by Sara Slane
We’ve always known that once sports betting was legalized, countless opportunities would exist for professional sports leagues, teams, broadcasters, advertisers, and casino operators–not to mention fans and bettors who want to engage more closely with their favorite players and teams.
The Mutual Benefits of a Sinclair Broadcast Group-Bally’s Partnership
The Sinclair Broadcast Group-Bally’s Corp. deal announced last week is a perfect example of this promise coming to fruition. Sinclair will rename its regional sports networks with Bally’s branding, for the not-so-small sum of $85 million over the next decade. That’s a good chunk of change resulting from the burgeoning sports betting market, and it’s only a starting point for Sinclair. Since the Bally’s deal is not exclusive, countless other partnerships are likely to be formed in the coming months and years that will derive even greater revenue for the company as a result of legalized sports betting.
For Bally’s, the chance to reach fans in 23 unique markets and drive them to their betting platform was too good to pass up. Bally’s massive customer database and footprint in 10 states, with more coming, will only grow as they become associated with fans’ favorite teams in their respective markets. Plus, Bally’s already has the technology for achieving success in this high growth industry, utilizing a fully-integrated, proprietary, end-to-end technology stack with Bet. Works.
Advantages for the Game of Baseball and its Advertisers
Not only will Sinclair Broadcast Group and Bally’s Corp. benefit from this partnership, but teams whose games air on Sinclair’s regional sports networks will find new opportunities. Sinclair will be able to promote these channels and give more exposure and visibility to games across platforms, and they will generate more advertising and better content. Fans will be more engaged because they’ll have money riding on games. Even blowouts will retain a greater share of viewers — which means higher ratings and, in turn, higher rates for advertisers. Further, teams will have the opportunity to land other deals with gaming companies to generate greater revenue.
The Art of Gamification
Sinclair Broadcast Group is clearly, and wisely, looking to the future of how fans will engage with games. Viewing live sports is beginning to shift from a passive experience to an active one in which they participate and interact. They are building a community around “gamification,” which will make fan experiences more personalized and rewarding. Creating a “game within the game” will also attract younger adult fans who hold significant purchasing power.
Along these lines, Bally’s fits especially well as a brand because of its multiple uses and rich heritage of gamification.
Sports Betting Markets will Grow with Legalization
Roughly half of US states already legalized sports betting, just two-and-a-half years after the US Supreme Court gave them the green light to proceed. Many more states will legalize sports betting in the coming months and years, and the legal market will grow exponentially. Sinclair and Bally’s are making a smart move to tap into this new market, supercharging marketing and advertising efforts and developing brand loyalty at this relatively early stage of the game.
Jones Day acted as legal advisor to Bally’s. Moelis & Company LLC acted as a financial advisor, and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Paul Hastings LLP acted as legal advisors to Sinclair.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
Sinclair is a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news. The Company owns and/or operates 23 regional sports network brands; owns, operates and/or provides services to 190 television stations in 88 markets; is a leading local news provider in the country; owns multiple national networks; and has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
About Bally’s Corporation
Bally’s Corporation currently owns and manages 10 casinos across six states, a horse racetrack, and 13 authorized OTB licenses in Colorado. With more than 5,400 employees, the Company’s operations include 11,859 slot machines, 405 game tables and 2,538 hotel rooms. Properties include Twin River Casino Hotel (Lincoln, RI), Tiverton Casino Hotel (Tiverton, RI), Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi, MS), Casino Vicksburg (Vicksburg, MS), Dover Downs Hotel & Casino (Dover, DE), Bally’s Atlantic City (Atlantic City, NJ), Casino KC (Kansas City, MO), Golden Gates Casino (Black Hawk, CO), Golden Gulch Casino (Black Hawk, CO), Mardi Gras Casino (Black Hawk, CO), and Arapahoe Park racetrack (Aurora, CO). Following the completion of pending acquisitions, which include Tropicana Evansville (Evansville, IN), Jumer’s Casino & Hotel (Rock Island, IL), Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino (Shreveport, LA), and MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa (Lake Tahoe, NV), the Company will own and manage 14 casinos across 10 states. Its shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BALY.”
About the Author
Sara Slane led the effort to legalize sports betting in the US and is the founder of Slane Advisory.