It’s only been a few days since the expansion of Ontario sports betting, but it hasn’t taken long for another one of the newly-regulated sportsbooks to partner with a professional sports franchise in the province.
On Thursday, just over 24 hours before the Toronto Blue Jays’ Opening Day game against the Texas Rangers, it was announced that the only Canadian franchise in MLB has agreed to a 10-year partnership with theScore Bet, which is now live in Ontario.
While it was recently the Ottawa Redblacks and PointsBet Sportsbook getting together, this time it’s two Toronto-based companies joining at the hip in time for Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season.
the Score Bet, Blue Jays ink multi-year partnership deal before Opening Day
Under the agreement, theScore Bet is the official gaming partner of the Blue Jays and the operator’s brand will be prominent throughout Rogers Centre.
“The fan experience is evolving and the monumental partnership with the Score Bet offers compelling new ways for sports enthusiasts to be a part of the game,” Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said in a statement. “We are excited to be partnering with a Canadian company that operates at the highest level of the industry and understands our role in Toronto and Canada.”
Fans will also be able to place in-game wagers using theScore Bet app and in the event that physical sportsbooks make their way into Ontario, we can expect to see one sponsored by theScore at Blue Jays home games.
As a brand, theScore has long been embedded into the collective consciousness of the Canadian sports fan. The digital media arm of Score Media is based in Toronto and this deal feels like somewhat of a no-brainer as sportsbooks look to create links between themselves and Ontario sports fans.
“Teaming with the Blue Jays opens up exciting new exclusive marketing opportunities and brings theScore Bet even closer to a huge audience of passionate, engaged fans, both on-site at Rogers Centre and online across our platforms,” Levy said in a statement. “We believe this deal will establish a new standard for team and gaming operator relationships as we pioneer innovative ways to experience and interact with the game.”
The converging factors of expanded betting in Canada and the Blue Jays being one of the trendy picks across a wide range of markets certainly don’t hurt. and the timing just before Opening Day on Friday is no accident.
While the Blue Jays’ deal with theScore Bet is the most recent one between a sportsbook and a professional sports team in Ontario, it’s not the first, and we don’t need to look back too far for the most recent one before this.
Not the first deal between Ontario sportsbooks and pro teams in the province
Just last week, the CFL‘s Ottawa Redblacks partnered with PointsBet in a groundbreaking partnership as the sportsbook looks to build a brand with a distinct Canadian voice that speaks to bettors in Ontario in a personal way.
“The opportunity to customize our product for the Canadian sports fan is something that we are taking extraordinarily seriously,” Sulsky explained. “And the partnerships we’ve struck so far speak to that focus. It’s about building that authentically Canadian brand.”
The stated goal for PointsBet is to introduce a top-tier product to the CFL fan base within the Ottawa region and around Ontario as betting goes live, but the desire to connect with sports fans and bettors in a new way is equally as important.
“We’re not just a gambling company, we’re a sports gaming brand. So we’re looking for ways to entertain, educate, and engage the Redblacks and R Nation fans whether they want to gamble or not,” Sulsky explained. “I think it’s going to create entertainment and engagement touchpoints for fans.”
With the Blue Jays deal, theScore bet is hoping for a similar effect as Open Day arrives and the excitement for the upcoming season of baseball in Toronto reaches a fever pitch.