US casino giant Caesars Entertainment has joined forces with sports television network ESPN on an initiative to bring sports betting news and entertainment content to fans around the world.
Caesars will serve as ESPN's official odds data supplier across television and digital, receiving associated attribution, advertising and sponsorship benefits in return.
The arrangement also includes the opening of a new ESPN-branded studio at the Caesars-owned LINQ Hotel & Casino (pictured) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The studio is expected to open in 2020.
The facility will serve as a hub for odds-related content and contribute to various ESPN linear, digital and social shows, as well as ESPN.com and the ESPN mobile app. This will include producing segments for ESPN’s new ‘Daily Wager’ betting show.
“Millions of sports fans look to ESPN as a sports authority, and Caesars is honoured to have been selected for having the best odds to serve those fans,” Caesar’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Chris Holdren, said.
“When you combine that level of exposure alongside the unique opportunity to build a studio along the famed Las Vegas Strip, this deal is truly unique.”
Mike Morrison, vice president of business development at ESPN, added: “The sports betting landscape has changed, and fans are coming to us for this kind of information more than ever before.
“We are poised to expand our coverage in a big way and working with a category leader like Caesars Entertainment will help us serve these highly engaged, diverse sports fans with the best and most relevant content possible.”
The deal comes hot on the heels of Fox Sports, a subsidiary of US television broadcaster Fox Corporation, partnering with The Stars Group to launch a new sports betting service in the country.
Fox Sports will acquire a 4.99% stake in the PokerStars operator as part of the agreement, paying $236m (£182.8m/€210.5m).
The partnership aims to establish Fox Bet as a national sports media and betting portal in the US, with two separate products scheduled to launch in the Fall.
Last month, Caesars also struck up a partnership with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), focusing on developing technology for the casino gambling and sports betting markets.
Due to open before the end of 2019, Black Fire Innovation will be a 43,000 square foot facility featuring elements of a casino floor and sportsbook, an esports arena and virtual reality facilities.
Image: Jeremy Thompson