ru.

Liga Stavok has been a financial supporter of Russian hockey for a number of years. They’ve been the official partner of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation since 2017 and the official partner of the Russian National team. They’ve recently signed a five year deal to sponsor the Ice Hockey World Championships. Once Russian hockey sponsorship they *don’t* have is the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), often considered to be the second best pro league in the world. The KHL lists Russian sportsbook Fonbet as the only betting business on their sponsorship page.

John Lewicki, NHL Vice President, Business Development and Partnerships, International, is pleased to extend the league’s sponsorship portfolio further into Eastern Europe:

“This marks an exciting time for NHL fans in Russia. Liga Stavok, the market leader in sports betting, is partnering with the NHL, the world’s premier hockey league, to deliver inventive initiatives designed for our robust fanbase in Russia. We look forward to working with Liga Stavok to bring new features to the NHL experience in Russia.”

Yury Krasovskiy, CEO of Liga Stavok, understands the need for his company to expand internationally:

“Moving towards an international level is part of the business strategy of Liga Stavok. It is a great honor and responsibility for us to expand our participation in development of world ice hockey. Liga Stavok sincerely loves hockey and it is ready to invest significant funds in its development not only in Russia, but also in the world. This partnership with the NHL is another historic step in this direction. We are thankful to NHL for appreciating our business potential and reputation as the most popular sports bookmaker in Russia.”

The NHL partnership with Liga Stavok was facilitated by betting date provider Sportradar. Sportradar is a longstanding partner of Liga Stavok and earlier this year signed a 10 year deal to become the Official Betting Data Rights partner of the NHL.

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