Of all the major sports leagues, the National Football League always had taken the most draconian public stance against gambling, and more specifically, sports betting.
The NFL has come a long way, baby.
Aside from the issuing of injury reports as its wink-wink, nudge-nudge recognition of sports betting, the NFL hasn’t been kind to those with an affinity toward gambling. This is the same organization which lobbied for and supported the UIGEA, and just a few years ago put the kibosh on Tony Romo’s fantasy sports fan expo in Las Vegas.
With the repeal of PASPA, it was only a matter of time before the NFL got into the sports gambling action. That it got in so aggressively and quickly is somewhat a surprise for the NFL, but it also makes sense.
And after watching its rival MGM ink deals with the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, Caesars going all-in with the NFL seemed like a given. With familiarities between their respective management teams, the road to a smooth and speedy integration exists, as does significant financial upside for both.
What’s the potential impact for consumers?
This deal is wide-reaching for Caesars. Along with their 10 Vegas properties, Caesars operates in 13 states. This provides the NFL with regional properties for fan-based events and promotions, something in Caesars best interest as well as it can drive new, likely younger, customers into properties.
On that note, the likely biggest benefit for Caesars’ customers begins and ends with loyalty programs and points. Caesars Total Rewards could be used for NFL game-specific promotions and contests. Providing incentivized tier credits around NFL promotions would benefit Caesars customers (rewards) and Caesars corporate (building the database).
Further, as stated in the NFL release:
Beginning with the upcoming 2019 NFL playoffs, this multiyear sponsorship is focused on Caesars providing unique experiences for NFL fans by using its casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists and a wide range of entertainment elements.
This creates some interesting potential content plays. Think Gordon Ramsey during a FOX broadcast releasing exclusive recipes, interactive property-centric deals for show tickets, or game/team specific bets all pushed through the Caesars app.
The ability for the NFL to leverage Caesars properties for fan events during an opening weekend, the playoffs and Super Bowl opens the door for interesting fan experiences as well. The Strip (or at least Caesars properties on the Strip) could turn into immediate fan hubs, with music acts and a New Year’s Eve-like feel, with exclusive access for certain events driven through rewards points.
Of course, ideas are one thing, execution is another. There are a lot of moving parts here, but it is in both the NFL’s and Caesars’ best interest to get it right and deliver a little something extra for fans and consumers.