Monthly Archives: January 2022

National Lacrosse League And BetMGM Extend And Expand Sports Betting Partnership

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced an extension and expansion of its partnership with BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, as an Official Sports Betting partner of the NLL. The two companies have extended their partnership agreement for an additional year, with greater investment and a focus on innovation.

“We are proud and honored to continue our partnership with BetMGM,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “BetMGM has been an incredible partner in helping us build the NLL sports betting platform. This extension shows the value of our partnership and what we both bring to the table for each other, which is what partnering is all about. Our shared like-minded vision will continue to increase the relevance of the league and draw a wider audience of fans, while providing BetMGM access to a new audience of NLL fans on television.”

As part of the agreement, BetMGM and the NLL will work together to provide odds for regular season and post-season NLL games in the 2021-22 season. In addition to receiving exposure through the NLL’s expanded broadcast partnership with ESPN and ESPN+, BetMGM will have significant in-arena presence in NLL venues. BetMGM also will be fully integrated into the league’s social media and digital activities. The partnership will be activated through organic broadcast integrations, redefining the way sports betting is supported through league partnerships.

Matt Prevost, BetMGM’s Chief Revenue Officer, said, “We’re pleased to elevate our partnership with the NLL and look forward to growing the League’s sports betting audience. The NLL’s passionate fan base will appreciate the new and engaging experiences only offered by BetMGM.”

As BetMGM continues to expand its sports betting platforms to new states, responsible gaming education remains a key focus. BetMGM is proud to provide resources to help customers play responsibly. For more information on BetMGM follow @BetMGM on Twitter.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. You can also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

Data Driven Sports/ShotTracker to Provide Data and Advanced Analytics for Big 12 Basketball

Data Driven Sports (DDSports), the parent company of ShotTracker, today announced they have entered into an agreement with ESPN to provide data and analytics for Big 12 Conference basketball games. The multi-year deal gives ESPN the opportunity to integrate ShotTracker data throughout its linear and digital properties to drive fan engagement, enhanced storytelling and broadcast automation. The first stage of the collaboration kicked off last Saturday afternoon with advanced graphics integrated into ESPN’s broadcast of the Kansas vs. Texas Tech men’s basketball game on ESPN2. The video can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFpMRT5C2Jw

ShotTracker is entering its second year of partnership with the Big 12 Conference, which has integrated ShotTracker’s sensor-based technology in its arenas and practice facilities for the men’s and women’s programs, as well as into basketballs and player jerseys. The output of this integration is sub-second X-Y-Z player and ball location data and over 100 real-time stats, including advanced analytics such as lineup efficiency, ball movement stats and screen types with outcomes. ESPN will now have access to the same advanced stats that Big 12 coaching staff utilize on the bench via the ShotTracker team app to optimize their lineups and play calling.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with ESPN to drive what will be unprecedented innovation in sports,” said Davyeon Ross, ShotTracker Co-Founder and President. “Our autonomous, sub-second data has the potential to impact many areas of their business, including not only personalized fan engagement but also broadcast efficiencies and increased content output.”

As part of the new ESPN Edge Innovation Center, ShotTracker is working closely with ESPN to test various new enhancements across ESPN’s fan-facing platforms.

“We are excited to use ShotTracker technology as it provides sports fans with more in-depth stats and analysis for the sports they know and love,” said Kevin Lopes, Senior Director of Content Business Development & Innovation at ESPN.

SGPN Delivers 16-Team College Football Playoff Simulation via Twitch

Sports Gambling Podcast Network (SGPN) answered all the questions about how a College Football Playoff Tournament would look during the holiday period and the initiative has provided a virtual blueprint for decision-makers as they ponder how to maximize the potential of the sport.

The prominent sports prognostication/analysis website, app and podcast platform used an internal committee of experts to select the 16 most deserving teams, seed them and then run the tournament of games using Twitch during the first week of January.   The process was unveiled at www.sportsgamblingpodcast.com with a bracket consisting of 10 conference champions plus six at-large teams generating tantalizing matchups such as Notre Dame (5) vs. BYU (12), intersectional confrontations including Cincinnati (3) and Utah St. (14) and interesting underdog opportunities such as Northern Illinois (16) vs. Alabama (1) and UTSA (15) vs. Michigan.

The full bracket below also includes tasty confrontations such as Pittsburgh (9) vs. Ohio St. (8) and Baylor (7) vs. Mississippi (10) and it is easy to imagine an unprecedented level of excitement and intensity for players, coaches, student bodies and fans for the four-week process.

The Twitch-simulated tournament delivered a championship game of Ohio St. vs. Utah, with Utah emerging victorious as the National Champion, 24-10.  Among the upsets along the way was Northern Illinois over Alabama in the opening round, Baylor over Michigan in the quarterfinals and then Utah into the final against Ohio St., which beat Georgia in the semis.  The entire tournament simulation with both audio and video as part of an SGPN podcast is available here.  The realistic, individual-player graphics in an accelerated time format with big hits, crowd noise, player celebrations and coaching decisions makes for a fun, provocative videogame viewing experience.

