Monthly Archives: February 2022

Buffalo Sabres Name FanDuel Group An Official Sports Betting Partner

Today, the Buffalo Sabres and FanDuel Group announced a multi-year partnership, designating FanDuel as an official sports betting partner of the Buffalo Sabres and giving FanDuel the exclusive rights to include branding, sports betting odds, and promotions during Sabres broadcasts.

As part of the partnership, FanDuel will receive end-to-end broadcast integration exclusivity in all phases of Sabres broadcasts, including pregame, in-game, intermissions, and postgame. Sabres broadcasts will include FanDuel in sports betting segments during the pregame show and after the first and second-period intermissions. At the same time, real-time betting odds from the FanDuel Sportsbook will be integrated throughout the broadcast.

FanDuel will also have the right to use official Sabres marks and logos in marketing and in-arena signage for all Sabres home games as part of the partnership.

“On the heels of bringing America’s #1 Sportsbook to the great state of New York, we’re excited to partner with the Sabres to infuse sports betting content into the hockey viewing experience,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group. “This is just the beginning for New York sports fans, and partnering with a fellow leader in the sports and entertainment industry lets us collaborate to take things to the next level.”

“We’re proud to expand our relationship with FanDuel and extend its engaging content to Sabres fans,” said Dan Misko, Pegula Sports & Entertainment Sr., Vice President of Business Development. “FanDuel has built a strong reputation as a premier sports betting destination for sports fans, and we’re very excited for all that this partnership will offer our valued fans throughout the state of New York. We look forward to working with FanDuel for many years to come.”

To celebrate the partnership, FanDuel is running a unique promotion, “Sabres Correct Score Bonus,” for the Buffalo Sabres games on February 23 and February 25 this week. To participate in the promotion, FanDuel Sportsbook customers can place a pre-live, straight “correct score” wager of $25 or more and get a $5 bonus in FanDuel Sportsbook site credit for each goal the winning team scores in the game (up to a max bonus of $25 per game) regardless of if your bet wins or loses.

Sabres fans and New Yorkers new to FanDuel can also sign-up for FanDuel Sportsbook and get their first bet risk-free up to $1,000. FanDuel will refund in site credit the amount of a new customer’s first wager, up to $1,000.

cover image: credit Doug Kerr

NLL Announces the Departure of Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz After Six Transformational Seasons

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced that Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz has decided to leave his current position to pursue other interests but will continue to advise the league until June 30, 2022. The league has also announced that Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman will assume the Commissioner duties. The league will announce the selection process for a new Commissioner in the near future.

The NLL has enjoyed unprecedented growth, financial success, new media partnerships, and expansion during Sakiewicz’s term as Commissioner, which began January 1, 2016.

“The National Lacrosse League has seen transformative change and is poised for both future growth and success, thanks to Nick’s leadership during the past six years,” said Matt Hutchings, COO and EVP at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Colorado Mammoth, speaking as Chairman of the NLL Board of Governors. “On behalf of the NLL Board of Governors, we thank him and the league staff, for all they have done to put the NLL in this position and look forward to seeing what he does next.”

Hutchings continued, “We understood the importance of having a strong team to carry on when the organization’s success provides opportunities for its leaders. Therefore, several years ago, we very intentionally empowered Nick to strengthen our management team with the Deputy Commissioner position. Jessica Berman has done a wonderful job in her short time in this role, and the league is in great hands with her and our experienced management team supporting her efforts.”

“I have enjoyed my time leading the NLL, and want to thank the lacrosse community, NLL’s amazing fans, players, our board, owners, partners, and, league staff for the support that has led us to the point where we are now, poised for greatness in the years ahead,” Sakiewicz said. “Through thoughtful and strategic business planning the league expanded with the right investors, embracing the digitally native fan and expanding our media reach now with both ESPN and TSN for the first time in league history, the NLL and the sport of lacrosse on every level, is in a much better place with a brighter future than ever before.”

“My decision to leave now is a personal one,” he added. “The goals I had set out when I came to the NLL from soccer have been met, and it is time for me to pursue a new, exciting and different global opportunity as my next challenge.”

Under Sakiewicz’s watch, the NLL has experienced unprecedented growth, expanding from nine to 15 teams. Under his leadership, the League also secured the two largest media rights deals in the history of the league, first partnering with B/R Live, Turner’s live streaming service, for all games to be streamed on the platform starting with the 2018–2019 season. The league then expanded its media platform even wider, partnering with ESPN in the United States and beyond North America and TSN in Canada, in a multiyear deal which began in December 2021. He and his leadership team also led the league through the pandemic and the league stoppage of play, a time when the NLL expanded by two teams, adding the first ever professional team in Fort Worth, Texas and bringing the NLL to Las Vegas (for the 2022-23 season), and drastically increased its social media presence and engagement with a smart, creative and innovative content strategy. A host of new non-endemic brand partners have also come on board during Sakiewicz’s tenure.

Additionally, Nick led a major rebrand of both the league’s narrative and NLL shield logo, putting more focus on the sport’s Indigenous roots, NLL history and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Franchise values have grown at 11 times under Sakiewicz from when San Diego entered the league in the 2018 season to the recent sale of the Saskatchewan Rush at a record price. The league experienced an over 700% increase in revenue growth over the last five seasons (2017-2021), the biggest in its 36-year history for any time period.

Prior to the NLL, Sakiewicz was a founder, operating partner and CEO of the Philadelphia Union and was a two-time Major League Soccer Executive of the Year. He helped launch the league as its first Vice President of Sponsorship Sales and went on to serve as the president and general manager of two inaugural teams, the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. He also led the efforts to build two soccer-specific stadiums, the first in New York/New Jersey, which led to the acquisition of the team by Red Bull and construction of the stadium and the second in Philadelphia paving the way for Major League Soccer’s 16th franchise the Philadelphia Union.

