Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey Devils’

76ers, Devils Exec doesn’t see Online Poker hurting Sports

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

One of the biggest online poker sponsorship deals in history was signed last week. The New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers came to an agreement with bwin.party, which will see both teams advertise the New Jersey-based Party Poker.

The NBA and NHL don’t have a problem with these deals because they have nothing to do with sports betting. Even still, some American sports purists worry that aligning with an online gaming company will give basketball and hockey a bad reputation. But Scott O’Neil, who’s the chief executive of both the 76ers and Devils, isn’t worried about the deals hampering his teams.

“This doesn’t seem like we’re breaking any taboos,” he said. “I think for us the most important thing is being with a partner that can really engage our fans in a smart way, and someone who understands for those of our fans who do play poker and those that are inclined for gaming whether they come to concerts here or a Sixers’ game or a Devils’ game they will be treated like a royal flush, if you will.”

While sports teams signing online sponsorship deals with gaming companies may be new to the US, it is not, however, anything new for bwin.party. The internet gaming giant has already inked deals with legendary football (soccer) teams like Manchester United and Real Madrid. And so far, these partnerships have went very well.

Even still, bwin.party CEO Norbert Teufelberger realizes that the issue may be a little more sensitive with American sports fans. “We have learned over the many years, with Real Madrid and Manchester and Bayern, and especially here in this country where it’s such a controversial topic, that we’re not just selling toothpaste,” Teufelberger said. “We’re selling a product that can be viewed as very problematic. It has to be engaging, it has to be entertaining, but it shouldn’t be addictive.”

As many online gamblers around the world know, gaming addiction is greatly exaggerated when concerning the masses. Studies have shown that only around 1% of those who gamble are considered “problem gamblers.” So perhaps sports teams aligning with online poker sites will help bring some of the facts to surface.

New Jersey Online Poker brings Pro Sports into the Mix

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Aside from a few scandals (see 1919 Chicago White Sox), there has always been a clear separation between American professional sports teams and gambling. Sure people love to gamble on sports in the United States. But as for a pro sports team aligning itself with a gambling entity, well, that’s usually been a clear no-no over legality/fear issues.

However, the unthinkable has happened after the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils signed a deal with bwin.party digital entertainment. Not surprisingly, these are the first two US sports teams to ink such a deal with an online gambling company.

As many poker players know, bwin.party runs the Party Poker site in the legalized and regulated New Jersey online gaming market. Seeing as how the New Jersey-based Party Poker has nothing to do with sports betting, neither the NBA nor NHL have a problem with this deal. So for the first time ever, we may see US professional sports teams promoting gambling sponsors on their uniforms and/or team merchandise.

As for the New Jersey online poker operation, business has been pretty good so far. Nearly 150,000 accounts have already been created, which is quite impressive when you consider that the Garden State has a population of roughly 8.6 million people.

Most Wall Street analysts believe that New Jersey internet poker will generate between $200 million and $300 million in its first year. This is far below the over-inflated predictions made by Governor Chris Christie, who said that he expected $1 billion in revenue by the summer. But it’s definitely a nice piece of the internet poker pie.

Given that New Jersey now has professional sports teams that’ll be advertising for them, their number of players only figures to boost revenue figures even more.