Following the successful launch of their mobile sports betting app and online casino in Michigan, BetMGM has announced the signing of Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders as a celebrity brand ambassador. The deal was made public on February 4, 2021, only a few days prior to the Super Bowl LV showdown.
Sanders is the third celebrity brand ambassador to sign with BetMGM. The high-profile partnership further cements the aggressive marketing approach by BetMGM in the US regulated markets. They are currently approved for sports betting under regulation in ten different US states.
According to the press release, the former running back of the Detroit Lions will star in BetMGM’s upcoming marketing campaigns, social media content and participate in a variety of events with BetMGM customers.
“It’s an honor and surreal moment for all of us at BetMGM to team up with Barry Sanders. Adding Barry to the BetMGM family brings a new level of excitement and the potential for us to create unique experiences for our customers,” said Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer of BetMGM.
During his spell with the Detroit Lions, Sanders scored 99 touchdowns and was named NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1997. He spent ten years with the franchise and retired at the age of 31 in 1999 after setting several records. In 2004, Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Typically, I am the one breaking records in Michigan, but it is amazing to see what BetMGM already has accomplished in my home state,” Sanders said in the press release.
He is one of the most well-known stars in Michigan’s recent sports history. The signing of Sanders comes just over two weeks after BetMGM inked a deal with three-time Stanley Cup champion Chris Chelios on January 21, 2021. Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx is the main brand ambassador for BetMGM in the US.
Furthermore, BetMGM also has two existing partnerships with sports teams in the Wolverine State. They have a multi-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings and became the first Official Sports Betting Partner of the Detroit Lions in September 2020.
Michigan has become the latest state in which BetMGM was approved as an igaming operator. Provisional licenses were granted by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) in late December 2020. The launch of the igaming and sports betting platform then took place on January 22, 2021.
The timing could not have been any better—just two and a half weeks ahead of the arguably busiest weekend of sports betting in the US. It gave Michiganders the opportunity to use the BetMGM mobile sports betting app for The Big Game.
BetMGM were among the US sportsbooks to offer special promotions for the showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Included was a risk-free bet offer up to $20, or $10 in free bets for any sports. Customers in Pennsylvania were also able to earn free bets based on their casino play.
While BetMGM has already launched online casino and sports betting in the Wolverine State, online poker in Michigan, in partnership with the *partypoker US Network*m is currently lagging behind. Until now, only one operator offers legal online poker in Michigan. PokerStars MI was once again the first online poker room to launch in a regulated state and went live on January 29.
With the big name signings of sports stars Sanders and Chelios, BetMGM has certainly showcased their firm focus on the igaming market in Michigan. Unique promotions and eye-catching marketing campaigns involving both admired sons of Detroit can be expected.