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cover image: Nick Sakiewicz, courtesy NLL

Robinson Memorabilia Headlines Heritage Auctions Black History Month Collection

The tale of Jackie Robinson’s first meeting with Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey, on Aug. 28, 1945, has been recounted and reshaped so many times it long ago slipped from memory to mythology. Each retelling, in print and on film, is a little different; each detail, slightly tweaked. Yet there is no changing the outcome: Robinson’s ascension from Negro Leaguer to the first Black ballplayer in the minors and majors.

There is little dispute, too, that Robinson asked Rickey if he wanted a man who was afraid to fight back against fans, opponents, umpires, newspapermen and even teammates who would deny him and degrade him. There is no arguing, either, that Rickey told his recruit he wanted a man with guts enough not to.

“It is testament to Rickey’s sophistication and foresight that he chose a ballplayer who would become a symbol of strength rather than assimilation,” Jonathan Eig wrote in 2008’s bestseller Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. “It is testament to Robinson’s intelligence and ambition that he recognized the importance of turning the other cheek and yet found a way to do it without appearing the least bit weak.”

So the story goes, told in each man’s autobiographies and interpreted by others forever after: Branch Rickey asked Jack Roosevelt Robinson if he could turn the other cheek, for as long as it took. “Mr. Rickey,” Jackie said, “I’ve got to do it.”

Here, in black and white, is how certain Robinson was: At the end of March 1946, one month before his debut as one of the Dodgers’ minor-league Montreal Royals, Jackie filled out a standard questionnaire provided by the American Baseball Bureau. Robinson was asked about his “ambition in baseball.” In the space provided, he wrote: “To open door for Negroes in Organized Ball.”

That questionnaire, which also notes Robinson’s year with the Kansas City Monarchs and credits Rickey as the person to whom he owes “the most” in his baseball career, has been oft-cited in Robinson lore. It appears in Eig’s book and others, and was mentioned repeatedly as a highlight of the legendary Barry Halper Collection auction in 1999 — the first and last time the document was publicly available.

Almost a quarter century later, Robinson’s 1946 questionnaire returns as one of the centerpieces in Heritage Auctions’ Feb. 26-27 Winter Platinum Night Sports Auction. The framed document, which bears a sticker from its 1999 Sotheby’s sale, has been authenticated in recent years by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) and Beckett Authentication Services.

The document is one piece of an extraordinary assemblage of nearly 50 historic Robinson- and Brooklyn Dodgers-related items being offered in the February event. They all come from a single collector, a New York native who spent years amassing these historic moments, beginning at the Halper sale.

“Jackie Robinson has always been a foundational figure in our field, but I think the appreciation for him and his associated memorabilia has grown exponentially over the last five to 10 years,” says Heritage Sports Vice President Dan Imler. “People have really woken up to his historical impact, and the interest in his elite material has accelerated at a greater rate than for any other figure. The timing of these items coming to auction only adds to the excitement, because there’s such a feverish demand for critically important Jackie Robinson items right now.”

And that questionnaire is at the top of that list, as it serves in some ways as “his manifesto,” as Imler calls it.

“It’s the only item where he’s making a declaration, in his own hand, of his desire to break the color barrier in baseball,” he says. “We’ve seen other questionnaires like this, because from the 1930s through the ’70s it was a standard document with all players entering the major leagues, but most often what you see is very general content. When players are talking about goals and aspirations, it’s usually related to an achievement within the sport: to win a championship, to set a record — something along those lines.

“Jackie’s questionnaire, on the other hand, clearly shows a much bigger objective.”

The auction features all one would want from a Robinson and Dodgers event: a signed baseball from Robinson, Gil Hodges’ signed 1951 contract, beautiful-condition cards, including this 1948 Leaf Robinson rookie card graded PSA NM-MT 8. Here, as well, is something of a companion piece to the questionnaire: a 1946 Heilbroner Baseball Bureau Information card filled out and signed by Robinson before his debut as a Royal.

This auction likewise features something seldom seen at auction: a ticket stub from Ebbets Field dated April 15, 1947 — the day Robinson made his big-league debut against the Boston Braves, just five days after signing his Dodgers contract. He went hitless that day in front of 26,623 fans, but scored the go-ahead run after reaching base on an error. But no mere box score can hold the weight of that April afternoon in Brooklyn.

“There are defining moments in the life of a nation when a single individual can shape events for generations to come,” President Bill Clinton once said of Robinson’s big-league bow. “For America, the spring of 1947 was such a moment, and Jackie Robinson was the man who made the difference.”

There exist but a handful of these stubs, says PSA, and only two graded “good.” But it almost doesn’t matter the condition of the ticket stub, as this is a significant moment plucked from history that has survived 75 years.

“The bearer of that ticket saw something extraordinary: Jackie Robinson’s professional debut, one of the most important moments in the history of sports — arguably the most important,” Imler says. “That ticket stub, which is so scarce, really puts you in the moment.”

Incidentally, this auction also features another astonishingly rare ticket stub from Ebbets Field — this one dated April 9, 1913, which marked the first opening day at the ballpark, then home of the Brooklyn Superbas. Though not from the same consignor’s collection, this is the sole known surviving stub from that historic day, a true one-of-one.


RFK Racing has announced it will team with CELSIUS energy drink to help keep its team fit, active and hydrated as it prepares for the upcoming NASCAR season. The lifestyle brand will serve as an associate partner for the No. 6 race team, which launches into what promises to be one of the most exciting seasons in the team’s history.

Brad Keselowski joins the team as part owner and driver of the No. 6 Ford Mustang, as the sport ushers into the Next Gen Era of the sport. In addition to helping the team on its quest of a healthy lifestyle and maximum performance, the CELSIUS brand will be featured on Keselowski’s No. 6 Ford Mustang and driver firesuit.

CELSIUS prides itself on containing no sugar, no aspartame, no high fructose corn syrup, and no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. CELSIUS is certified gluten free, kosher, and non-GMO.

“We are extremely excited to partner with RFK Racing and help keep Brad and the team fueled heading around the track,” said John Fieldly, CEO of CELSIUS. “We are all about creating authentic partnerships and knowing first-hand how much Brad loves drinking CELSIUS makes this a no-brainer.”

