Category Archives: NHL

MSG Networks to Air First-Ever NHL ‘BetCast’ on Monday

On Monday night, MSG Networks will be airing a sports-betting focused simulcast of the Rangers game against St. Louis, which will mark the first time the network produces a sports betting-focused simulcast of an NHL game (the network has recently aired sports betting simulcasts of Knicks games). The upcoming hockey ‘BetCast’ will air on Monday at 7pm on MSGSN, alongside the traditional Rangers telecast on MSG.

The alternate Rangers telecast will feature Rangers reporter Michelle Gingras, former Rangers and Devils center and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Scott Gomez and sports betting hosts Alex Monaco and Sean Little breaking down the play on the ice from a sports betting perspective. They will deliver live reaction to all the betting action on the game from the spread, player props and more, as well as provide in-game updates to the odds and lines as they move throughout the night.

Islanders, FaZe Clan Announce Esports Night, Immersive Gaming Collaboration

The New York Islanders and FaZe Clan, the lifestyle and media platform rooted in gaming and youth culture, today announced a new immersive and innovative collaboration bridging the fandom between sports and gaming as part of Islanders Esports Night at UBS Arena on Dec. 6.

The evening will feature the long-awaited matchup between North American NHL Gaming World Champion, Regs, and European NHL Gaming World Champion, Eki; limited edition FaZe Islanders merchandise, a meet and greet with FaZe Clan athletes and other unique crossover opportunities designed to better link the global fandom of gaming and professional hockey.

Islanders Esports Night, begins at 5pm with the matchup of Regs vs. Eki and the meet and greet, with the team’s game to follow at 7:30pm.

“The NHL has done a fantastic job linking the passionate fan bases of gaming and hockey in recent years. The Islanders are amplifying those efforts with a dedicated night towards esports, where we are creating a physical touchpoint between likeminded fans,” said Jordan Zelniker, Esports Lead at the New York Islanders. “As part of our 50th anniversary season, we are continuing to utilize gaming to expand Islanders causal and dedicated fandom, linking our past, present, and future.”

FaZe Clan returns to Long Island, home to the very first FaZe House in Plainview, New York, where members FaZe Banks, FaZe Temperrr, FaZe Apex, FaZe Rain, FaZe Adapt, FaZe Blaze, FaZe Teeqo and FaZe Sensei took up residency in 2014 and is now widely recognized as one of the first ever ‘content houses’ inspiring the global trend that has transcended into dozens of different creator groups around the world. FaZe Clan is paying tribute to their beginnings by collaborating with the New York Islanders, creating content with the local fanbase, and establishing limited edition FaZe Islanders merchandise. As part of the collaboration, FaZe Clan branding has been integrated within the Islanders Fisherman logo through the well-known “FaZe Up” hand gesture.

“We’re thrilled to honor our roots and come back to Long Island,” said FaZe Clan member and original FaZe House member, FaZe Blaze. “FaZe Clan’s history begins here and to be back and working with the Islanders feels like a powerful tribute in honoring these hometown brands. The Islanders have an innovative vision to find new ways to be inclusive and fun in aligning the gaming and traditional NHL fans together in an immersive and educational night, and we are proud to be part of this historic collaboration.”

Athletes First Partners to Represent Edmonton Oilers For Jersey Patch Sales

Athletes First Partners (A1 Partners) todayannounced that they have been retained by the Edmonton Oilers to handle the exclusive sale of the Oilers’ jersey patch, further expanding A1P’s growing offerings for brand partnerships. The Oilers resurgence—highlighted by last season’s trip to the Western Conference Finals, as well as their wildly passionate fan base, massive social and broadcast outreach and engagement, and return to their original iconic jersey colors of the dynasty years—is making their jersey patch one of the most unique and invaluable brand opportunities for the 2022-23 season.

“There are few North American clubs that have the deep history, including the glorious past of five Stanley Cup championships, the vibrant social media presence of today, and the young stars of tomorrow like the Oilers do. We know this opportunity will resonate for brands looking for that deep engagement, not just in the Pacific Northwest but across all of North America,” said Jim O’Connell, President Athletes First Partners. “We also know how important timing is in our business, and we are pleased to see the club continuing to drastically increase their reach as an organization, further than ever before.”

“Athletes First Partners showed us an innovative approach that we felt was different than others, and we are looking forward to seeing how they tailor all aspects of our history, brand, culture, city and fan base to find the perfect partner for our patch opportunity,” said Stew MacDonald, Chief Revenue Officer, OEG Sports and Entertainment. “As we return to our original NHL jersey colours with a rich history, including five Stanley Cup championships, this is a truly unique opportunity for a top North American brand to be part of many more historic moments in royal blue and orange starting this fall.”

Led by superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers advanced to the Western Conference finals last season, their latest and most crucial step in returning to the Wayne Gretzky-led glory years of the 1980’s. Off the ice, the Oilers have built an unprecedented social media following, leading all NHL clubs in social engagement and content consumption with 32 million impressions weekly throughout the season. The Oilers have also amassed the second largest national broadcast audience and third largest regional broadcast audience across the NHL. Those numbers are only expected to rise as the iconic club continues its much anticipated upward rise this fall.

To date, seven NHL clubs have secured jersey patch deals for the coming season.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment and KPMG LLP Debut ‘KPMG Ignition – DC’ at Capital One Arena

Today, Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) and KPMG LLP announced the opening of a transformed, existing arena suite as the newest KPMG Ignition Center, located at MSE’s Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. The renovated suite is equipped with the latest technology and will serve as a meeting place for KPMG and its clients to collaborate and solve business problems together, 365-days-a-year, at any time of the day, regardless of the evening game scheduling of the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the NBA’s Washington Wizards or other live concert or event. When a game, concert or event is hosted in the arena, KPMG will also be able to offer traditional live-event hospitality to their clients as part of an innovative customer experience. 

