In Maryland, the second partnership between a casino and an NFL team is in the books as the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore announced on Friday that it had inked a multi-year marketing deal with the Ravens.
According to The Baltimore Sun, under the terms of the agreement, the casino will be able to use Baltimore Ravens logos and trademarks, with the casino expected to also capitalize on its proximity to M&T Bank Stadium. Both the casino and the stadium are on Russell Street, south of Downtown Baltimore in the city’s developing Southern Gateway Entertainment District.
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Advertising ban lifted:
Just months after the Supreme Court overturned a U.S. ban on states accepting bets on professional and college sports, early in September, Brian Rolapp, President and Chief Executive Officer of NFL Network and Executive Vice President of Media for the National Football League, revealed that the league’s longstanding ban against casino advertising would be lifted enabling land-based casino operators the opportunity to sponsor its team franchises during NFL 2018/19 games.
Cowboys first in league to deal:
The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones wasted no time in taking advantage of the new lucrative sponsorship opportunity and just days after the announcement by Rolapp named the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma-owned and operated casino and resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma the official casino of the team.
Exploring other sponsorship deals:
In addition to the Ravens now having an official casino designation, the team is also reportedly eyeing similar sponsorship agreements with other casinos, as communicated by the team’s senior vice president of corporate sales and business development, Kevin Rochlitz. According to the newspaper, the financial terms of the confidential agreement were not disclosed by either the Ravens or the Horseshoe casino.
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Commenting on what promises to be a lucrative deal, Rochlitz said, “It’s a great thing for us and a great thing for Horseshoe.
“The opportunity to merge our brands together allows our fans to do certain things inside Horseshoe Casino, and we’re going to be working on some consumer promotions that they’re going to announce to rewards members. It also allows a great opportunity for our fans to come in here to the casino and win certain prizes,” he explained.
Sports betting status:
Not covered in the agreement is the possibility of sports betting eventually coming to Maryland, after the May 14, 2018, decision by the United States Supreme Court declaring PASPA unconstitutional. According to the news agency, the largest casinos in the state support sports betting. Legislation to add a sports betting measure to the November ballot was not approved by the General Assembly during its most recent session, which means that voters most likely won’t have the opportunity to consider an amendment to the state’s constitution before November 2020.
“We’ll see what the state of Maryland does as it goes through the approval process,” said Rochlitz. “It’s to be determined. Right now, we’re going to take it one state at a time and take this partnership and develop it.”
Meanwhile, Erin Chamberlin, Horseshoe’s general manager and the regional president for the casino’s owner, Caesars Entertainment Corp., reportedly communicated that the casino would be “very supportive” of sports gaming legalization.
“We’re hoping that this agreement would put us in a great position should we achieve that goal in Maryland,” said Chamberlin. “It’s obviously something that we think would be very beneficial to the casinos and drive revenue that would benefit the education fund and the state overall.”
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Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is reportedly planning on re-branding its three-level bar, 14Forty Lounge, as a Ravens-themed bar. The Baltimore Sun also reports that the casino will additionally become a sponsor of “Legendary Moments and Plays,” which is shown during games on the video boards installed at the new stadium by the Ravens in 2017.