RFK launches off into the new season this week at Daytona Speedweeks. The running of the Daytona 500 will take place Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM). N.Y. Handles A Quarter Of All U.S. Super Bowl Action

After New York set numerous national records in its first month of mobile sports betting, the Empire State faced lofty expectations for last weekend’s Super Bowl, the marquee event on the annual U.S. sports calendar.

In the wake of Super Bowl LVI, the first Super Bowl ever for New York mobile sportsbooks, there are indications that the state may have shattered those expectations. Vancouver-based geolocation security firm GeoComply identified 80.1 million Super Bowl-related transactions among U.S. sportsbook clients, well over double the amount from last year’s Super Bowl. In total, New York activity represented about one-quarter of the company’s U.S. sports betting traffic, ranking first in the market, GeoComply Managing Director of Gaming Lindsay Slader told Sports Handle.

At the same time, about 5.6 million accounts accessed legal online sportsbooks on Super Bowl weekend, a 95% increase from the previous year, according to GeoComply. New York also ranked first in that category, representing around 20% of nationwide accounts identified by GeoComply.

The figures likely would have been higher had the Buffalo Bills ended a two-decade-plus Super Bowl drought. The Bills, one of the top favorites to reach the Super Bowl, suffered a crushing overtime defeat to the Chiefs in the AFC divisional round, a game in which they took the lead with 13 seconds left in regulation. On Monday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul disclosed that New York handled nearly $2 billion in online sports wagers over the market’s first 30 days of operations.

Will New York top $200M in Super Bowl handle?

When the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) issued conditional licenses to nine mobile sportsbooks last November, New York state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. pressed the commission to roll out online sports wagering before the Super Bowl. Addabbo, chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, lauded the NYSGC for the expedited rollout in launching online sports wagering before the start of the playoffs.

“I always knew New York had this kind of potential, being one of the sports meccas and capitals of the world,” Addabbo told the Gamble On podcast on Wednesday. “But I’m quite surprised sometimes at some of these numbers.”

At present, seven of the nine licensed mobile sportsbooks are live in New York, led by industry heavyweights FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, and DraftKings. BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt told the Financial Times on Monday that BetMGM took more digital bets in New York than in any other state in which it operates.

Ahead of the Super Bowl, the American Gaming Association predicted that a record 31 million Americans were expected to bet on the event, resulting in a handle of about $7.6 billion. It is important to note that the estimates also included projected betting on the unregulated black market, consisting of offshore sportsbooks and wagers placed with illegal U.S. bookmakers.

The NYSGC indicated on Monday that it will not report a separate breakout for Super Bowl wagering activity. The commission, rather, will include Super Bowl-related betting activity in Friday’s weekly mobile sports betting report.

Nevertheless, there appears to be a strong likelihood that New York reached $200 million in Super Bowl handle, even by conservative estimates. On Tuesday, neighboring New Jersey reported a Super Bowl handle of $143.7 million, second only to Nevada’s $179.8 million on the event. New York’s population is more than double that of New Jersey.

Turning back to GeoComply’s data, there are further indications that New York may eclipse the $200 million threshold. If New Yorkers averaged $12.50 per bet on 20 million wagers placed, the handle would approach an astounding $250 million. According to GeoComply’s figures, about 20.02 million transactions were identified in New York.

The average wager at DraftKings’ Illinois sportsbook in December came in at $47.80 (on a sample size of six million wagers). The Illinois metrics are gleaned from a mix of pro and college football on the month. Over the first 30 days of online sports wagering in New York, the sportsbooks handled more than $600 million on football, the NYSGC disclosed. The handle includes last month’s College Football Playoff national championship, contested on the third day of mobile sportsbook operations in the Empire State.

Next up: March Madness

Following the Super Bowl, the sports betting industry enters a relatively quiet period before the start of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament on March 15. The KeyBank Center in Buffalo will serve as one of eight regional sites for the first and second rounds of the tournament, more commonly known as March Madness.

By then, it’s possible one of the two remaining holdouts, Bally Bet and Resorts World, will have made its New York debut.

Addabbo, who pushed for an open market with more than a dozen mobile skins in New York, is impressed with the early returns considering that the state only has seven online sportsbooks.

“I’m amazed at those numbers, given the circumstances,” Addabbo added.

FanDuel and Boardroom Ink Exclusive Content Partnership

Today, FanDuel and Boardroom, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s leading sports business media network, announced an exclusive, content-focused partnership across web, video, audio, editorial, and social media. The deal designates FanDuel the exclusive sports betting, fantasy, horse racing, gaming, casino, and poker partner of Boardroom. FanDuel Sportsbook will also become the exclusive odds provider of Boardroom.

As part of the deal, Boardroom and FanDuel will collaborate on a co-created show later this year featured on FanDuel and Boardroom channels, and FanDuel will sponsor other select content on the platform. Boardroom will dedicate a weekly section of the “Boardroom Breakers” newsletter to FanDuel’s latest odds, data, content, and promotions. Boardroom’s editorial team will also contribute monthly articles to FanDuel’s content site, The Duel (

In addition, Boardroom and FanDuel will collaborate on social media giveaways and other initiatives around tentpole sporting events, as well as new offerings such as odds boosts and fantasy contests.

“Content creation has always been a focal point for us as we bring our other premier real money gaming products to customers across the U.S.,” said Mike Raffensperger, Chief Marketing Officer, FanDuel Group. “We’re excited to collaborate with the talented team over at Boardroom to bring our customers unique content, events, and more.”

“The business of sports betting will continue to be a major force in the future of sports and being able to partner with FanDuel as the premier brand in the space is really exciting for Boardroom as we continue to build our business. We’re looking forward to making some incredible content and extending this partnership well into the future,” said Rich Kleiman, Boardroom and Thirty Five Ventures Co-CEO.         

For more information about Boardroom, head to

Entain Foundation U.S. Supports Launch of NBA Legend Charles Oakley’s ‘Oak Out Hunger’ Project

Former NBA All-Star Charles Oakley’s “Oak Out Hunger” community project, sponsored by the Entain Foundation U.S., the North American focused not-for-profit charitable trust of Entain, launched in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday.