The championship game, featuring commentary from SGPN podcast co-hosts Sean Green and Ryan Kramer with SGPN college football expert Colby Dant, takes 45 minutes.

“This is the kind of unpredictability that makes live sports the best viewing experience there is,” said Green, the SGPN CEO who also organized an audience bracket challenge with a $500 cash payout to the winner.  “Sixteen teams brings an NCAA March Madness feel and with football’s dominant popularity the value of such a 15-game property could approach that of the Olympic Games.”

“I was surprised at the way it worked out with some of the tremendous matchups and then upsets along the way,” offered Kramer, who predicted the big game from Stetson Bennett and correctly had Georgia plus the under Monday night enroute to a 24-18 bowl season prognostication record.  “We’re fans and we have this platform to advocate for a 16-team playoff on behalf of our audiences, so we’re using it.”

“Please take note, Mr. Bob Bowsby (Big 12 Commissioner) and you FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) commissioners in charge of the College Football Playoff.  We don’t have to wait until 2026.  We’ve come a long way from the insanely arbitrary and disorganized independent bowl system of the 1990s.  Here’s a blueprint.  Forget about the 12-team option.  Let’s lock you all in a room until a 16-team playoff is ready to go.” 

The only major independent sports wagering media network that places a premium on entertainment value and free user content, SGPN achieved a 30 per cent year-over-year increase in total downloads during the course of 2021, exceeding three million total during the 12 month period.       

SGPN content is most readily available on the SGPN App, available on all devices and downloadable at Apple’s App Stone and Google Play Store or via www.sportsgamblingpodcast.com.   

cover image: Paula R. Lively

FanDuel Group Bringing America’s #1 Sportsbook to New York

oday, FanDuel Group announced its industry-leading Sportsbook is coming to the State of New York. Per the New York State Gaming Commission, launch of FanDuel’s mobile sportsbook app is scheduled for Saturday, January 8. FanDuel’s retail Sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino Resort has been open since 2019.

Launch of the FanDuel Sportsbook in New York comes on the heels of the Buffalo Bills designating FanDuel as its official mobile sports betting partner.

Ahead of launch on Saturday, sports fans can celebrate the arrival of the FanDuel Sportsbook in New York with $100 in site credit when they sign up early for a FanDuel Sportsbook account. For more information, including offer restrictions and terms, head to: https://www.fanduel.com/sportsbook-ny.

FanDuel Sportsbook, America’s #1 Sportsbook, is bringing its best-in-class online sports betting experience to the passionate sports fans of the Empire State who will now be able to place wagers anywhere in the state across professional and college football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, MMA, boxing, boxing, soccer, and tennis with a variety of betting and payment options available. The FanDuel Sportsbook app in New York is simple, secure, and convenient with a number of key features, including:

  • New Way to Parlay: FanDuel is the only U.S. sportsbook with Same Game Parlay Plus, where players can combine Same Game ParlayTM bets from one game with bets from other games.
  • An Innovative Spirit: FanDuel was the first U.S. sportsbook to offer Same Game ParlayTM bets, the first to offer live streaming of sporting events inside a betting app, the first to offer Bad Beat Relief and early payouts for championship teams, and the first to offer its crowdsourced Spread the Love promotion.
  • Absurdly Customer Focused:  FanDuel Sportsbook offers safe and secure banking, lightning-fast payouts, a Cash-Out early feature, and 24/7 customer service.
  • Responsible Gaming: FanDuel is the industry leader in promoting responsible play, including in-app tools that allow customers to set time, deposit, and wager limits, as well as its PlaySafe site where customers can find additional support services.
  • Sports Betting 101: FanDuel Sportsbook has an online betting guide to help customers learn the ins and outs of legal sports betting.

With tomorrow’s launch, New York becomes the thirteenth state in the United States where the FanDuel Sportsbook will be available for iOS and Android, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Sports fans in New York can download the FanDuel Sportsbook app for iOS and Android., or visit https://www.fanduel.com/sportsbook-ny. For more on the FanDuel Sportsbook and sports betting content, follow @FDSportsbook on Twitter.

Cover Image: All-Pro Reels

Professional Bull Riders Return to Madison Square Garden

For the 15th time in history, PBR (Professional Bull Riders) will buck into “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” as the toughest sport on dirt holds one of the initial events of the 2022 season for the elite PBR Unleash The Beast, invading the Big Apple on Jan. 7-8 for the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden, presented by Ariat. For two nights only, 40 of the best riders in the world will square off against the rankest bucking bulls in the nation, the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast, seeking to be crowned the event champion and earn crucial points towards the world standings.

