The trend of universities forming partnerships with sportsbook operators continued Thursday, with Michigan State University’s athletic department announcing a multi-year partnership with Caesars as the school’s official and exclusive sports betting and iGaming partner.
“The opportunity to partner with Caesars, a leading force in the sports and entertainment industry, will help enhance game-day experiences for Spartan fans and provide significant resources to support the growing needs of each of our varsity programs,” Alan Haller, Michigan State vice president and director of athletics, said via press release.
Caesars will gain access to broadcast and digital content across Michigan State’s athletic department, including signage at basketball, football, and hockey games. Caesars will also hold naming privileges for a “premium seating area” inside the football stadium, which will debut in the fall. Expect the sportsbook to have a presence at 2022 football games through an outdoor tailgating setup as well, aiming to engage fans before and after home football matchups.
Michigan State joins a few Power Five peers
Michigan State joins Maryland as Big Ten schools to recently announce partnerships with sportsbook operators, as Maryland joined forces with PointsBet in December. LSU, another prominent Power Five athletic department, inked a deal with Caesars back in September.
Colorado (PointsBet), Denver (SuperBook), and UNLV (DraftKings) are other colleges partnered with sportsbooks. Caesars also has a deal with the Fiesta Bowl, serving as the official sports betting and fantasy gaming partner of the New Year’s Six bowl game.
Athletic departments are constantly looking to build their budgets, and Michigan State shared that it will receive a “significant financial commitment” from Caesars. The sportsbook operator will also provide annual funding for student scholarships and professional development opportunities geared toward Michigan State students who want to work in sports.
“We are excited to be on the cutting edge of this innovative opportunity, while recognizing the importance of Caesars’ commitment to responsible sports gaming education both for the student-athletes and the University community as a whole,” Haller said.
Caesars’ Michigan presence grows
Caesars has a presence in 21 states and jurisdictions, and it offers live mobile sports betting in 15 of those locations including Michigan. The company operates the largest number of retail sportsbooks across the country, including at a pair of Michigan casinos: Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel in Williamsburg and Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbestown.
Caesars launched its Michigan mobile sportsbook in January 2021, and it also has an online casino option available for Michigan customers. The partnership with Michigan State only adds to Caesars’ noticeable footprint within the state.
“The Spartan fan base and alumni network is passionate and well-established across the country,” Eric Hession, co-president of Caesars Digital, said via press release. “We look forward to building upon our connection with them while strengthening the legacy we hold in the state of Michigan and advancing scholarship opportunities through this partnership.”
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