- PointsBet and the PGA Tour have extended their multi-year content and marketing relationship designating PointsBet an Official Betting Operator of the PGA TOUR.
- As part of the new deal, PointsBet’s live betting odds integrations will be featured in streaming broadcasts on GOLF Channel and Peacock. There are plans to include them in the NBC broadcast at some point in the future.
- In addition, PointsBet has been named the ‘official free to play provider’ of the PGA Tour and will soon be releasing a ‘free to play’ game.
Las Vegas casino icon Benny Binion was often asked why his eponymous downtown Horseshoe Club didn’t have live entertainment. To paraphrase his response: ‘ain’t no man going to blow my money out the end of a horn’. While reasonable people can differ about casino marketing strategies the bottom line is that they make money by taking bets. Binion’s point is a valid one–he was in the business to take bets and his strategy was to create an environment that would attract serious gamblers to his establishment. Such niceties such as white tigers, volcanoes or a jazz band were just added expenses against the bottom line that cut into his margins.
I’ve thought about Binion’s comments often as sports betting has started to roll out across the United States. Different companies have taken different approaches toward creating brand identity and gaining market share. The efficacy of these tactics is still ‘TBA’. Obviously there are different ways to achieve the same result but at this point we’re watching a live case study on which marketing tactics work and which ones don’t. BetMGM, for example, goes with celebrities and ‘brand ambassadors’. Some companies go with partnerships with professional teams–eg: Caesars Sportsbook’s jersey patch sponsorship with the Washington Capitals. Other companies go for the ‘league seal of approval strategy’ by becoming an ‘authorized sports betting provider’ of the NFL, NBA, etc.
One sportsbook that has done plenty of the ‘partnership’ thing successfully is Australian import PointsBet. PointsBet has arguably leveraged their partnerships better than any other company to become the official sports betting partner of NBC, official partners of all of the major sports leagues and a variety of other deals including a groundbreaking relationship with the University of Colorado. Most recently, they’ve extended their partnership with the PGA Tour originally signed in August 2020. They’ll keep their designation as an ‘Official Betting Operator of the PGA Tour’ and add some more branding and marketing opportunities.
New to the deal–PointsBet will have live betting odds integrations on PGA Tour broadcasts beginning with the GOLF Channel and Peacock. There are unspecified plans to add them to the marquee NBC broadcast ‘in the future’. As we noted above, PointsBet is the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports so that is something that should be happening. The press release announcing the deal mentioned several markets that were featured during the GOLF Channel broadcast of the Fortinet Championship ‘including odds for the lowest score by group, total leaderboard odds, and hole-by-hole odds’ and noted that they will ‘continue to be featured during GOLF Channel’s coverage of the 2021-22 FedExCup Regular Season’.
Another new component of the partnership: PointsBet as the ‘Official Free-to-Play’ provider of the PGA Tour. PointsBet is preparing to release a free-to-play game developed by Low6 that they described as follows:
The agreement also positions PointsBet as the “Official Free-to-Play” provider of the PGA TOUR. The soon-to-be-released free-to-play game, developed by Low6, exclusively presented by PointsBet in the U.S., is designed to enhance fan engagement with live in-play games with weekly prizes. Fans will be able to enter the game at nearly any point during a tournament week with the points system directly tied to live odds featuring games such as outright winner, top-10 and top-30. The free-to-play game features a guaranteed weekly cash prize of up to $5,000. More information and images will be provided prior to the games release in January 2022.
PointsBet will also continue the use of PGA Tour data and content such as “archival and b-roll footage for use within pre-tournament and post-game betting content preview shows, betting- specific videos, and distribution of highlights to PointsBet users” as well as additional advertising and media property rights.
Norb Gambuzza, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President, Media and Gaming, had these comments about the extension of the deal with PointsBet:
“We’re excited to continue working with PointsBet to create innovative sports betting and free-to-play products for PGA TOUR fans. PointsBet’s golf products continue to experience tremendous growth, and its support of our free-to-play game with Low6 will provide our fans the option to experience exciting in-play games in a free-to-play environment.”
Gambuzza had these comments in August 2020 when the deal was originally brokered:
“We are thrilled to work with PointsBet, a world-class brand with an exciting vision for golf’s potential in the betting space. PointsBet has made a substantial commitment to golf through a deep and robust product offering and an emphasis on live, in-play betting, both of which will translate into greater audience development and fan engagement for the PGA TOUR. PointsBet’s golf products are experiencing incredible growth, which lays the foundation for a very successful relationship.”
Johnny Aitken, PointsBet USA CEO, had these comments in the press release announcing the extension of the partnership with the PGA Tour:
“Expanding our relationship with the PGA TOUR is a key step in providing fans and viewers with the odds integrations and content that PointsBet users have been asking for. Together, with our partners at NBC Sports, we are at the intersection of golf broadcast and odds integration, an exciting time for bettors and viewers.”
Here’s what Aitken said when the deal was first put together in August 2020:
“The PointsBet team is thrilled to partner with the PGA TOUR and work closely with a forward-thinking group that also recognizes golf’s propensity to invest in sports betting innovation. PointsBet owns and operates its technology from end to end, meaning we possess full control over the product we offer. This allows us to introduce bet types that cannot be found elsewhere, offer a deeper slate of options both pre-tournament and in-play, and enhance the viewing experience via a faster and more seamless app. As golf betting continues to rise, we are positioned well to innovate and grow with the PGA TOUR.”
PointsBet is now live in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, West Virginia, and New Jersey.