MGM Resorts, the owner of one of the most popular US sports betting apps, and the NFL Players Association agreed recently to a deal that allows active players to advertise for its retail casinos.
The parent company of BetMGM announced its multi-year agreement with the NFLPA Thursday, making it the union’s official hospitality and strategic partner.
“Partnering with the NFLPA is another indication of our strong commitment to the great sport of football across the U.S.,” Lance Evans, Senior Vice President of Sports & Sponsorships, MGM Resorts, said in a press release. “As football’s premier events come to Las Vegas, we look forward to welcoming players and creating world-class experiences for MGM Rewards members.”
Sponsorship covers entire MGM casino – except one place
Active and former NFL players will be “eligible” to sign individual brand ambassador agreements to promote MGM Resorts, according to the release.
They will not however be eligible to promote BetMGM or any other MGM sports betting businesses, a spokesperson with BetMGM confirmed.
The NFLPA and MGM will also produce partnered content, and they plan to host NFL-player related events at MGM properties.
NFL approach to players and gambling
How close players and coaches are to sportsbooks from which the NFL takes millions in partnership deals has become a touchier subject as of late.
In December, the NFL banned New York Jets receivers coach Miles Austin III for betting on sports other than football and playing online casino games. League employees are prohibited from doing both under NFL gambling policy.
Former Atlanta Falcons star Calvin Ridley is still serving his indefinite suspension for betting on games while he was away from the team. Ridley was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars after the suspension.
One MGM deal already in place
Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams already has a brand ambassador deal with MGM, though that deal precludes him from any involvement in BetMGM or related sports betting businesses,
BetMGM employs several former NFL players, such as Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, among its list of active brand ambassadors. BetMGM also has an active-athlete sponsorship in the NHL: Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.
“NFL players, past and present, will be at the heart of unforgettable new experiences through MGM Resorts International’s rewards program,” said Gina Scott, Vice President of Partner Services for the NFLPA.