The project, launched by the Charles Oakley Foundation, provides education in responsible gambling with other forms of support to impoverished, underprivileged communities facing hunger, addiction, and economic challenges in cities across the U.S.

The Entain Foundation U.S. sponsorship provides funding and expertise in preventing and mitigating problem gambling to the Oak Out Hunger community project. It means that, for the first time, education in responsible gambling sits alongside other valuable and worthwhile community services provided by the Charles Oakley Foundation, including anti-addiction and education programs.

“I want to improve the abysmal quality of life of the many struggling people across the United States,” Charles Oakley said. “Every time I go outside, I see people struggling with poverty and hunger, who often use their little remaining money to fund their addictions. This Oak Out Hunger project is dedicated to giving back to people who are trying to get through life. I want to help them break the cycle of addiction and give them a chance – and a good meal.”

The project will further promote Gamble Responsibly America (GRA), a mobile app that educates users on safe gambling habits, and  Wager Score, a platform that rewards responsible gamblers by converting 1% of every dollar bet into charitable tax deductible donations for social causes. GRA was launched by Entain Foundation U.S., EPIC Risk Management and RG24/7 in June 2021, while Wager Score is a collaboration between, BetMGM and Entain.

“While responsible gambling programs are essential for the public, they are especially important to underserved and disadvantaged groups,” said Martin Lycka, Entain’s Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling, and a Trustee of the Entain Foundation U.S. “The Oak Out Hunger project is truly unique in its dual approach of providing community services and responsible gambling education, and we are proud to partner with the Oakley Foundation to help reach those in need. As sports betting takes off across many U.S. states, we’re committed to doing all we can to ensure that people only bet safely and within their means.”

In the coming weeks and months, the Oak Out Hunger project will extend to colleges and sporting events throughout the country. Their February schedule is listed below:

·       Feb. 16 – 20, NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland

·       Feb. 21, Illinois

·       Feb. 22, Indiana University

·       Feb. 23, Ohio State University

·       Feb. 24, Michigan State and Feb. 25, University of Michigan

·       Feb. 27, Penn State

·       Feb. 28, University of Maryland

Hellmuth Among ‘SuperHole III’ Competitors Friday

The American Cornhole League (ACL) is thrilled to announce the return of “SuperHole.” What started out as an annual ACL Pro/Celebrity event played the Friday before the Big Game, has evolved into a multi-event cornhole “SuperHole” series that will consist of 6 different prelims. The series will culminate with the SuperHole III Championship that will be hosted alongside the ACL World Championships this August from the ACL Headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

The first prelim of 2022 will be held live from Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay on ESPN this Friday, Feb. 11 from 6:30-8pm (PT) and features poker icon Phil Hellmuth, CBS’ S.W.A.T star David Lim, Pawn Stars’ favorite Austin “Chumlee” Russell and former NFL Running Back Terry Kirby, all of whom will be paired with an ACL Pro to battle it out for a chance to compete in the championship. The two previous SuperHole events have featured well known football stars Doug Flutie, Sam Darnold, Daniel Jones, Rashad Jennings, Mac Jones and Devonta Smith.

The 6 prelims that the ACL will host will determine the finalists for the championship, which will feature a total of 8 celebrity / ACL pro doubles teams. The celebrities will also be able to donate a share of $100,000 to their charity of choice based on where they finish at the championship. At last year’s SuperHole II Doug Flutie, alongside his ACL Pro partner Matt Guy, took home the title and will be invited to return  to compete as the defending champion at the SuperHole III Championship. In addition, ESPN’s Marty Smith and ACL Pro Ryan Smith will receive invitations as defending celebrity team champions at last year’s ACL World Championships. 

The American Cornhole League is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS / CBS Sports, as well as a television deal with NBC Sports through USA Cornhole. The league has over 150,000 players worldwide and counting. The ACL’s strong sponsor support includes  Johnsonville along with Bush’s, Bacardi, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Discount Tire and, amongst others. 

“SuperHole just keeps growing in popularity with our fans, and that’s why this year we decided to change things up and give them even more SuperHole with a tournament that runs throughout the year,” said Stacey Moore, Founder of American Cornhole League. “This year will feature more action, more celebrities, and more competition as all the participants vie to be crowned champions.” 

“I’m looking to go all the way here and take home the title of SuperHole III champion,” added Phil Hellmuth. “I think the trophy will look pretty nice next to my 16 WSOP bracelets.” 

“People might not realize this about me, but I’m a huge cornhole fan – the opportunity to compete alongside ACL pros for a title isn’t something I’m taking lightly,” declared CBS’ S.W.A.T. star David Lim. “Plus, this will give me bragging rights over Shemar Moore – my co-star is so into cornhole that he transformed his backyard into a court.” 

“I might not be able to take Phil down at the poker table (yet), but I think I’ve got a good shot on the cornhole boards,” remarked Pawn Stars’ star Austin “Chumlee” Russell. “If I take home the trophy don’t bet on seeing it at the pawn shop any time soon!”

“I played in the NFL for 10 years so I know exactly what it takes to win. It’s about strategy, patience and pulling out a trick play now and then” added former NFL running back Terry Kirby. “These guys have no clue what they are up against!”

The American Cornhole League hosts competition and tournaments across the amateur, collegiate, and pro ranks with thousands of players taking part every year. For additional information on how to participate visit

cover image: Phil Hellmuth (credit WPT)

MSG Networks Announces Launch of ‘Bet-A-Palooza,’ Week-Long Lineup of Sports Betting Programming

MSG Networks today announced the launch of ‘Bet-A-Palooza, presented by DraftKings,’ a week-long lineup of sports betting programming that kicked-off on Monday, February 7th and will continue through Sunday, February 13th, leading into the Super Bowl. The coverage will feature a mix of talent from each of the network’s sports betting shows – “The Bettor Half *Hour,” “The Betting Exchange” and “Odds with Ends”.