The New York City event will also be one of three Majors this season, giving riders the chance to earn increased world points, and their share of the augmented event purse.

After a one-year hiatus from travelling to Madison Square Garden, the PBR will storm back into Manhattan on the spurs of an unforgettable 2021 season. En route to being crowned the 2021 PBR World Champion, Jose Vitor Leme rewrote nearly every major PBR record, including twice obliterating the all-time high-marked ride record aboard Woopaa, the very bull who propelled him to the 2020 title. In late July in Tulsa, Leme and Woopa first teamed for a monstrous 97.75-point score, breaking the previous 96.5-point record. On the final out of the season at the 2021 PBR World Finals, Leme was marked an unprecedented 98.75 points on Woopaa, including the first-ever perfect 50-point rider score. He became just the seventh multi-time PBR World Champion, and second back-to-back PBR World Champion. During Leme’s historic campaign, he also set new records for most round wins in a season (21) and most 90-point rides in a season (24). Throughout 2021, Leme went a torrid 49-for-71, covering 69.01% of his animal athlete opponents, including a 12-out ride streak to end the season. While Leme continues to battle a nagging abdominal and groin injury, should he return in time for the New York City event, he would be contending for a new honor — Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden event champion.

NLL UNITES Week 6 Leaguewide Initiative

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, announced that each of its 12 teams playing in week 6 will wear a specially designed orange “Every Child Matters” warm up shirts during the weekend of January 6-8th. Part of the recently launched NLL Unites, the league continues its Community and Social Responsibility programs throughout the 2021-22 season.

NLL Unites launched in Fall 2021, as the league’s first-ever leaguewide Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. The NLL Unites logo pays homage to the sport’s indigenous roots. The design depicts two early forms of the lacrosse stick, positioned in such a way as to form a heart that sits aside “NLL Unites”. The sole purpose of the icon logo is to pay respects to all who have grown the game, continue to grow the game, and that will grow the game, no matter their background.

Starting week 1 in Halifax, when the Thunderbirds wore custom Every Child Matters orange game jerseys, NLL players have been wearing the leftward-facing palm print and feathers design logo as a helmet decal throughout the season. During the Sports Interaction Game of the Week on TSN there will be a halftime feature on the Residential Schools.

The Every Child Matters logo was created by Dave Sowden, Equipment Manager, and Charlie Ragusa, Director of Digital Media. It pays tribute to those who attended Indigenous Residential Schools, as well as the children who are being discovered at the various residential schools across Canada and boarding schools throughout the US who didn’t make it home as well. “This is a perfect time for a professional sport, particularly the National Lacrosse League to spread awareness and foster Truth and Reconciliation across our country,” said Dave Sowden from the Halifax Thunderbirds’ and teacher on the Six Nations Reserve (Oliver M. Smith Kaweniio Elementary). “If not for the resiliency of First Nations people across Canada and the United States, we may not be enjoying the fact that we can take part in the medicine game -spectators, players, coaches, and everyone else who helps to bring a game together.”

  • Handprint – represents the uniqueness of every individual
  • Orange – comes from the story of a survivor who obtained an orange shirt in hopes of wearing it while attending a residential school. She soon learned that she was to dress like everyone else and expected to wear the provided clothing
  • Feathers – represent indigenous culture

Fans will also be able to purchase cotton versions of the shirt through the league’s online stores NLLShop.com and Fanatics.ca. For every shirt sold, the NLL will make a donation to Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund in Canada and The National Native American Board School Healing Coalition in the United States.

Select NLL team arenas (Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany) and merchandise locations will also have the commemorative shirts available for sale.

“This presents an opportunity for the NLL, its teams and its players to unify and show our commitment to educating our fans about their shared commitment to recognizing the history of residential and boarding schools, and supporting Indigenous causes,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “We are proud to include this program in NLL Unites as another initiative in our continued education of the Indigenous culture and of the people who created the great game of lacrosse.”

“The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is thrilled that the National Lacrosse League is demonstrating their support of Indigenous Peoples and reconciliation not only with a donation but through their visibility,” said Kayleigh Jordan-MacGregor, Development Associate, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. “By wearing orange warmup shirts, they help amplify the voices of Survivors of residential schools and draw attention to this important piece of our history.”

“The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition is grateful for the partnership of the National Lacrosse League in raising awareness of the residential schools that targeted Indigenous children in Canada and the United States. We are honored to receive the support of the NLL and the lacrosse community as we continue to pursue truth, justice, and healing from the harmful impacts of these schools,” added Deborah Parker, Director of Policy and Advocacy for NABS.

The NLL Week 6 schedule is as follows (all times ET):

Friday, January 7
Colorado at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 8
Georgia at Philadelphia, 12 p.m.
Calgary at Rochester, 7 p.m.
Saskatchewan at Albany, 7 p.m.
Toronto at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Panther City at San Diego, 10 p.m.