“When KPMG and the senior executives at Monumental Sports came together on this idea, I thought it was brilliant,’” said Ted Leonsis, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Taking a suite normally used to host clients to watch Capitals and Wizards games and innovate within it – bringing customers into an environment that’s unexpected and creating a destination to engage people to think differently – is such a big idea. This reinforces the notion that arenas play a central part in the business community’s ecosystem — and that we are now creating a new real estate category of shared workspace— turning suites normally used a few hours per game day into workspace, all day and year-round. I believe the shared space will be seen as a very economical investment given the dual benefits of suite usage for entertaining at games and then office space for meetings, working and demo centers for the benefit of customers. This reimagining of suite space is another innovation our team is bringing to our community of business partners. So, I congratulate the leaders at KPMG for being a first mover and an exemplar in finding new uses for the convening operation we have built, and I’m sure others will soon join them.”

Seeking to address a business need for KPMG to engage in-person with its clients in an innovative and unique setting and MSE’s pursuit of developing additional daypart uses for an otherwise dormant arena, KPMG and MSE senior leaders collaborated to reimagine the existing suite as a hub which capitalizes on the pioneering culture of both organizations. Capital One Arena is filled with premium space that can now be used not only to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for entertaining, but also creates new opportunities for professional service use of the arena during the day. Whereas arena or stadium suites are typically used by sponsors for event-based, social gatherings during sports games and concerts, KPMG Ignition – DC, located within Capital One Arena, represents the most experiential Ignition Center yet.

This 28-person mega-suite can be transformed to meet clients’ needs. From its walls to its furniture, the suite’s modular and movable functionality creates a unique room design for each business session.

The suite is fully equipped with cutting edge technology. The central video wall displays stories and demonstrations to facilitate discussions. Interactive screen displays are scattered throughout the room, along with high-resolution monitors on the ceiling and at the entryway that showcase relevant visuals during meetings. Plus, video streaming enables people to join sessions from anywhere in the world.

KPMG Ignition Centers have assisted a myriad of businesses across multiple industries by curating experiences using a combination of talent, environment, assets, and methods tailored to help their clients reframe complex problems into future opportunities, and drive value from innovation. And driving value from innovation is a core value which Monumental Sports & Entertainment infuses throughout its platform of professional sports teams, venues, and direct-to-consumer media enterprises. 

“This is the first partnership of its kind – an innovation space in a sports and entertainment facility – and a forward-thinking blueprint for arena suites of the future. Innovation can happen anywhere, anytime. KPMG Ignition – DC will provide an opportunity to engage with clients in a collaborative environment outside of their traditional office spaces to lean into disruption and uncover opportunities to create value,” Tim Gillis, KPMG Washington DC area Office Managing Partner, said. “The KPMG brand is synonymous with disruptive transformation and innovation. This partnership with Monumental Sports & Entertainment is a representation of how we are transforming our own business and how we bring that same approach – and our ever-evolving capabilities – to help organizations in the DC area do the same.” 

With KPMG Ignition – DC, located within a 900-square-feet suite on the second level concourse at Capital One Arena, the two organizations will combine a high-energy atmosphere, unique, immersive fan experiences, and extraordinary hospitality to create a one-of-a-kind environment that sparks creativity and the next big ideas in both established and emerging industries. 

Washington, D.C. is a global destination for business and tech investment and Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s teams, venues and other managed properties serve as convening platforms for the world’s most innovative thought leaders. Capital One Arena hosts over 220+ events per year, ranging from professional to collegiate sports, major music and entertainment acts and in-demand family shows, appealing to multiple audiences on any given day of the week. 

TheScore Bet Plans To Discontinue Sports Wagering In U.S. On July 1

Flourishing in its home nation since the debut of the Ontario iGaming market in April, theScore alerted customers on Wednesday that it will discontinue its U.S. sports betting operations effective July 1.

With the closure, theScore will shift focus to accelerating its growth in Ontario and expanding its technology roadmap north of the U.S. border, with the ultimate goal of migrating Barstool Sportsbook onto the company’s in-house risk and trading platform in the relatively near future.

The move comes nearly eight months after Penn National Gaming completed a $2.1 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of theScore. While Penn asserted at the time that it sought to operate theScore as a standalone business, Wednesday’s move allows theScore to strategically deploy resources in Canada, where it ranks as the nation’s most popular sports media app.

Since the acquisition was announced last August, Penn has taken a bifurcated approach to expanding sports betting operations in North America, with Barstool taking the lead in the U.S., while theScore Bet remains out in front up in Canada.

“This move enables us to maximize the value of both brands through our organic media and gaming approach. Key to our strategy is integrating theScore media app with Barstool Sportsbook, which we’re currently working towards,” Benjie Levy, president and COO of theScore, told Sports Handle. “Bringing together theScore’s powerful mobile sports media platform with Barstool Sportsbook in a unified ecosystem, supported by our in-house technology and custom integrations, will strengthen the overall U.S. product offering and broaden its reach.”

Short-Term Roadmap

When theScore made its U.S. sports betting debut in New Jersey three years ago, it became the first media company since the historic PASPA decision to launch sportsbook operations in the U.S.

Following the New Jersey debut, theScore began accepting sports wagers in three other states: Colorado, Iowa, and Indiana. The company also disclosed on Wednesday that by June 15, theScore Bet will no longer accept customer deposits or new wagers in the U.S.

By the time theScore plans to fully cease its U.S. sports betting operations, both the NBA and the NHL are scheduled to complete their respective postseason campaigns. The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers opened Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche, the Oilers’ first trip to the conference finals since 2006.

