Photo by Marcos Nieto on Unsplash
MGM Resorts International and Yahoo! Sports have announced a partnership to integrate the Las Vegas-based gaming companies BetMGM sports betting application into the Yahoo! Sports mobile app. This blockbuster deal is one of many over the past 18 months that have partnered up a major media platform with a sports betting/gambling company.
What This Deal Entails
According to Yahoo! Sports, this partnership will make them the official Digital Media Sports Partner of MGM Resorts. The integration of these two will began sometime in the month of November. According to the companies CEOs, the partnership will “power sports betting for Yahoo! Sports and create collaborative content experiences and live events.”
Although not too many details have been released on this deal, we can expect to see Yahoo! Sports content featured at MGM properties across the country and Yahoo! Sports will host player events at MGM properties as well. Like the Ceasars and ESPN deal from earlier this year, we can expect to see more sports betting content featured on Yahoo! Sports that uses odds via MGM.
What is Being Said About This Deal
The next step will be a partnership between Yahoo Sports and BetMGM. Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media and Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, announced that Yahoo Sports and BetMGM have entered into a partnership to “power sports betting for Yahoo Sports and create collaborative content experiences and live events.”
CEO of Verizon Media Guru Gowrappan: “The historic partnership with Yahoo Sports and BetMGM will change the future of fandom, providing new ways for sports fans to go beyond engaging with content and interact through commerce. At Verizon Media, we believe in building products that connect consumers to their passions and drive the deepest end-to-end value possible.”
CEO and Chairman of MGM Resorts International Jim Murren: “This partnership marks an important moment for BetMGM in the growing U.S. sports betting sector. Integrating Yahoo’s leading fantasy sports operations and content with BetMGM’s world-class sports betting and interactive platform uniquely positions us to drive market share and large-scale adoption among sports fans.”
CEO of Roar Digital Adam Greenblatt: “This is an exciting partnership for the BetMGM brand and Roar Digital, helping us reach the widest possible audience of engaged sports fans in the US. The Yahoo! Sports app and digital sports content is enjoyed by 60 million U.S. users every month, while Yahoo! Fantasy Football clocks 9 billion minutes of user time every year. Together, we offer fans a winning combination.”
MGM is already partnered with two major sports leagues in the NBA and NHL. The Commissioners of both leagues (Adam Silver of the NBA and Gary Bettman of the NHL) have already expressed their excitement of the deal.
Silver: “As sports betting continues to transform the industry, this partnership brings together the power of two trusted partners of the NBA. By working together, MGM Resorts and Yahoo Sports will offer fans unprecedented ways to engage with our games.”
Bettman: “The expanding sports betting landscape presents exciting opportunities to increase fan engagement and leverage emerging technologies. MGM Resorts, a valued partner of the NHL, along with Yahoo, a leading media brand, will connect fans to the action on the ice in new and innovative ways.”
What Does This Deal Do For MGM and Yahoo! Sports
This partnership gives BetMGM access to Yahoo! Sports millions of users, possibly sending a large number of sports betting traffic their way. According to eBizMBA, Yahoo! Sports is the most popular sports website in the US. Each month, it attracts 125 million unique visitors while ESPN attracts 80 million. For Yahoo! Sports, they get in bed with one of the biggest names in the gambling industry. BetMGM is currently available in just two states at this time (Nevada and New Jersey) but expansion to more states is in the works.
Yahoo! Sports features very popular daily and season-long fantasy sports options. They do not have their own sportsbook so this deal is their way to get involved in the industry without having to deal with all of the trouble of operating a sportsbook. It will become more clear as this deal unfolds on what exactly we can expect. For now, it seems the biggest advantages for both companies is the ability for BetMGM to gain access to Yahoo! Sports users while Yahoo! Sports gets to dip their toes into the sports betting world. Yahoo! Sports was already providing some sports betting content on their website. Now we can expect that content to skyrocket.
Who Could Make The Next Mega-Deal?
The clock is ticking for major media companies who are looking to partner up with gambling giants. A number of the biggest names in both industries have already formed partnerships:
– FOX and The Stars Group
– ESPN and Caesars
– Bleacher Report and Turner Sports
Big names like NBC and CBS could be one of the next media giants to seek out a sports betting partner. They remain the two biggest names in media not to have announced any sort of major sports betting collaboration. With some of the biggest names in gambling off the shelf, it will be interesting who they would partner up with if they so choose to take that route. As more states continue to legalize sports betting, it will be hard for these two to sit on the sidelines much longer.