How Will Volleyball Tour Acquisition Help Bally’s Find Sportsbook Customers?

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Bally’s last week acquired a professional beach volleyball tour to help it find and engage sportsbook customers.

The operator announced it acquired the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), the host of the longest-running domestic beach volleyball tour in the US.

Bally’s said it would “gamify and incorporate interactive content” into beach volleyball viewing. As a result, that will drive traffic to Bally’s online gaming platforms and promote customer acquisition, the company said.

Grow the game

Bally’s said it would use the Bally Sports Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) to increase awareness of the league.

“The AVP is an attractive asset that complements our rapidly expanding US sports betting vision,” said Adi Dhandhania, Bally’s SVP Strategy and Interactive. “We look forward to exploring creative ways to amplify and gamify such a dynamic and high-growth sport, providing beach volleyball fans across the nation with unique and interactive content.”

As for AVP, CEO Donald Sun said the acquisition would help grow beach volleyball. Sun will stay on to oversee the transition to new ownership.

What is included in the deal?

Bally’s acquired all of AVP’s assets, including: 

Why is it interesting for US sports betting?

Sportsbooks have been growing ever more entwined with the sports and leagues they take bets on.

However, the volleyball deal is the first time a US sports betting operator has actually bought a sports league.

That bring some potential conflicts of interest. Will fans ask questions about integrity if their bets go awry?

Bally’s building its portfolio

If any operator was going to buy a league, it was likely Bally’s.

Bally’s launched its Bally Bet sportsbook in its first state in May. The company also has access to 15 states, thanks to a recent deal in Arizona.

The brand first emerged in November 2020, when Twin River acquired the name and property in Atlantic City. The firm then bough sportsbook platform Bet.Works for $125 million.

At the same time, Bally’s made a big splash in the sports broadcast world when it took over the naming rights to the Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s Fox Regional Sports Networks.

In January, the company acquired daily fantasy sports company Monkey Knife Fight for up to $90 million in stock. The operator then acquired free-to-play provider SportCaller for $40 million in February.