Although it appears that theScore will encourage U.S. customers to open a new account at Barstool, it is not currently possible for customers of theScore to transfer their account or remaining balance with theScore over to Barstool Sportsbook, according to a source familiar with the situation. It is also immediately unclear if the respective sports betting skins theScore obtained to gain market access in the four states will transfer automatically to Penn National.

But the transition could be smooth in states such as Iowa, where theScore received market access through a partnership with Penn.

Larger industry consolidation

In the same month (August) that theScore announced the proposed merger with Penn, theScore launched its own player account management (PAM) trading and promotion engine.

During the third quarter of this year, theScore Bet plans to transition to the company’s proprietary in-house risk and trading platform in Ontario, Penn previously disclosed. The transition will lead to expanded betting markets and parlay options, Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden explained at last month’s quarterly earnings call.

Penn anticipates that Barstool Sportsbook will transition to theScore’s PAM and trading platforms by the third quarter of 2023.

Over the first month of sports betting operations in Ontario, roughly 79% of sports bettors used theScore’s app, Snowden noted. All told, theScore exceeded Penn’s early expectations with its performance in Ontario, underscoring Snowden’s belief in the brand a year ago.

“A large part of what we love about Barstool and theScore is their authentic voice, their scrappy nature, and their entrepreneurial spirit,” Snowden said in 2021.

Beyond theScore, the decision may serve as a harbinger for a larger pattern of consolidation across the industry. The top three mobile sportsbook operators in the U.S., DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, control at least 70% of the overall market share, according to various estimates.

By forging strategic partnerships, companies such as Penn National Gaming and theScore are able to carve out a niche across various segments of the North American market. In 2021, Penn projected adjusted EBITDA accretion of at least $200 million by 2023, with incremental long-term synergies of at least $500 million from the partnership. In M&A transactions, accretive acquisitions are defined as those which cause the company’s earnings to increase as a result of the deal.

“As we approach a major undertaking this summer with the launch of our proprietary risk and trading service, the timing is right to focus our U.S. efforts on marketing Barstool Sportsbook and our Canadian efforts on marketing theScore Bet,” Levy said.

PHF Names Reagan Carey As Commissioner

The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) today announced that Reagan Carey has been appointed the league’s next commissioner, bringing over twenty years of leadership in the sports industry to the role including unparalleled experience in women’s hockey. Carey previously served as USA Hockey’s Director of Women’s Ice Hockey and General Manager of the U.S. National Women’s Team, highlighted by a gold medal victory at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Beginning full time on May 10, she will help deliver the PHF’s vision to provide leading opportunities in professional women’s hockey and growing the sport for its athletes, partners, and fans.

“Throughout my career, I have been fortunate and honored to have played a part in growing and improving the landscape of women’s hockey at all levels,” said Carey. “I continue to be energized and committed to moving the needle in the right direction and will be dedicated to the work required to build trust and elevate the PHF into a beacon for professional women’s hockey. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue making history with a relentless pursuit of success on all fronts. Through our work we will aim to honor past pioneers of our sport, and inspire young girls to see a vibrant future in the game by ensuring that athletes who want to train and compete at the highest professional levels will always have a home at the PHF.”

A search committee chaired by Tobin Kelly of the PHF Board of Governors was formed to identify and evaluate candidates for the role. Board members Johanna Boynton and Andy Scurto were part of the committee that also included Lisa Haley (Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, PHF), Digit Murphy (President, Metropolitan Riveters), and Susie Piotrkowski (Head of Women’s Team Sports, Octagon).

“The search committee had the opportunity to speak with many exceptional candidates who were considered for the role of PHF Commissioner over the course of this process,” said Kelly. “What stands out about Reagan Carey is not only her incredible depth of experience in the world of women’s hockey but the collaborative approach she brings to the position. In all of our many conversations, Reagan’s commitment to communication and her values that advocate for what is right and put players first, make her the perfect leader for the next phase of growth in the PHF. We are all excited about welcoming Reagan as she takes the lead in moving the PHF forward.”

Carey’s career reflects a common thread of leading teams to new heights by creating meaningful cultures and crafting a clear vision for winning. A decade of work with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers with a focus on sports development, performance, and marketing led to her opportunity with USA Hockey where she served from 2010-18. Her leadership helped produce a record number of World Championship victories for the women’s program and achieved an unprecedented stretch of four straight undefeated seasons in IIHF competition across the U18 Women’s National Team and U.S. Women’s National Team. Her gold medal resume includes U18 titles in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, World Championship wins in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“When aligning with the PHF, hiring the right fit for the long-term growth of the league was imperative,” said Piotrkowski. “Having met with several incredible candidates alongside the search committee, Reagan Carey differentiated herself not only as a result of her hockey experience but through her deep understanding of the women’s sports landscape. Her approach to relationship building, attention to detail and human first leadership will ensure the best interest of the women in this league today and moving forward.”

Most recently Carey has been applying her skills and experience to various consulting roles and speaking events in both the sport and corporate world with a focus on leadership, performance, alignment and culture. Additionally, she has been a member of the Maine Girls & Women in Sports Committee helping generate content, programming, and opportunities for girls and women in sport. Carey was a two-sport athlete, captaining both the ice hockey and volleyball teams during her time at Colby College where she graduated with a sociology degree in 2001. She is a proud 2010 recipient of the school’s Carl Nelson Sports Achievement Award, and in 2018 was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

“Having been a part of both the U18 program and U.S. Women’s National Team during Reagan’s tenure with USA Hockey, I’ve seen her passion and dedication in action and always appreciated how much she cared about the athletes,” said Shiann Darkangelo, captain of the Toronto Six. “I am very excited for the knowledge and expertise she will bring to the PHF in this important leadership role to help continue the growth of our game.”

