Posted on: February 9, 2023, 01:44h.
Last updated on: February 9, 2023, 03:49h.
The NFL hauled in $1.88 billion in sponsorship revenue last year with gaming/wagering ranking as one of the top categories. In that group, Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) led the way.
During the 2022 season, which concludes Sunday with the Super Bowl in Phoenix, casino gaming companies, lotteries, and sportsbook operators doled out $260 million on NFL sponsorship deals, trailing only technology firms at $395 million, according to consulting firm IEG.
The IEG Sponsorship Intelligence Database (SID) indicates that during the 2022 NFL campaign, just four companies spent more on league sponsorships than Caesars. Those firms are PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Verizon, and Microsoft. The Harrah’s operator is the only gaming company among the top 10.
NFL sponsorships take on various forms, with one of the most overt and priciest examples being stadium naming rights. In 2021, Caesars checked that box, buying the naming rights for the Superdome in New Orleans. That’s a practical move, considering the company runs a casino hotel in that city and is one of the largest gaming operators in Louisiana.
More Gaming Firms Could Join Caesars
Caesars isn’t alone in being a gaming company with naming rights to an NFL stadium. Hard Rock International has comparable rights for Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens – home of the Miami Dolphins. That venue is just a few miles from the tribal gaming giant’s headquarters.
Additionally, there’s speculation that when the Buffalo Bills open a new $1.4 billion stadium in upstate New York, a gaming company could pursue naming rights on that venue. It’s possible that other opportunities across the league will come up as some companies look to conserve marketing dollars, particularly if the economy weakens.
There’s also ample room for gaming companies to increase sponsorship in the other major domestic sports leagues, be it on stadiums and elsewhere. Casinos and sportsbooks don’t rank among the top five for sponsorship revenue generated by the NBA or Major League Baseball (MLB), according to IEG.
Part of the reason for that may be online sportsbook operators’ increasing emphasis on profitability. No longer are investors wowed by commercial and naming rights deals. They’d prefer gaming companies focus on more efficient uses of capital.
Other Sponsorship Avenues
Aside from applying brands to arenas and stadiums, there are other plenty of other ways for gaming companies to gain marketing exposure with professional leagues and teams.
Across the major US leagues, many gaming companies are official casino and sportsbook partners of leagues, stadiums, and teams. There’s also some creativity involved with those partnerships.
For example, last Friday, Boyd Gaming announced it’s now the official local casino partner of Allegiant Stadium and the Las Vegas Raiders. The Aliante operator joined Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts, as well as the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of California, in the stadium’s Founding Partners club.