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PartyPoker continued its full-throttle return to the American market today, announcing a deal to make Party’s New Jersey brands the official online gaming partner for the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils.
The partnership was revealed by team officials earlier today. A press conference at the Prudential Center Newark formally announcing the partnership is expected tomorrow at 2pm EST.
The arrangement between Party and the Sixers / Devils is unprecedented in the US online gambling market. To the best of my knowledge, there’s never been a formal partnership between an online gambling site and a top-tier American professional sports team.
There certainly hasn’t been one so far in the regulated market for online gambling in America. The closest analogue is Ultimate Gaming, which has a corporate partnership with the UFC.
But such arrangements are common in other regulated markets and are a major part of bwin.party’s international marketing strategy.
The company is affiliated with some of the biggest names in global sports, serving as the official online gaming and betting partner of Manchester United and enjoying ongoing relationships with Real Madrid in Spain, FC Bayern Munchen in Germany, Juventus in Italy and MotoGP.
The partnership will undoubtedly help Party to pad their already-sizeable lead in the NJ online gambling market. But the positive impact of the deal will resonate well beyond Party’s New Jersey online poker and casino sites.
The Borgata’s online operations, for one, stand to gain greatly, especially the Borgata online poker room.
Party and Borgata share both a software platform and a player pool, meaning that each new player that comes to Party also increases the amount of games available at, and the attractiveness of, the Borgata’s online poker site.
And the New Jersey regulated online gambling industry at large will also receive a material boost from the partnership. Putting the product in front of millions of potential customers will help. So will the credibility-conferring association with two iconic sports brands.
Together, those two factors could draw a new audience of substantial size to New Jersey’s gambling sites, an audience that is currently under informed or misinformed regarding legal, regulated Internet gambling in the Garden State.
Details are still emerging, but the deal will see Party promoted on signage at home games and through select broadcast partners of the Devils and Sixers.
Total home game attendance for the two teams exceeded one million in the last full season. Millions more took in games via television and radio.
Party will also be able to run promotions with Sixers and Devils tie-ins: courtside seats, luxury box giveaways and other game-related packages are a few of the obvious examples.
In addition to the marketing agreements with the two teams, the deal also secures Party exposure at other events hosted at Prudential Center Newark, and provides promotional opportunities related to those events.