Carey becomes the third commissioner in PHF history, succeeding Tyler Tumminia who served in the role on an interim basis during the league’s sixth season and permanently throughout season seven. The PHF has made great strides over the past 18 months by establishing a joint venture ownership model, generating landmark broadcast and corporate partnerships, drawing record digital viewership, and redefining its brand based on the singular skills of its athletes. In January the PHF’s Board of Governors announced a commitment to invest more than $25 million over the next three years to directly enhance the player experience by providing competitive compensation and benefits that will continue to distinguish the PHF as a leader among professional sports leagues.

Team roster building for the PHF’s eighth season is underway with unrestricted free agency officially commencing on May 1. The salary cap for 2022-23 will be a record $750,000 per team with a floor of $562,500. The 2022 PHF season concluded March 28 with the Boston Pride crowned Isobel Cup champions for the third time in Tampa Bay, Florida in a thrilling 4-2 victory over the Connecticut Whale seen live across North America on ESPN2 and TSN2.

PHF Announces Sale Of Toronto Six To BIPOC Canadian Hockey Leaders

The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) today announced that the Toronto Six has been sold by BTM Partners to new owners who represent the first BIPOC (Black, Indigenous And People of Color) and Canadian investors in PHF history. The group is led by retired National Hockey League forward Anthony Stewart, joined by Hockey Hall of Famer Angela James, Carnegie Initiative co-chair Bernice Carnegie, and former NHL Coach of the Year Ted Nolan. The full list of participants in the new ownership group will be announced at closing. Together they provide invaluable hockey experience, community leadership, and diversity to the PHF’s first team north of the border.

“Local ownership who believe in our vision to grow women’s hockey and are committed to supporting these phenomenal professional athletes represents another significant step forward in the overall growth and sustainability of the PHF,” said Johanna Boynton, founding Chair and Principal Owner of the Toronto Six. “We are beyond excited for the PHF family to evolve by welcoming diverse leaders who will be difference makers and take the organization to the next level by enhancing the experience for our athletes, community partners, and passionate fans.”

Stewart isChairman of Hockey Equality which is working to create sustainable change in the hockey community and creating diversity and inclusion at all levels across the sport. He also created Stewart Hockey, an organization that provides a space where players of all ages and backgrounds can grow their hockey skills, to give back to the hockey community that went above and beyond to help him and his brother Chris reach the NHL. On the ice, the Scarborough, Ontario native grew up playing in the Greater Toronto Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League before enjoying 10 years professionally including six NHL seasons. The 37-year-old is also an on-air hockey analyst with Sportsnet.

“This is a really amazing time to be part of professional women’s hockey and I am thrilled to lead a new ownership group to support elite athletes in my hometown,” said Stewart. “Together with my partners, we know how much representation matters and how important role models are for young hockey players. It brings me great joy to be part of something special and help strengthen a platform that will make the game better for the next generation and grow the game in the community that I love. We believe the PHF is well-positioned to become a leader in professional sports and look forward to continuing to build the Toronto Six into a winner on and off the ice.”

James is widely considered the first superstar in women’s hockey and remains the only Black player to captain Canada’s National Women’s Team. On the national stage she was a four-time gold medal winner at the IIHF Women’s World Championship, including the very first event in 1990 where she set a tournament record with 11 goals. The Torontonian became the first Canadian woman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010 and is also a member of the Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame, and has been awarded the Order of Hockey in Canada. This season she’s been serving as an assistant coach for the Six.

Carnegie is the daughter of the late Herbert H. Carnegie, who was part of the only “All Black Line” in 1940’s semi-pro hockey. She co-founded the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation with her father and mother in 1987, helping countless individuals develop the confidence to become better citizens. As President of Bernice Carnegie and Associates, she works to address social injustice by bringing awareness to and affecting behavioral changes related to equity, fairness, and inclusiveness. The Carnegie Initiative works to ensure that hockey is inclusive, supportive and welcoming to all.

Nolan co-founded the program 3NOLANS, with sons Brandon and Jordan, to specifically work with First Nation youth to further develop their hockey skills and knowledge. Hailing from Garden River First Nation near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the 63-year-old played eight seasons of professional hockey including three in the NHL before transitioning his career into coaching. He has enjoyed success at every level behind the bench for more than 30 years, including seven NHL seasons, notably winning the 1997 Jack Adams Trophy with the Buffalo Sabres.

New and diverse ownership groups are part of the evolution of the PHF that will see substantial growth in years to come, driven by the Board of Governors’ commitment to investing $25 million over the next three years to directly enhance the player experience. Expansion to eight teams for the 2022-23 season along with a salary cap of $750,000 per team, full healthcare benefits and equity in the teams, facility upgrades, new equipment, and increased ice time is all part of the pledge to support professional PHF athletes.

The Six joined the PHF in 2020 and immediately captured a regular season title during the shortened 2021 campaign. They are currently in first place in the overall PHF standings with a 13-2-1 record and are a perfect 8-0 on home ice during this historic first season in Canada. The club, led by reigning MVP and current PHF top scorer Mikyla Grant-Mentis, will pursue their first Isobel Cup crown in playoff action March 25-28 in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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

FanDuel Group, Chicago’s United Center Announce Plans To Open In-Arena Sportsbook

FanDuel Group, the premier online gaming company in the United States, and the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, today announced plans to open a state-of-the-art FanDuel Sportsbook lounge inside Chicago’s most iconic arena. Pending necessary approvals being obtained, including from the Illinois Gaming Board, FanDuel’s newest in-arena sportsbook lounge will bring the excitement of sports wagering inside the United Center where fans can enjoy the action of Bulls and Blackhawks games all season long.

