- Softball superstar AJ Andrews is the newest brand ambassador for BetMGM.
- Andrews has been successful at both the college and pro levels, as well as in a broadcast role on the Major League Baseball Network.
- BetMGM will launch in Ontario on Monday morning, April 4.
BetMGM continues their strategy of signing on a variety of ‘brand ambassadors’ to promote their sports betting platform. Created as a partnership between MGM Resorts and Entain PLC, it’s difficult to get a handle on whether this is a profitable strategy. So far, they’ve been following the ‘spend first hope for profits later’ strategy of several of their competitors including DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook. The strategy has definitely earned market share and revenue, but it remains to be seen if profits are to follow. If they continue to enter no-win markets like New York, they might discover that the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is an oncoming freight train.
BetMGM is currently available in some form or another in 19 US states–according to their website–and will launch in Ontario on Monday morning, April 4. The states they currently serve are Arizona, Colorado, Florida (racebook only), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia and Wyoming. BetMGM also operates a casino and sportsbook under the Borgata Online brand, PartyPoker and PartyCasino.
The company continues to go farther and farther afield to sign brand ambassadors–the latest is fast pitch softball superstar AJ Andrews. Andrews has been successful as both a college and pro softball player as the press release announcing the deal notes:
Andrews’ impact on the sports scene started at Louisiana State University where she led the Lady Tigers to two Women’s College World Series appearances. She began her professional career with the Chicago Bandits in 2015 and, the following year, made history with the Akron Racers as the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, an award previously exclusive to the best defensive fielders in Major League Baseball. Andrews continues to garner awards and accomplishments such as the Rally Spike Award as the league’s stolen base leader and was featured in ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue.
If you’re wondering about Andrews’ Gold Glove Award it’s legit–sort of. For some inexplicable reason, Rawlings began awarding a gold glove annually to a player in the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPF). Andrews won the first award in 2016, with three additional NPF Gold Gloves awarded in 2017, 2018 and 2019. If you haven’t heard of National Pro Fastpitch there’s a good reason for that–it’s an on again/off again league that has folded and relaunched several times and is currently defunct. The Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL) was founded in 1997 and folded in 2001. The NPF revived the league in 2004 and managed to make it 18 years before it disbanded. The league had very limited popularity–the most teams ever to play in the NPF was 7 (2006) and the fewest was 4 (2010-2014).
Three teams were created but never made it to opening day–the Colorado Altitude, the Michigan Ice and the San Antonio Armadillos. The league lists four teams as currently active–the Aussie Peppers (a team in Minnesota, obviously), the Canadian Wild (who play in the remote Canadian province of Marion, Illinois), the California Commotion–they’re listed as a team even though they’ve never actually played, don’t have a home stadium or for that matter a home town. The original plan was to ‘play games throughout the state of California’ which sounds like box office gold to be sure. The Chicago Bandits are the team that actually has a home somewhere near the name on their jerseys. Then there’s the Cleveland Comets who are listed as a ‘traveling team’, presumably putting them on the same level as the ‘jobber’ teams such as the Western Outlaws and Northern Devils that could serve as fodder for the LA Thunderbirds roller derby team.
Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer, BetMGM, had this brief quote about Andrews:
“AJ is an all-around powerhouse who has been a trailblazer in sports throughout her career. BetMGM is proud to welcome her to the team as a new personality in sports betting.”
The moral of the story–if you’re even tangentially associated with sports, media, gambling or just about anything else you too can be a sportsbook ‘brand ambassador’.