Each night, Alex Monaco, Katie Mox, Jeff Johnson and former Jets safety Erik Coleman will host live betting shows that dive into the latest Super Bowl trends, game odds, prop bets and recent action from around the NBA. Former Giants teammates and Super Bowl Champions Mathias Kiwanuka and David Tyree and sports betting experts Minty Bets, Alex Glaze and Sean Little will make appearances throughout the week as well. The shows will air on MSG Network at 7:30pm ET on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with Thursday’s show airing at 8:30pm ET.

As part of the ‘Bet-A-Palooza’ lineup, MSG Networks will also debut a sports betting-focused simulcast of two upcoming Knicks games this week (Knicks/Warriors at 10:00pm ET on Thursday, February 10th and Knicks/Portland at 5:00pm ET on Saturday, February 12th). The alternative broadcasts will air on MSG+, serving as a companion to the traditional Knicks telecast on MSG Network. The simulcasts will include MSG Networks’ sports betting talent and other special guests.

To cap off the week, Kiwanuka, Tyree, Coleman and Little will host a Super Bowl pregame show at 8:00pm ET on Saturday, February 12th, where they will give their top picks and break down the latest betting storylines around the game.

All programming will also be available on MSG GO, the network’s live streaming and video on demand platform. Following this week, MSG Networks will continue to air “The Bettor Half *Hour” and “The Betting Exchange” every Monday through Thursday, airing at 5:00pm ET and 5:30pm ET respectively.

Panther City Lacrosse Club Announces Landmark Sports Gaming Partnership with PlayUp

The Panther City Lacrosse Club announced today a ground-breaking agreement with PlayUp, a next generation entertainment and technology group.

The agreement sees PlayUp become Panther City’s first sports gaming partner. The relationship also designates PlayUp as a founding partner, fantasy sports partner, and e-sports partner, in a deal that is believed the be the largest team sponsorship arrangement in NLL history.

The agreement also includes a market access element. Should sports betting become legalized in Texas in the future, the partnership could potentially lead to market access for PlayUp in what would be one of the most lucrative markets throughout the U.S. The market access would be subject to Panther City Lacrosse Club receiving a sports betting license and pending requisite regulatory approvals.

“We are thrilled to welcome PlayUp as a partner of Panther City Lacrosse Club,” Panther City Lacrosse Club President, CEO & Managing Partner Greg Bibb said. “We look forward to introducing our fans to the PlayUp brand and we are proud to wear the PlayUp name on our game jersey.” 

The partnership represents PlayUp’s first Texas based sponsorship and will include the following promotional elements to increase brand awareness to Texan sports fans:  

  • Prominent logo placement on the Panther City jersey 
  • Branding opportunities on the media banner backdrop, team website and commercial opportunities during locally broadcasted games 
  • VIP hospitality to further enhance PlayUp’s unparalleled customer service offering 
  • In stadium branding including a main entrance brand station, on-field logos and board signage at regular season and post season home games 

PlayUp USA Chairman Dennis Drazin said the partnership would play a critical role in growing PlayUp’s brand given the large population and love of sport within Texas. 
“Texas is an evolving state in terms of sports betting and should legalisation occur, we want to ensure we are positioned to maximize that opportunity. We are excited by this partnership with Panther City as it gives PlayUp a great opportunity to grow our brand and connect directly with fans throughout the state,” said Drazin.  

National Lacrosse League Chooses Flowics Graphics for Cloud-Based, Broadcast Graphics Workflow

Flowics, creator of the most comprehensive cloud-based platform for powering remote and in-studio production of live graphics and interactive content, announced today that the National Lacrosse League (NLL) is using Flowics Graphics as the primary graphics engine in the United States for the 2021-22 season. With Flowics Graphics, NLL has an all-in-one solution that provides broadcast quality graphics, live data integration, and fan engagement features in a single platform that simplifies its workflow and reduces costs.

On the heels of its landmark media rights deals with ESPN, ESPN+, and Canada’s TSN for both linear and streaming distribution, the NLL decided to implement a remote production workflow for the majority of its game productions. That workflow hinges on a combination of IP-transmission and cloud-based production platforms. Flowics Graphics play a central role in this new workflow, serving as the main graphics engine powering the live game broadcasts, including scorebug, game stats and insert graphics.

“Flowics is a game changer in the creation and delivery of broadcast quality graphics,” said Joel Feld, EVP Broadcast and Content, NLL. “The league’s broadcast operations team continues to add innovative, best-in-class technology partners to our productions and presentations that offer viewers the most tech-forward and fan-first experience.”

NLL’s Flowics Graphics implementation includes native data connectors integrating the Sportzcast live scoreboard API and the official NLL stats provider API to deliver live scoreboard and stats into the broadcasts. Flowics’ data connector architecture enables the NLL to create the game scorebug running fully on the cloud, taking live scoreboard data via Sportzcast devices installed at each venue. The Flowics data connector also directly integrates with the NLL stats database, including live in-game data. This automates the creation and operation of nearly all graphics with season stats (player and team), match stats, standings, etc.

Flowics Graphics also is helping the NLL to reduce production costs. Flowics’ cloud-based platform provides an economical, robust, and stable feature set to handle remote production, allowing the NLL to reduce travel and capital expenses. The combination of IP-based transmission and cloud-based production tools are reshaping traditional broadcast production workflows.  The location of the production team is no longer the main driver of production.

The NLL’s remote production workflow, made possible by Flowics Graphics, simplifies local operation with minimal hardware and no OB trucks needed on-site. The league also benefits from having decentralized access to Flowics’, cloud-based graphics package in HTML5 that can be easily shared with the teams and the different production companies that work with the NLL.

In terms of revenue generation, Flowics Graphics gives the NLL opportunities for increased ad inventory thanks to the platform’s fan engagement features.

“Together with the NLL, we are putting new production workflows to test, and they are working beyond expectation. We’re proving that there are flexible, agile, and more affordable ways to produce live sports that work as well or better than the traditional production hardware workflows. This is probably one of the most sophisticated implementations of Flowics Graphics to date, and we are gratified that the NLL is pleased with the results,” said Flowics CEO Gabriel Baños. “This is a big step forward for Flowics, as we closed our first long-term partnership with a professional sports league in the U.S. market. It’s confirmation that the industry is moving quickly toward adopting more cloud-based workflows, and Flowics is dedicated to playing a leading role in that transformation.”

