The NFL is on the hunt for its first vice president of sports betting.
According to a job description circulating among headhunters, the new role will oversee the league’s betting initiatives, focused on four pillars:
- Continuing to protect the integrity of the game.
- Advancing the NFL’s brand and reputation.
- Driving fan engagement globally.
- Growing the value of the NFL’s data and IP.
Is the NFL embracing betting?
The role is a sign of the league’s growing acceptance of betting, following its official data deal with Sportradar last year.
The NFL has historically been even more anti-betting than its pro brethren. The likes of the NBA, MLB and NASCAR already have betting and gaming-focused VPs. Also, the PGA Tour is close to hiring a similar role.
Now the NFL has a team in Las Vegas, a casino partner and is on the lookout for a betting VP.
The job description also hints at the introduction of betting content into NFL media properties, historically a no-go for the league.
According to the job specification, the successful candidate will work with the NFL’s media department on the “distribution of content for gaming purposes and the integration of gaming products into the NFL’s platforms.”
The VP of sports betting would report into NFL chief strategy and growth officer Christopher Halpin. They should have a “deep understanding” of the sports betting and sports business landscapes, the description said.
Good news for betting operators
The news that the NFL is leaning into sports betting will be welcomed by the industry, given the sport’s popularity and importance. And betting on the NFL is big business.
American bettors placed an estimated $6.8 billion worth of Super Bowl bets this year, according to the American Gaming Association.
As for acquisition, more than 40% of new customers at Kambi-powered sportsbooks placed their first bet on the NFL in 2019.
That number rose to more than 50% during the NFL season. If the league starts talking about betting on assets like NFL.com and NFL Network, it could generate a lot of new customers.
The NFL did not respond to a request for comment.