Plans for the FanDuel Sportsbook at the United Center include a two-story venue unlike any sportsbook in North America. Located adjacent to the United Center atrium, the book is designed to ensure no fan misses out on the action as it would be equipped with state-of-the-art viewing and sports wagering technology, as well as a full-service team ready to deliver a personalized customer experience.

“As an industry leader in sports betting with a large and loyal existing customer base, FanDuel has a proven track record of innovation and excellence making them the perfect partner in developing the sportsbook at the United Center,” said Howard Pizer, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, United Center Joint Venture. “It is designed to give sports fans a brand new, fully immersive sportsbook lounge experience unlike any other.”

“Chicago sports fans are some of the most loyal and passionate in the world and plans for our sportsbook lounge inside the United Center reflect their excitement,” said Amy Howe, Chief Executive Officer, FanDuel Group. “Our team has a track record of delivering incredible retail locations for fans, and we can’t wait to make this sportsbook lounge the premier destination for Chicago sports fans and a place where they can fully experience the FanDuel brand.”

The addition of a sportsbook within the United Center would mark a strategic expansion of the partnerships FanDuel enjoys with both the Bulls and Blackhawks, which includes media, VIP fan experience and advertising assets throughout the arena and in various broadcasts. The broader partnership would continue to allow FanDuel to reach and engage with the teams’ passionate fan bases both in and out of the arena.

While awaiting approval of the sportsbook from the Illinois Gaming Board, the United Center and FanDuel will build out a non-wagering space adjacent to the United Center atrium that will have FanDuel branding and allow fans to watch live sports action while attending United Center events.

Washington Capitals Announce Caesars Entertainment as First-Ever Jersey Patch Partner

The Washington Capitals and Caesars Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) announced a multi-year partnership agreement today that places the Caesars Sportsbook logo on Capitals home and third jerseys worn for games played at Capital One Arena beginning with the 2022-23 NHL season. The landmark announcement marks the first team announced agreement in the NHL’s Jersey Advertising Program.

Caesars Sportsbook, the best-in-class sportsbook offering, will have its logo worn on the Capitals home and third jerseys, with the 3 x 3.5 inch patch positioned on the upper right chest area of the jersey. An industry first, the introduction of the Caesars Sportsbook patch follows the historic opening of the Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena in May 2021.

In addition to the home jersey patch, Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) and Caesars Sportsbook expand their partnership with additional Casino, Gaming and Caesars Rewards programming elements. The agreement also includes the entitlement of a Caesars hospitality space and VIP seating at Capital One Arena.  

“Following the successful launch of Caesars Sportsbook adjacent to Capital One Arena last spring, we are thrilled to introduce Caesars Sportsbook as the Capitals’ inaugural home jersey advertising partner in a first-of-its-kind announced partnership in the NHL,” said MSE president of business operations and chief commercial officer Jim Van Stone. “Together as two industry leaders, we’ve built a robust partnership in the gaming and casino space, and our overall relationship reflects our shared commitment to providing sports fans with world-class, unique experiences. MSE, the Capitals and Caesars share a commitment and passion toward innovation in the sports and entertainment space, and the opportunity to incorporate Caesars onto Capitals home jerseys is a wonderful development and exciting new fan engagement opportunity for both organizations in the nation’s capital.”

The NHL’s Jersey Advertising Program begins with the 2022-23 NHL season and allows up to two jersey sponsors per team when separate sponsors appear on home and away jerseys. The Capitals will announce an away jersey sponsor at a later date.

“Being woven into the Washington Capitals jersey is an exciting chapter in our collective story,” said Chris Holdren, Co-President of Caesars Digital. “Like Monumental Sports & Entertainment, we love blazing trails and we are always looking for innovative opportunities that drive engagement and storytelling for fans. We are proud to extend our historic partnership with such a storied franchise after launching the sportsbook at Capital One Arena.”

MSE and Caesars Entertainment previously made history with the opening of Caesars Sportsbook at MSE’s Capital One Arena. Marking a major milestone in U.S. sports history, the sportsbook officially opened in May 2021, becoming the first ever sports betting venue to open within a U.S. professional sports facility. A first-of-its-kind, marquee destination for local, regional and global visitors, the two-story, 18,000 square-foot venue features 17 betting windows and 12 self-service betting kiosks, as well as Verizon 5G Wi-Fi capability so fans can place wagers on mobile devices. Click here to learn more.

The newly-launched and easy-to-navigate Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill app integrates mobile sports betting with Caesars Rewards, where every bet, win or lose, rewards the bettor with Tier Credits and Reward Credits that can be used to unlock unbeatable experiences within the Caesars portfolio of properties and partnerships. True to the legendary Caesars brand, the app provides an expansive array of wagering opportunities, including live in-game betting and flexible limits on the bets players want to make.

Veteran Sports, Business and Hockey Executives Launch The Carnegie Initiative

Some of the most influential individuals in business, entrepreneurship and at all levels of hockey today formally announced the launch of The Carnegie Initiative, an independent not for profit platform to promote the growth of hockey and ensure opportunity and access to the sport. The Carnegie Initiative will also establish and award academic grants and other incentives for those who are doing work to positively grow and address change in the sport throughout Canada and the United States.