SportsHandle: California, Ohio Wagering Could Have Reached $400M for Super Bowl

Bettors in California and Ohio potentially could have wagered as much as $400 million on Super Bowl LVI Sunday were sports betting live in either state, according to an in-depth report issued today by, a leading news source of information on sports betting legalization in the U.S.

If bettors had the opportunity to wager on this year’s Super Bowl, featuring the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Sports Handle projects that handle in California could have reached $300 million with gross gaming revenue reaching $21 million, and the state potentially taking in $2.1 million in tax revenue on a single event.

In Ohio, where fans will watch the Bengals make their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989, handle could have reached up to $100 million, with gross gaming revenue of up to $7 million, and tax revenue of up to $700,000. Both sets of gross gaming revenue projections come from using the industry-standard 7% win rate or “hold” that operators claim in wins against bettors from handle wagered.

The Sports Handle research and subsequent article were compiled by managing editor and sports betting legislation expert Jill R. Dorson and by legislative analyst and wagering revenue researcher Chris Altruda. The research and analysis assume that operators in both states were offering live, legal digital wagering with remote registration for at least one full NFL season ahead of the Super Bowl, that a minimum of 10 digital platforms would be live, that the game would be competitive into the fourth quarter, and that all wagering platforms and the live broadcast would not have any major technical glitches. The tax revenue projections are based on a 10% tax rate, which will go into effect in Ohio when wagering goes live, and is also the proposed tax rate put forth by a group of seven sports betting operators working to qualify an initiative for the November 2022 ballot in California.

The article entitled “What If California and Ohio Had Legal, Live Sports Wagering For Super Bowl LVI?” can be accessed here:

In December, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine legalized sports betting when he signed HB 29 into law. State regulators are currently crafting rules, and the law calls for betting to go live no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

In California, a tribal retail-only sports betting initiative has already qualified for the November 2022 ballot. There could potentially be three others, but the most likely is a proposal from a group of seven operators, including BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, that would allow for statewide mobile wagering with a 10% tax rate. The projections are based on voters approving the operators’ proposal.

Currently, legal online wagering is live in 20 U.S. jurisdictions, with up to three more — Maryland, Ohio, and Puerto Rico — to come online before 2023. In seven other states, retail-only wagering is available.

Founded in May 2017, Sports Handle is an elite sports betting industry news site that covers legislative and regulatory developments through original reporting, features, and analysis.  Sports Handle is owned and operated by Better Collective, a leading sports betting media group that includes The Action Network, US Bets, and RotoGrinders.

Rams Defeat Bengals In Strat-O-Matic Super Bowl Sim

Matthew Stafford passed for 281 yards on 26-of-31 completions and two TDs and Cam Akers scored the go-ahead touchdown on a five-yard run with 8:26 left in the game as Los Angeles defeated Cincinnati, 27-20, in a simulation of this Sunday’s season-ending football contest by Strat-O-Matic (@StratOMatic), the market leader in sports simulation. Akers’ winning score capped an 11-play, 94-yard L.A. drive, and Cincinnati’s final possession ended with 0:22 left on a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald.

With his team trailing, 17-13, early in the third quarter, Stafford engineered a 14-play, 75-yard drive that consumed almost six minutes, ending in a 3-yard scoring pass to Odell Beckham to give Los Angeles the lead. After a second Evan McPherson field goal tied the game with 0:16 left in the third, Cincinnati could not take advantage of a Jessie Bates interception on the next play, eventually punting to the Los Angeles 6 yard line, leading to the eventual winning drive.

The last two Cincinnati possessions ended on downs, including the Donald sack at the Cincinnati 15 closing the contest.

Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow completed 20-of-45 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown, while teammate Joe Mixon rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries to lead all runners. Sony Michel (15 carries, 54 yards) and Akers (12 rushes, 52 yards) shared the load on the ground for Los Angeles. 

cover image: All-Pro Reels

The Costacos Collection Announces Launch of Sports NFT Marketplace Built on the Flow Blockchain

Today, the Costacos Collection announced its second NFT drop in partnership with four legendary NFL quarterbacks: Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Jim McMahon, and Dan Marino. Following the company’s inaugural drop with baseball GOAT Willie Mays, the QB Legends Collection re-imagines the four quarterbacks’ iconic ‘80s/‘90s Costacos posters in new digital form. In addition, the quarterbacks have worked closely with John Costacos and acclaimed digital artist Mike Campau to create all-new 3D art pieces capturing the defining moments and themes from the players’ legendary careers. A portion of proceeds from the drop will be donated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinees Assistance Foundation, an organization that assists HOF members and their families.

Collectors can access the drop on the newly-launched marketplace. The Costacos Collection has entered into a strategic technology partnership with GigLabs to build on the Flow blockchain, joining NBA Top Shot, NFL ALL DAY, and UFC Strike, created by Dapper Labs. The partnership has enabled the Costacos Collection to build a proprietary NFT marketplace on the environmentally-friendly Flow blockchain, joining other GigLabs partners that include CNN, Turner Sports, Athletes Unlimited, Speedway Motorsports, the University of Miami, and others. The Costacos Collection marketplace includes full credit card support and simple wallet signup requiring only an email address.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a more exciting group of legacy athletes with whom to partner for the launch of the Costacos Collection marketplace,” said CEO Justin Moorad. “Troy, Warren, Jim, and Dan, all with their own unique personalities and career paths, represent a generation of NFL culture that was captured in their original Costacos posters. It’s an honor to help bring those iconic images back to life, and a privilege to watch John and the players work together to create all-new digital art that we believe their legions of fans will be passionate about collecting.”

