- Sportsbook operator PointsBet has entered into a multi-year partnership with the Detroit Red Wings as an official gaming partner of the NHL franchise.
- PointsBet struck a similar deal with the MLB Detroit Tigers in mid 2020. Both the Tigers and the Wings are owned by Ilitch Holdings.
- The Red Wings rank among the NHL’s legendary franchises but have fallen on hard times of late.
Busy day for the Detroit Red Wings. The NHL season is set to get underway, albeit under strange COVID-19 pandemic circumstances. Detroit will begin their season on Thursday night as they host Carolina at the ‘fan-free’ Little Caesars Arena. As any NHL fan knows, the Red Wings are historically one of the marquee franchises in hockey. Unfortunately, they’ve fallen on some tough times in the past few years. After 25 straight playoff appearances and four Stanley Cups they’ve failed to qualify for the postseason in four straight seasons.
In addition, the Wings have named Dylan Larkin as the team’s 37th captain. Detroit has been without a captain since 2017-2018 when Henrik Zetterberg had to hang up the skates due to injury. The 24 year old Larkin has been one of the team’s few bright spots in the past couple of seasons and has the distinction of being the first Detroit area native to wear the ‘C’. Larkin has a lot to live up to–the list of previous Red Wings captains include some elite hockey luminaries such as Ted Lindsay, Marcel Dionne, Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman and ‘Mr. Hockey’ Gordie Howe. Larkin is a bit on the young side for a captain but the current incarnation of the Wings desperately needs character and identity and #21 definitely brings that to the table. He can also play a bit:
Finally, while it might not help the team’s fortunes on the ice they’ve got a new ‘official gaming partner’. PointsBet has entered into what they’re calling a ‘strategic multi-year partnership’ with the Red Wings. Not a huge surprise as they were already an ‘official gaming partner’ of the Detroit Tigers and since Illich Holdings also owns the Wings the move is a natural. You know the drill–the press release says little to nothing about sports betting and instead emphasizes the buzzwords like ‘fan engagement’ and ‘game-day experience’.
The Detroit Red Wings have entered into a strategic multi-year partnership with PointsBet, a premier global sportsbook operator and provider of a market-leading sports wagering app. The partnership, designed to enhance fan engagement and game-day excitement, includes the rebranding of Sports & Social Detroit at Little Caesars Arena to the PointsBet Sports Bar. Expected to be operational in 2021, the PointsBet Sports Bar will offer a full-service food & beverage menu, high-definition televisions, live betting odds, special guests, unique programing, VIP access and fun gaming promotions.
The partnership also features television broadcast-visible virtual signage just inside the blue lines, as well as LED PointsBet signage and branding throughout Little Caesars Arena during Red Wings home games. PointsBet will also have a sponsored presence on the Red Wings’ digital platforms, the Detroit Red Wings Radio Network, be integrated into The District Detroit mobile app and be regularly featured on The Word on Woodward, a twice-weekly live streaming show that airs on the Red Wings and Tigers channels.
Here’s what Johnny Aitken, CEO of PointsBet USA had to say about the deal with the Red Wings:
“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with the Ilitch organization and announce this partnership with the Detroit Red Wings, a very proud and storied NHL franchise with an extremely passionate fanbase.”
“We now have the unique opportunity to work closely across both the Red Wings and Tigers, and we look forward to leveraging our competitive advantage of owning our technology environment from end to end to implement engaging product innovation and personalized offerings to complement our app’s market-leading speed. PointsBet offers the most betting options in the world on NHL and MLB games via our unique PointsBetting product, and we are excited to unveil a deep and differentiated betting option into the great state of Michigan.”
Here’s what Chris Granger, Group President, Sports & Entertainment, Ilitch Holdings, said about his company’s expanded partnership with PointsBet:
“Our fans will enjoy the lively atmosphere of the PointsBet Sports Bar and the energy this partnership will bring to the game-day experience in and around Little Caesars Arena. We are proud to deepen our relationship with PointsBet and we look forward to creating dynamic experiences for our fans.”
Here’s the blurb about PointsBet including details of their ‘PointsBetting’ product (called spread betting everyone else in the world):
Originally founded in Australia, PointsBet made its U.S. debut in January 2019. PointsBet features a fully compliant and easy-to-use app, providing bettors with fast and seamless legal access to the most markets for wagering in the world. Powered by PointsBet’s proprietary technology, PointsBet is the only U.S. provider of the revolutionary PointsBetting product, which rewards players exponentially the more correct their wager is. PointsBet is expected to release its market-leading sports wagering app for sports bettors within Michigan in early 2021, pending regulatory approval.
PointsBet has quietly become a major player in the US sports betting industry with a presence in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey with a launch forthcoming in Michigan. It’s easy to make fun of the predictability of the press releases announcing deals of this type but they’re a win/win for everyone concerned. The sportsbook gets brand recognition and visibility and being involved with an actual pro sports team provides an imprimatur of legitimacy. The team gets another revenue stream. Most importantly, sports betting gets another bit of incremental mainstream acceptance and that can only be of benefit going forward.