Casinos and pro football entities form partnerships
The National Football League (NFL) team Dallas Cowboys and the nascent The Alliance of American Football (AAF) have entered into partnership agreements with WinStar World Casino and MGM Resorts International respectively.
Team officials with the Dallas Cowboys announced Thackerville, Okla.-based WinStar World Casino as the official casino of the NFL Club last month. The partnership combines two global-leading brands in a league-changing partnership never before seen, according to a press release.
“The Dallas Cowboys take great pride in aligning themselves with the best brands in the world,” said Jerry Jones, owner, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. “It is a privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder as partners with such a prominent entertainment brand like WinStar World Casino.”
Located on the Texas-Oklahoma state line along Interstate 35, WinStar World Casino has become a preeminent gaming and entertainment venue. In the past 15 years, the world-class casino and resort has been drawing patrons and visitors from across the nation.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said that the tribe has always had a close connection with Dallas and north Texas. “Hundreds of Chickasaws live in the Dallas area and the Dallas Cowboys are a vital part of the community,” he said, “While this partnership is a great business deal that is only one of the reasons we are excited to be involved with the Dallas Cowboys and the Jones family.”
This is the first time in league history that a casino has been granted official designation as a team’s exclusive partner, granting exclusive use of a team’s logos and marks. An amendment passed by league owners created the opportunity for casinos to obtain official partnerships with NFL teams.
Meanwhile, MGM Resorts International and the AAF, a new professional football league, entered into a transaction that includes an investment in AAF and a three-year sponsorship establishing MGM Resorts as the official sports betting sponsor of The Alliance and exclusive gaming partner.
For MGM Resorts, the investment represents its forward-looking view on the combination of live sports, real-time second-generation stats and fan engagement—either for fun or for those who may choose to wager, according to press materials. The Alliance’s new technology is revolutionary and will create a state-of-the-art experience for fans. The AAF, founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian, is building its media and technology platform as part of the launch of the new league in February 2019.
For The Alliance, the partnership aligns the league with one of the best gaming operators in the country and gives the sports entity the ability to utilize MGM Resorts’ vast experience and industry-leading operations with mobile gaming. When The Alliance takes the historic first snap in February 2019, fans will be able to stream AAF matchups for free through its first-of-its-kind app, while accessing integrated gaming with real rewards, and now, in states where sports gambling is legal, the sports betting platform owned and operated by MGM GVC Interactive will provide fans with in-game wagering while also still providing traditional sports betting.
“We are excited to team with The Alliance on this unprecedented partnership, which allows us to fully engage with fans and revolutionize the fan experience,” said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. “We look forward to expanding our customer base into this exciting new league and sports betting opportunity.”