The Stars Group on Tuesday, December 11 signed a multi-year partnership agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA). As per the terms of the agreement, the Stars Group is now an authorized gaming operator of the NBA in the United States which means that it will be able to use the league’s logos and symbols as well as official league data across BetStars and other sports betting websites. While the partners will be focusing primarily on the sports betting operations of the Stars Group, its PokerStars operation is also going to be in the mix.
The NBA’s Long Game
The NBA is arguably the most aggressive major sports league in North American when it comes to embracing the new legal betting market in the United States following the May 2018 Supreme Court ruling that effectively lifted the federal ban on sports betting. Initially, the NBA was not for sports betting at all but after considering its inevitability and the perks that could be involved, they switched positions and began asking for an integrity fee which, again, did not go very well with the casino operators. As such, its partnership with various gaming operators seems to be the perfect way of getting a piece of the gambling pie.
As such, its partnership with the NBA is not the first – in August, the pro sports league announced that it has partnered with MGM Resorts International. Fortunately, so many aspects of this particular deal were non-exclusive and this made it possible for the NBA to sign deals with the Stars Group. In addition to this, the league also recently signed an international partnership agreement with Francaise des Jeux (DFJ), a French lottery monopoly – this marks the NBA’s very first European gaming partnership. This is, however, not the only international partnership that the NBA is a part of.
Prior to announcing the partnership agreement with the Stars Group, the NBA also revealed that it had inked a partnership agreement with Supermatch, an Uruguayan operator which operates over 6,000 retail points, online gaming and also happens to the be the sports betting brand of National Directorate of Lotteries and Quinielas (DNLQ), a state-run monopoly.
Brand promotion is a critical element of the partnership between the Stars Group and the NBA. As mentioned earlier, the Stars Group will need to include the NBA’s brand in most, if not all, of its operations. The NBA, on the other hand, will be promoting the Stars Group on the NBA App, NBA.com, NBA TV as well as on social media. This will likely drive traffic to the Stars Group’s operations that include the renowned PokerStars and BetStars.