With bookmaker sponsorships becoming the norm in much of the United States in the world of sports, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hosts their "First Poker Sponsorship" with the world’s largest online poker room, PokerStars, at within which the official symbols of the institution, the image of a red lance, will appear on the walls of the legendary UFC octagon.
The first results of the new marketing agreement will appear in the design elements of the traditional mixed martial arts arena, fenced in an octagon grid at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which will host UFC # 232 fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. In addition, the PokerStars branding will be used in all promotional materials for the match that will be broadcast on television and other digital media outlets.
Due to its presence in the MMA environment, PokerStars promotional materials will be seen in 1.1 billion households in more than 160 countries, and will be broadcast in forty different languages, according to the partners’ official press release.
According to experts, the parties have chosen a fairly good time to conclude this agreement. In May of this year, the US Supreme Court passed a ruling overturning the federal ban on sports betting activities on the outcome of sports events in the states. The event sparked an impressive wave of partnerships between casino operators and major US sports leagues.
In September, representatives of the National Basketball Association (NBA) made an official statement on the conclusion of an agreement on an official partnership with MGM Resorts International, as its main gambling partner. Later, MGM entered into similar agreements with the National Hockey League (NHL) in October, and with Major League Baseball (MLB) in November.
Meanwhile, early in the NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys became the first league club to partner with the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Oklahoma, even though betting was not legal in the state and to date.
Over the next several months, a number of similar agreements were concluded. The Baltimore Ravens have partnered with Caesars’ Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, and the New York Jets have partnered with MGM Resorts International. At the same time, Caesars Entertainment entered into a fifteen-year partnership with the Oakland Raiders in anticipation of the club’s plans to move to Las Vegas in 2020. Just this week, professional American football club New Orleans Saints and NBA New Orleans Pelicans have partnered with Harrah’s New Orleans complex.