The foundation is named in honor of legendary hockey player and social justice pioneer Herb Carnegie. It is co-founded by Bernice Carnegie and Bryant McBride. Bernice is Herb’s daughter and co-author of their family autobiography, “A Fly in a Pail of Milk”, featuring Part II – Lessons passed on from father to daughter.  Bryant is a longtime businessman and former National Hockey League executive. McBride co-produced “Willie,” the critically acclaimed documentary about hockey pioneer and Hall of Famer Willie O’Ree, who broke the color barrier in the NHL. Board members include well-known figures within hockey and in business, ranging from Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr, veteran NHL executives Brian Burke and Ted Nolan, Olympian Sarah Nurse, legendary broadcasters Ron MacLean and Harnarayan Singh, women’s hockey pioneer and Hall of Famer Angela James, and other key leaders at the grassroots level representing members of the BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and parasport communities.

“Change in hockey, and opening up the game for all, is something that is growing but needs to be accelerated, and we believe that the time to do that has never been better,” said McBride, the first black executive at the National Hockey League. “There are so many efforts going on, both big and small, to help expand the game, and our goal is to shed light on those communities, as well as help those still being marginalized, change problems that exist. We will do it holistically and without any bias.”

“Hockey is a great game, and my father worked hard throughout his life to make sure opportunities existed for all,” added co-chair Bernice Carnegie. “The Carnegie Initiative can now focus with the necessary resources and outreach to expand his work and help those who need it thrive both on and off the ice.”

credit: Pexels/Arthur Brognoli

The Carnegie Initiative will work independently with executives, teams, leagues, federations, brands and leading academic institutions across North America to champion the successes of diverse audiences in hockey as well as work to address and correct issues in the game on all levels with regard to any area of diversity. It will accelerate the work started by Herb Carnegie, a Canadian of Jamaican descent, more than 60 years ago when he launched his first hockey school in Toronto to teach hockey skills while fostering a spirit of diversity and inclusiveness.

The Carnegie Initiative (CI) will work to

• Ensure that hockey is inclusive, supportive and welcoming to all

• Examine the efforts of governing bodies and other stewards of the game to make hockey more diverse and inclusive

• Use rigorous academic research to identify and solve the sport’s biggest issues

• Shine a light on success stories and best practices through media partners

• Create substantive, authentic change throughout the hockey world

In short, advance the change in the culture of hockey.

The Carnegie Initiative’s leadership team includes Stephanie J. Geosits, Executive Director, and Ken Gelman, Chief Commercial Officer. Geosits worked alongside McBride at the NHL in launching the league’s first diversity programs and Gelman was one of the initial creators of NHL Center Ice. Both are long-time sports executives and entrepreneurs.

For information on making a contribution to The Carnegie Initiative, contact Ken Gelman. For information on The Carnegie Initiative grants to academic institutions contact Stephanie J. Geosits.

Carnegie’s hockey career began in 1938 and ran through the mid 1950’s. His chance at playing in the NHL came in the late 1940’s when he was given a tryout with the New York Rangers and offered a contract to play in the Rangers’ minor league system, but because he was offered considerably less money than he was earning in the Quebec League he turned down all three offers made by the Rangers organization during his tryout. As a black man playing hockey in the 1940’s and 1950’s, Carnegie endured his share of racism. In one famous incident, Conn Smythe, the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, watched Carnegie play as a member of the Toronto Young Rangers. He is alleged to have said either that he would accept Carnegie on the team if he were white or that he would pay $10,000 to anyone who could turn Carnegie white.

After retiring, Carnegie had a successful business career as a financial planner with the Investors Group, and in 1955, he founded one of Canada’s first hockey schools, Future Aces, and through his work in training young hockey players, became a member of both the Order of Ontario and the country’s highest civilian award, the Order of Canada. His hockey career was recognized when he was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. He passed away in Toronto in March 2012 at age 92.

cover image: Pexels/Alexandr Podvalny

FanDuel Group Collaborates with MotorCity Casino As Official Gaming Partner Of Tigers, Red Wings

FanDuel Group today announced a new collaboration with MotorCity Casino that provides FanDuel Sportsbook with official gaming partner status with the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, two of Detroit’s most iconic professional sports franchises. 

FanDuel Sportsbook will be prominently featured on static and digital signage at both Comerica Park and Little Caesars Arena – including the outfield wall and on dasher boards – and be featured on the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings Radio Networks, which reach fans across the state of Michigan.

In collaboration with MotorCity Casino, FanDuel Group recently launched a fully integrated, real money online gaming experience for residents and visitors to the state of Michigan. The FanDuel Sportsbook & Casino app and the standalone FanDuel Casino app are both available for iOS and Android.  

“After a very successful launch in Michigan, we are excited to continue our momentum by partnering in this way with two of the most iconic sports organizations in the country,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group. “To celebrate, we are offering a $25 registration bonus for all eligible Red Wings and Tigers fans that use the code DETROIT after registering for a FanDuel Sportsbook account.”  

This partnership with the Tigers is part of FanDuel Group’s continued strategy of aligning with Major League Baseball teams in markets where mobile gaming is permitted. FanDuel is recognized by Major League Baseball as one of roughly fifteen MLB Authorized Gaming Operators. FanDuel is also an official sports betting partner of the National Hockey League. 

The Tigers and Red Wings are also marketing partners with MotorCity Casino. MotorCity Casino is FanDuel Group’s sports betting and casino collaborator in Michigan, and the home of the state-of-the-art FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino in Detroit that opened in March 2020.  Little Caesars Arena, home of the Red Wings, features the MotorCity Casino Club where fans in select seating locations will, when safe to do so, be able to enjoy a lively VIP experience with gourmet food and beverage options.  For select Red Wings road games, MotorCity Casino, when safe to do so, will be hosting viewing parties featuring food, drink, giveaways, and the occasional appearance by a Detroit sports legend.  Comerica Park features the MotorCity Casino Tiger Club.  Baseball fans will also be able to grab a cold drink at the MotorCity Casino Hotel “Off Ramp Bar” located inside Comerica Park.     

