Marketing and Sponsorship

Caps' jersey deal with Caesars highlights NHL's embrace of gambling

The Capitals reached the NHL's first jersey sponsorship deal, with Caesars Sportsbook for the '22-23 season, and the deal is "noteworthy because it's a public proclamation of how much gambling will play a role in the future of the NHL financially," according to Sean Shapiro of THE ATHLETIC. When teams initially sold helmet ads they were not "allowed to sell the space to gambling companies," but that stance has "changed considerably." This deal should not "be a surprise when you consider the Capitals' relationship with gambling." Earlier this year, Caesars in DC opened the first brick-and-mortar sportsbook inside an American arena, and Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis has "been a proponent to pushing the gamification of American sports in both the NHL and the NBA." The Capitals are "the first NHL team to sell advertising space on its jersey." The Caesars' patch will appear on the Capitals' home jerseys. The team will "use a different sponsor for its road uniforms" (THEATHLETIC.com, 9/24).

Caesars branding will appear on right chest area of home sweaters; Capitals are still looking for an away jersey patch sponsorMonumental Sports & Entertainment

MORE DETAILS: In DC, Scott Allen writes the Capitals are "still in talks with potential sponsors for its road white jerseys; sportsbook ads may only be worn at home by franchises in markets where sports betting is legal." Financial terms of the multiyear deal were "not disclosed," but league and team execs have "suggested jersey sponsorships could be at least as valuable as arena naming rights deals," which in the case of Capital One Arena amounts to $10M per year. Monumental Sports & Entertainment President of Business Operations & Chief Commercial Officer Jim Van Stone did not "dispute that notion, calling the Caesars jersey partnership 'significant in terms of value.'” After the NHL’s jersey advertising program was approved in August, Monumental "worked to finalize a deal with Caesars." Three months earlier, the Caesars by William Hill sportsbook opened in Capital One Arena. On the companies the Capitals considered for their first jersey sponsor, Van Stone said, “We’ve been one of the most successful teams in the NHL, certainly over the last decade, and there was some heavy interest there. We decided to move quickly. Caesars has become a really important partner of ours" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/24).

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