MGM Resorts strikes again.
The NHL recently announced its partnership with MGM Resorts, who in July approached the NBA and also gained a partnership with said league. Through the NHL’s deal with MGM Resorts, MGM will receive unseen enhanced proprietary game data which will be used to provide game insights, provide increased fan engagement, and betting odds.
This deal is a multi-year partnership which will integrate the NHL sports league with MGM’s domestic and international sports betting offers, as well as, market MGM Resorts’ products and services to NHL fans via NHL events and the league’s official media platforms.
Two years prior during the World Cup of Hockey, the league experimented with a tracking system of placed microphones inside player jersey’s and pucks to track movement during a game in real-time.
The NHL discussed possible ramifications of puck- and player-tracking data. At the time, neither the NHL nor NHLPA thought the technology could be used one day for sports betting but rather contract negotiations.
The deal announcement came from MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who once vehemently resisted sports gambling. MGM Resorts will be the NHL’s first official partner for sports gambling and the move hopes to revive the NHL’s fan base through this progressive approach.
The partnership entails MGM may communicate with NHL fans through their internal database to further market their own destination resorts brand and their M Life Rewards program.
The Resort will also be allowed to promote their products during key NHL events such as the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals, NHL All-Star Game, NHL Winter Classic, and the NHL Stadium Series.
However, MGM is not the only beneficiary to the deal despite all of the promotional leeway they have as Nielsen estimates the NHL will receive an additional $216 million in annual revenue through sports betting legalization – the figure stated above does not account for the recent MGM partnership.
The research company also estimated an increase in fan engagement directly tied to sports betting which could lead to roughly $1.64 billion a year through a 4.3% revenue spike in annual media rights.