The National Basketball Association has fully embraced the gaming world since sports betting thrust itself upon the mainstream following a Supreme Court decision to strike down a federal ban on gambling in May.
In August the league struck a deal for MGM Resorts to become the official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA, and earlier this week the Philadelphia 76ers became the first individual team to partner with a casino operator in a deal with Caesars Entertainment. Now, the players are getting in on the action too.
Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons has signed with WinView, an in-game skill-based sports app, for a deal that will give him a stake in the company and make him the face of its advertising campaign.
WinView is a sports predictor app in which users put their money up to predict what will happen next in a sporting event. Users compete against others, seeing who can answer the most correct questions about what will happen next in a sporting event for cash prizes ranging from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.
Examples of questions are:” Will the next made shot be a 3-pointer?” And “Will there be at least three completions on this drive?”
The Face of WinView
ESPN reported that the deal will give Griffin equity in WinView.
The marketing campaign asks for Griffin to call on his comedy chops in a three-episode web series in which he leaves the hardwood to join an office, predicting the day-to-day occurrences of cubicle life with the WinView app.
WinView is considered a game of skill, categorized the same as fantasy sports. As such. Griffin is not considered to be promoting sports betting with the partnership. Given the league’s approach to sports betting, Griffin didn’t seem concerned either way.
“The NBA has been ahead on this, and I think it’s good for everyone,” Griffin told ESPN about the league’s willingness to synergize with sports betting.
The NBA’s deal with MGM in August allowed the company access to the league data from the NBA and WNBA. After announcing the deal, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged the league was willing to venture into the new frontier.
“As the landscape for sports betting in the US Continues to evolve at a rapid pace, MGM Resorts is a proven gaming leader for us to work with on this groundbreaking partnership,” Silver said.
Following that, the 76ers became the NBA’s first team to reach a branding partnership with a casino operator. The deal with Caesars, announced this week, will put the company’s logo inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center and give fans the chance to win vacations to Caesars properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Sixers owner Joshua Harris doubled down on Caesars by including the NHL’s New Jersey Devils – whom he is also the majority owner of. That agreement will include the addition of the Caesars Club inside the Prudential Center during Devils’ home games. The lounge will be 5,000 square feet inside the arena on the main concourse.
The Devils have been one of the most aggressive professional sports teams when it comes to securing branding partnerships with gaming companies. The team also has a deal in place with William Hill that will allow the prominent sportsbook to have a lounge of its own inside the Prudential Center.
The William Hill Sports Lounge will be sportsbook-themed with a full bar, televisions, and an area to place mobile bets.