For more information on the FanDuel Sportsbook and sports betting content, follow @FDSportsbook on Twitter.  All core services affecting wagering for online gaming and sports betting will be administered by FanDuel, in compliance with gaming law and sports league rules.  

cover image: Pixabay/bk_advtravlr

Weekly Fantasy Sports Provider, OwnersBox, Partners With Industry Leader DailyFaceoff

OwnersBox, an innovative sport-tech company behind the new Weekly Fantasy Sports (WFS) platform is ecstatic to announce that they have partnered with top NHL fantasy sports content site DailyFaceoff.

As OwnersBox gears up for their inaugural fantasy hockey season, the team wanted to expand their reach and make a big splash. Daily Faceoff has been a leader in the hockey space for over a decade and prides themselves on being the fastest and most accurate site for projected and confirmed starting goalies as well as line combinations. They provide daily news, projections, and tools for fantasy hockey players across North America. 

When asked for comment, President & CEO Brian Kipp stated: “As we actively prepare for the upcoming NBA & NHL seasons, we wanted to target a well-known trusted platform such as DailyFaceoff to leverage their network and help grow the Weekly Fantasy Sports movement. I’ve been an active Daily Faceoff user for years and am excited to work with the DFO team this year.” 

OwnersBox and the Daily Faceoff will begin their relationship at the start of the 2021 season and will be collaborating through content, social media & weekly fantasy sports strategy articles. This partnership will allow OwnersBox to keep their momentum going from the NFL season into the new year with the NBA and NHL on the horizon.

Bodog oddsmakers expect the NHL to launch new All-Canadian division

If the number-crunchers and the oddsmakers are correct, the National Hockey League (NHL) could get a new division as early as next season. Currently slated to start on January 1, there could be an all-Canadian group of teams taking to the ice, although the final decision still hasn’t been made. Bodog is giving sports gamblers a chance to take a shot at whether or not the new division might happen and has put up a couple of lines for gamblers to get the hockey gambling started ahead of the new year.

Should the all-Canada division be introduced, it would pull in the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames and others, and possibly lead to the creation of new teams as it gains strength. Currently, Bodog’s gambling forecasters are giving the introduction of the new group odds of -220, while the rejection of the idea of a new division sits on +155. Clearly, there is a very good chance the NHL will have a division comprised of nothing but Canadian teams. 

Hockey has always been Canada’s go-to sport, and the talk of a pure Canadian division coincides with a recent push by lawmakers to seek approval for single-event sports gambling. Canada has been stuck in parlay-only mode for years, but there is growing support for the expansion of gambling options in the country and, if approved, Canadians might soon be able to enjoy a wider range of action to aim for. The country’s ruling Liberal party accepted a single-event sports gambling bill at the end of last month that is currently being reviewed and which would rewrite the language regarding sports gambling in the country’s Criminal Code. 

Should the all-Canada division be accepted, Bodog has also put together various odds on who might win the division title. The Maple Leafs are getting the most support, at +170, followed by the Oilers at +250. The Flames are a long-distant third at +600, while the Winnipeg Jets are looking at +650. The Vancouver Canucks and the Montreal Canadiens have been given +750 odds each, while the Ottawa Senators aren’t getting any love from oddsmakers. The team’s odds for winning the division are listed at +2500.

Red Wings extend partnership with BetMGM

The NHL’s Detroit Red Wings have announced that they will be extending their betting partnership with BetMGM.

The long-term deal means that BetMGM will continue with their on-branding at Little Caesars Arena, as well as digital signage and presence on the Red Wings digital channels. BetMGM will also provide stats and betting data for the District Detroit mobile app and provide stats and betting odds to Red Wings fans for the 2021 NHL season.

The #RedWings announced today they have renewed and expanded their strategic partnership with BetMGM.

Sportradar locks up grip on all four major US sports leagues

Despite a couple recent stumbles, DraftKings has still done really well for itself after having gone public. The sports gambling scene is picking up a lot of momentum and, within just a couple of years, will be a major component of the US commercial industry like it is in other areas of the world. It’s no surprise, then, that companies working in the sector are scrambling to get involved, and Sportradar has been busy securing deals that will allow it to be a major name for decades to come. The sports data provider now has another partnership to brag about, having hooked up with the NHL. This newest relationship means that the company is now tied, among others, to the four major sports leagues in the US – NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL.

The NHL and Sportradar had a partnership that dates back to 2015, but the new agreement takes it to a new level, allowing the company to use league data for sports gambling activity. Sportradar will have access to all league stats and can sell official league data to sportsbooks, as well as casinos. The partnership was consummated after Sportradar reportedly won a competitive bidding auction that will pave the way for the two entities to work together for the next ten years.

Sports is taking on an entirely new feel moving forward, and the NHL is running with the pack. Coming up, the league plans on putting chips in the pucks and in shoulder pads worn by the players, all of which will lead to the collection of massive amounts of data points unlike anything ever seen before. The idea is to be able to inject a new element into hockey that includes things like who is the fastest skater, who has the quickest shot and, not outside the realm of possibility, which player can slam another to the ice with more force than anyone else. 

This latest arrangement will prove very beneficial to Sportradar with its plans to go public. It announced last month that it was working on a deal with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) for a reverse takeover – similar to how DraftKings went public – and the relationship the company has with the four major US sports organizations, as well as all its other agreements, will give it a substantial boost. 

Stanley Cup odds update: Knights, Avs co-favorites

Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com

No question that the big losers of the NHL’s unique round-robin tournament to determine the top four seeds in each conference were the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues – the two teams that met in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, won by St. Louis in seven games for the first Cup in franchise history.

