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Penn Entertainment’s ESPN Bet Becomes Official Sports Betting Sponsor of the PGA Championship

James Murphy
by in Golf on
  • Penn Entertainment’s ESPN Bet brand has announced a partnership with the PGA of America.
  • ESPN Bet will be ‘the official sports betting partner’ of the PGA Championship for the next three years.
  • It’s still unclear if PENN’s partnership with ESPN is a long term successful strategy.

Penn Entertainment’s ESPN Bet brand has forged a significant partnership with the PGA of America, becoming the official sports betting sponsor of the PGA Championship for the next three years. This multi-year agreement marks a historic milestone, as the PGA Championship becomes the first men’s golf major to establish an official sports betting partnership.

The 2024 PGA Championship, which will take place at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, from May 16, will feature the ESPN Bet Members Lounge located adjacent to the green on the par-4 13th hole. This lounge will provide a unique, immersive experience for spectators, blending the thrill of live golf with interactive betting opportunities.

Jeff Price, Chief Commercial Officer of PGA of America, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership:

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Penn Entertainment and immerse ESPN Bet into the spectator experience throughout the PGA Championship. The added onsite presence of ESPN Bet, as well as broadcast and content offerings, will provide spectators with exciting new ways to enjoy and engage with all of the action during the PGA Championship.”

In addition to onsite activation, ESPN Bet will be integrated into broadcasts on ESPN networks, providing betting odds and insights. This integration will offer viewers real-time information and enhance their engagement with the tournament. The sponsorship also includes collaborative content opportunities across PGA of America’s digital media platforms, further extending the reach and impact of ESPN Bet.

Jason Birne, Vice President of Operations at Penn Interactive, highlighted the significance of the partnership:

“We’re pleased to be the PGA of America’s first ever gaming partner and align ESPN Bet with this prestigious men’s golf major. We look forward to accessing highly engaging touchpoints to bring ESPN Bet onto the course and into the PGA Championship broadcast on ESPN.”

With the PGA Championship scheduled to take place in states where ESPN Bet operates through 2026, this partnership offers extensive opportunities for fan engagement. The 2025 PGA Championship will be held at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, will host the 2026 PGA Championship.

The jury is still out on the outcome of Penn Entertainment’s partnership with ESPN Bet. ESPN is clearly one of the ‘marquee brands’ in sports media, but even so it’s questionable if the partnership is worth what it’s costing Penn Entertainment. The sports betting ecosystem is littered with failed partnership deals (FOXBet, Maxim Bet, SI Sportsbook) and PENN has had two previous media partners (theScore, Barstool Sports) come and go. theScore remains a viable brand partner in Canada, but failed to resonate in the US market. Sports betting is forever changing, but one thing has endured–running a good sportsbook and taking bets is the road to brand share and profitability.

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