The sports-media giant has held talks to license its brand to sportsbooks including Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings, according to people familiar with the matter.
It’s the first partnership between a college bowl game and a company that specializes in sports betting. Caesars will host fan lounges at the Fiesta Bowl in suburban Glendale and at the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, which is played at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to the media after the league announced its new broadcasting contracts last month, he said the league would “find ways we can engage fans through legalized sports betting” during the life of those deals. That continued a major shift in attitude for a league that had long worked to avoid any connection with gambling and that shift grew even larger on Thursday. The NFL announced its first sportsbook partnerships with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel. The multi-year agreements make the three companies official sports betting partners of the league and give them the ability to use NFL marks.
Dialing up its wagering efforts around sports, ESPN has made two separate sports betting partnerships — one each with DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment to promote sports gambling content. ESPN will offer content linked to both gambling companies’ sports booking operations.
WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports inked a pact with Caesars Entertainment to develop sports gambling content. Under the agreement, Turner’s Bleacher Report will establish a studio inside the sports book at the Caesars Palace Las Vegas hotel and casino.