The Eastern Conference Bruins had the most regular-season points in the NHL this year with 100 and would have had home-ice advantage throughout a normal Stanley Cup playoffs. The Western Conference Blues had the second-most points in the league and would have had home ice against every team in the NHL except for Boston. Both slipped to the fourth seed from the round-robin games. The Bruins are now +750 to win the Stanley Cup and the Blues +1100.

The Vegas Golden Knights earned the top seed in the Western Conference and the Colorado Avalanche the No. 2. They are the co-favorites to win the Cup at +550. The Golden Knights are in just their third season of existence and memorably reached the Stanley Cup Final as an expansion team, losing in five games to the Washington Capitals (+1100). The Avalanche have won two Cups, most recently in 2001.

Stanley Cup odds update as NHL playoffs hit ice

Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com

The most unique Stanley Cup playoffs in NHL history, thanks to the coronavirus, begin this weekend in the hub cities of Edmonton (hosting the Western Conference) and Toronto (Eastern Conference). They were chosen over any American cities because Canada has the virus under much better control than the United States does.

There are 31 NHL teams and 24 of them “advanced” to the playoffs; clubs had played around 70 games each before COVID-19 shut things down in March. The clubs with the top four points percentages in each conference will play a round robin against one another to determine the top four seeds in the East and West. The other eight clubs in each conference face off by seed – i.e. 5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11 – in a best-of-five qualifying round.

The qualifying round series winners move on and the losers go home, but the losers also get a shot at the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Whichever of the eight losers earns that pick will be determined August 10 in Phase 2 of the draft lottery — a “placeholder” playoff team won Phase 1. Each of the eliminated teams will have a 12.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick.

NHL wants fans to provide the season’s video and audio soundtrack

Virtually all sports leagues in the US, provided they see players suit up, are going to hold competitions on courts, fields and rinks in front of empty stands. The coronavirus is forcing organizations like the NFL, NHL and NBA, in accordance with state and federal directives, to keep fans away until there is more confidence that the pandemic is under control, which creates a unique situation for the leagues. Part of the thrill athletes experience in the games is the crowd noise, as fans cheer, holler, root and sometimes rant. Different leagues have formulated plans on how to address the lack of live fan participation and, in some cases, piped-in audio clips or soundtracks from video games are being used. The NHL is taking a different approach, and wants to hear from hockey fans.

NHL team season-ticket holders are beginning to receive correspondence from the teams, asking them to get involved. They, instead of all fans, were probably chosen because of the easy access to databases, and will have the ability to record and submit 30-second video and sound bites that could be included in the league’s upcoming games – more colorful commentary probably won’t pass muster.

The NHL will be holding the final matches of the 2019-20 season in Toronto and Edmonton. The fan-provided sounds will be heard live by players at the rinks, as well as used in game broadcasts and on NHL social media accounts. The league explained that submissions need to be free of any possible copyright or trademark issues and told the recipients to avoid “the appearance of paintings, posters, professional photography or any other art in the background,” as well as to avoid “wearing apparel that shows any brands.”

The material submitted should include expected reactions to goals being scored and can be specific for each team. For example, Boston Bruins fans can provide a clip of the famous “TUUUUUUUUKKKKKKK” chant, which is heard every time goalie Tuukka Rask successfully protects the net. Chicago Blackhawks fans can provide clips of a “slow clap” and “30 seconds of how you act/cheer during the National Anthem at a home game.” Fans of the Winnipeg Jets were requested to provide clips on why they’re proud to support the team and to include a “We Are Winnipeg” shoutout.

NHL hockey return could see some teams meet in Vegas

Like all major sports leagues in the U.S., and in most parts of the world, the NHL was forced to put hockey in time-out this past March because of the coronavirus. The league was close to starting its playoff games and the battle for the Stanley Cup, but hockey players and fans could only divert their attention elsewhere and wait for the storm to blow over. The sky is finally beginning to clear up and the grey clouds are rolling off into the distance, so it’s time to get the show on the road. The NBA has already announced its plan of attack to finish out the season and other sports, such as golf and tennis, are back in the swing of things, as well. With the NHL ready to join the fun, it looks like a picture is beginning to emerge on how it will conclude its 2019-20 season. Las Vegas is being rumored as a potential host for the league’s games, one of two cities that would ultimately be selected as hubs for the NHL modified playoffs.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Vegas could be the NHL’s Eastern Conference playoff hub. The league is expected to make a final announcement on or before June 22, an assertion made by league commissioner Gary Bettman late last month. The Western Conference would hold its competitions elsewhere, possibly in a city in Canada. That will depend on how Canada manages its lockdown and quarantine procedures, and the country is reportedly in talks with the NHL to work on a modified solution to give hockey players a pass.

The decision to put the Eastern Conference in Las Vegas, instead of the Western Conference, can be traced to one particular team. If the Western Conference were to play its games in the city, it might seem that the Vegas Golden Knights, a Western Conference team, would have a “home ice” advantage. Fair enough, but Eastern Conference team fans aren’t going to be too thrilled about catching games at 11 or 12 at night.

If Vegas makes the final cut, there are several hotels that could be used to host players and staff. Not coincidentally, they’re owned by MGM Resorts International, which is a co-owner of the T-Mobile Arena. The stadium would be outfitted with an ice-skating rink to host the games. More than likely, MGM’s Delano and Vdara, which are nongaming hotels in Vegas, would be the venues chosen for the NHL’s players and staff. The NHL is requesting that any venue used be nongaming and the Delano and Vdara are all-suite hotels with no gaming, even though they’re only steps away from the Mandalay Bay and the Aria, respectively.