“We loved working with all the athletes, the pitchers, home-run hitters, point guards, linebackers, all of them,” said Costacos. “But there was nothing quite like creating an image with an NFL quarterback because the great ones are the guys with all the firepower that make the offense go. Jim McMahon was the first poster we printed back in 1986. There we were in Chicago, 2,000 miles from home, a couple of kids with an idea but no experience, who somehow convinced the NFL’s biggest superstar to dress up like Mad Max and take pictures next to a live bear cub in the middle of a thunderstorm. Jim was larger than life, he’d just led the Chicago Bears to their one and only Super Bowl victory and was at the forefront of sports pop culture. We may not have known how we were going to pull it off but somehow we did and had a ton of fun shooting it, and Jim did too. We got lucky with a break in the weather, the shots ended up working, and we ended up with one of the great posters of all time – and a lifelong friend in Jimmy Mac.”

“Being part of the Costacos Collection was what every athlete from our era dreamed about, it was like being on a Wheaties box but better, because you hung on the wall of every bedroom of fans across the country,” McMahon said. “It’s pretty cool that Mad Mac was the first one and the start of it all. I still have it on my wall. And it’s just as cool to be a part of this new era, I’m having tons of fun working creatively with John again. He’s the most creative guy I know, and when we’re done we always make sure to sit down for a beer or six.”

In addition to the digital re-imagining of the vintage Costacos posters, the company is launching the “HANDS OF THE GODS” series, which captures each quarterback’s unique grip on a football. To create the pieces, John visited each quarterback and painted their hand in ink before they gripped the football the way they have so many times before. John has also worked with the players to create a digital series that represents some of their proudest accomplishments. For Moon, a celebration of his unprecedented five consecutive CFL Grey Cup Championships before going on to a prolific NFL career that would see him become the first Black quarterback inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; for Aikman, a celebration of the three Super Bowl Championships he helped bring home to the city of Dallas; for Marino, an ode to his everlasting significance to the city of Miami; and for McMahon, a representation of his iconic visuals that defined the ‘85 Bears and beyond. The players have also worked closely with Mike Campau to create career-defining plaques, drawing inspiration from the style included in the Costacos Collection’s first drop with Willie Mays. Adding a unique physical component to the drop, the company will auction off never-before-seen outtakes from the original poster shoots – in addition to the digital collectible, the auction winner will also receive the original film transparency. Finally, the Collection will sell NFTs of an official Tour Poster celebrating the QB Legends drop, created by the Ames Bros known for their intricately designed concert posters for rock legends like Pearl Jam and Metallica.

“It’s a rare treat to be brought back to such an amazing time from the past,” Aikman said. “Working with John to create my original poster was a fun and unique experience, and ended up with one of my all-time favorite images. It’s great to have John’s creativity back at it, and to spend time with him bringing new work to life in innovative ways.”

“As an entrepreneur and fan of pop culture, I’ve always loved John’s vision and innovative enthusiasm,” added Moon. “The Moonlighting poster is a favorite – I’m thrilled to see it come to life as digital art, and just as excited about the brand new digital art forms we’ve created. With today’s tools, John’s creativity is almost limitless, and I’m really proud to be involved in this unique launch.”

“We’ve all seen the explosion of digital art and collectibles,” Marino said. “Sometimes it’s hard to see what all the buzz is about. However, this is different…it is sports and pop culture at its best, a blend of ‘80’s and ‘90’s creativity with the digital mastery of today, all pulled together by one of the guys who got this all started, John Costacos. I can’t wait to see the reaction, especially as a new generation sees the Zubaz pants.”

The QB Legends Collection follows the Costacos Collection’s inaugural drop with Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who donated all proceeds to the Say Hey Foundation’s effort to honor the people who gave him a start in life, by establishing a baseball academy for underprivileged youth where he grew up in Alabama, and to restore the historic baseball facilities at Rickwood Field where Willie started his career with the Negro League Birmingham Black Barons. The drop told the story of Willie’s path to the majors, from Fairfield Industrial High in Birmingham, to the Negro American League, culminating with his move to the New York Giants with whom he would win the Rookie of the Year Award in 1951. The various edition pieces captured the key themes and statistics of those periods, and the 1/1 hero piece added to the story with a number of never-before-seen personal documents and images from Willie’s journey – most notably, a copy of Willie’s high school diploma, in which he was assigned a career in “cleaning, dyeing, and pressing. The piece included a voiceover in which Willie’s powerful story is told by an iconic voice of sports, Bob Costas, who joined Mays in donating to the baseball academy and Rickwood Field restoration project.

SGPN’S Sean Green And Ryan Kramer Featured Blue Wire Show At NFL’s Radio Row

Sports Gambling Podcast Network (SPGN) hosts Sean Green and Ryan Kramer will make their debut on Super Bowl Radio Row next week, producing live, daily, mid-afternoon shows for the Blue Wire Podcast Network at the National Football League’s annual promotional extravaganza.

One of the fastest-growing sports wagering prognostication and analysis website/podcast platforms, SGPN hosted the first-ever show last year from the showpiece Blue Wire Studio at Wynn Las Vegas, where some of America’s most prominent podcasts are produced.  SGPN co-founders Green and Kramer will interview prominent guests each day on Radio Row as they provide their unique, entertainment-oriented analysis and predictions on the Feb. 14 confrontation between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.

They will also be doing guest appearances on other shows during the week-long mediafest, providing definitive calls on the side, over/under and on the hundreds of prop bets that populate the sportsbooks in this new-age world of legalized wagering.

  • A primary feature of the week’s content will be SGPN’s $100,000 Super Bowl Props Contest, in which entrants must

predict the outcome of 10 specific offerings with money to be awarded to those who go 10-for-10. 

Fans can enter the SGPN Super Bowl Props Contest on the SGPN App, which is available on all devices and is downloadable at Apple’s App Store,  the Google Play Store and from SGPN is the only independently-owned and operated sports gambling media network that places a premium on entertainment value.

The no-cost app includes content for sports wagerers on the move from over 50 SGPN writers and personalities plus exclusive access to multiple, free audience contests, now including the $100,000 Super Bowl Props Contest.

“We do expect some of our biggest audiences as we host from Radio Row during Super Bowl Week,” offered Green, whose company will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this spring.  “We’ll let people know who, what, why and how much on the Rams and Bengals, for sure.  We’ll also have the other major sports covered for those seeking input on betting options across the entire spectrum of sports.”

“We appreciate our friends at Blue Wire and look forward to being part of the action next week,” offered Kramer, who correctly picked Georgia plus the under January 10 in the College Football Playoff Championship Game.  “The NFL is surging to the end of a great season, there’s tremendous interest in these quarterbacks and the game will likely live up to the hype.”

NYCRUNS Brooklyn Marathon Signs Multi-Year Agreement With adidas as Footwear and Apparel Partner

NYCRUNS, one of the fastest-growing endurance event businesses and the organizer of the 2022 NYCRUNS Brooklyn Marathon & Half Marathon, today announced that adidas has joined on as the first-ever official Footwear and Apparel Partner for the event, which will be held in Brooklyn on April 24th. With an expected sold-out field of more than 20,000 runners, the 2022 race will rank as one of the largest and most expansive running events in the United States this year.

“We are proud to have adidas, one of the world’s most respected and innovative brands, joining us in this partnership as we continue to establish the NYCRUNS Brooklyn Marathon & Half Marathon as an iconic athletic event that serves our communities well beyond race weekend,” said Steve Lastoe, Founder and CEO of NYCRUNS. “We looked for a partner who wanted to be embedded within the culture of Brooklyn year-round, and we found that in adidas – a company with deep ties to the sports and cultural foundation of this incredible community.”

adidas will create footwear and apparel available to all race participants, volunteers and NYCRUNS staff members, and will be the presenting sponsor of the race Expo. The brand will also provide race shirts for participants in the NYCRUNS Prospect Park 5K & 10K Benefiting CAMBA on April 16.

“At adidas, we are always looking for opportunities to expand our outreach and engagement in the communities we serve and we are proud to partner with NYCRUNS to support the running community in Brooklyn,” said Ernesto Bruce, Senior Director of adidas Running, North America. “It’s bound to be a really incredible race weekend, with a size and scope that hasn’t been done in decades.”

Currently on track to sell out, the 2022 NYCRUNS Brooklyn Marathon & Half Marathon will be one of the biggest running events in New York City and one of the largest running events nationwide. An epic tour of Brooklyn, the race also strives to serve and support the residents and communities that make up the borough. This exciting new partnership is an important step in achieving that mission.

cover image credit: Keith Montero

Major League Rugby Kicks Off Fifth Season Feb. 5-6

Major League Rugby (MLR) prepares to kick off its fifth season of competition as the highest level of rugby in North America. The 2022 season begins on the weekend of Feb. 5-6, with six matches on the schedule.

Celebrated as an emerging sport by MLR, rugby is a global movement gaining momentum. A game with heart and soul that echoes the best aspects of life, rugby prioritizes the importance of community, emphasizes glory with modesty, while giving mutual respect for rules and rule makers. Success in the sport is not measured in wins and losses, but in the growth of the game.

MLR is spreading the mantra that the game of rugby isn’t for anyone; rather it’s for everyone. It’s an experience that captivates and forms connections well beyond the final whistle.

“As we approach our half-decade mark with MLR, I have seen firsthand that there is a global rugby movement within the United States and Canada,” says Commissioner George Killebrew. “Thanks to the groundswell of support for the ‘Rise of Rugby,’ our league is truly gaining momentum on the national stage. I cannot wait to introduce Major League Rugby to more fans and see continued growth in attendance numbers, broadcast ratings and global recognition during our fifth season. There’s a place for everyone in our sport.”

Beginning with seven teams in 2018, MLR has grown to 13 teams for its fifth season in 2022. League play begins on Feb. 5 and continues through June 5, with the Championship Series beginning on June 11. The MLR Championship Final is slated to be played the weekend of June 25/26.

The 2021 season saw Major League Rugby begin play on March 20 and continue for 18 weeks of regular season action. Twelve teams across North America competed to qualify for the Conference Finals and eventually the MLR Championship Final. The LA Giltinis and Rugby ATL progressed to the MLR Championship Final on August 1, played at the LA Memorial Coliseum. With over 2.08 million households tuned in on CBS, the LA Giltinis took home the Major League Rugby Shield.

MLR matches are nationally televised on the FOX Network on FS1 and FS2, among other national and local market platforms. Select matches are available to stream live in North America on The Rugby Network, and all matches are available to stream live on The Rugby Network for international fans.

Washington Spirit Announce Partnership with RealResponse For Secure Reporting, Feedback, Monitoring

The Washington Spirit have partnered with RealResponse (@RealResponseHQ), the award-winning leading safe and secure feedback, monitoring and anonymous reporting platform for athletic teams and organizations.

RealResponse will allow both players and staff in the organization to anonymously report feedback and concerns. In addition to the league as a whole, the Spirit will join OL Reign and Racing Louisville as the only clubs directly affiliated with RealResponse.

“RealResponse allows our players and staff to communicate concerns or feedback in a way that respects their privacy and creates accountability for the organization,” said Spirit President Ben Olsen. “We worked with the team captains to make sure this platform aligns with the needs of the players, and look forward to the ways in which RealResponse will help drive our organization forward.”

“We are humbled to be an integral part of the Washington Spirit’s investment in the wellbeing of their players and staff,” said David Chadwick, the founder of RealResponse. “We commend the Spirit management for how they collaborated with their player leadership as a part of this selection process, and making sure that they were aligned on the best solution to meet their needs. We are continually seeing how important it is to be proactive in this critical area, and we welcome the Washington Spirit for recognizing the need and making this commitment by implementing RealResponse. This will be a year where we believe the NWSL and women’s sports are prime for unprecedented growth, and the Spirit taking this major step for confidential and accessible feedback sends a great message to all involved about how important the voice of the players is to the organization.”

While RealResponse’s partnership with the league allows players to anonymously communicate concerns or feedback  with the league directly, the Spirit’s partnership will allow for that level of  communication and organizational accountability  at the club level.