Helping brands to partner with athletes in their influencer marketing and sponsorship marketing campaigns

A New Era: The Emergence of Partnerships with Sportsbooks

Jun 2, 2022 1:37:30 PM / by Rohan Lulla posted in sports innovation for athletes, sports sponsorship, sports technology, partnerships, sportsbetting


The legalization of sports betting across the United States has created a new buzz within the sports world. Almost every major sports league has established partnership deals with sports betting companies. Nowadays, the main sponsors seen on game ads and within sports arenas are sports gambling based companies. Companies like DraftKings, Fanduel, Bet MGM, amongst other sportsbooks are spending large amounts of money on marketing tactics to compete within this newly competitive industry. With a hefty spending budget for advertisements and partnerships, gambling companies are making the next big push for big money into all areas of the sports world. 

Sports Betting Map (2022) - AAF

2022 Growth Rate

The state of New York opened up the legalization of sports betting in January and within a few months has generated more than $267 million in state income. With an additional $200 million coming to the state from the license sales of the gambling operations. To put it into perspective, in only five months that wagers have been deemed legal in New York, the state has collected more revenue than any other state. Pennsylvania has generated $253 million since November 2018, and New Jersey has generated $229 million since June 2018. The push in growth from a state like New York has opened the door to a further movement of sports gambling commercialization and marketing. Just this year alone, the Super Bowl was responsible for over half a billion dollars in legal sports bets, and the March Madness tournament accumulated $3.1 billion in the handling of legal sports bets. The revenue growth is only kicking off. 


*New York State Sports Betting Handle since legalization*


League and Team Partnerships

The modernizing approach that leagues are making with sports gambling partnerships are long lasting and efficient at increasing fan interaction and brand awareness. MGM became the first casino based Sportsbook to form a 3-year $25 million deal with the NBA. Thus, MGM is also the official gaming sponsor for the MLB. Caesar’s created a monster deal to become the NFL’s main casino and sports gambling sponsor for a reported $30 million a year.

Sources: NBA-MGM Betting Deal Pegged At Three Years, Over $25M


The partnerships being formed with teams are making an impact for the growth and activation of the industry. Almost every sports team is starting to have an “official gaming partner” with one of the major companies, and is pushing to project the ads and promos within arenas and stadiums. Last year, the Madison Square Garden Sports corp who owns the New York Rangers and Knicks formed a deal with BETMGM for an undisclosed amount to form a partnership. The growth taking place in the creation of these partnerships with professional teams will continue to become more elaborate as the laws across the nation become more clear. 

BetMGM signs on with Pirates, gets prominent PNC Park placement

The Rise of Fanduel and Draftkings 


Fanduel has been working to form strategic partnerships with popular sports podcasters and a media outlets such as with TNT’s Inside NBA cast with the likes of Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. Fanduel also started the first arena sportsbook lounge located in Footprint arena, the home of the Phoenix Suns. The next in-arena Fanduel will be ready at the United Center in Chicago as the growth of these concepts continue to come to life. These new additions to venues are creating a new fan experience and forming a creative way to expand the legal push happening in different areas of the country. It is also creates a new way for teams to add more revenue and drive profit on game days.  Opensponsorship recently collaborated with Fanduel to create promotions with former athletes such as: Aqib Talib, Donovan McNabb, and Deron Williams. The trend in this space will allow Opensponsorship to continue the growth of forming unique partnerships that will help the sports industry grow.

*Fanduel Sportsbook located in Footprint Center, Phoenix.* 

Orange Crush: FanDuel Sportsbook Becomes Top Attraction at Footprint Center  - VenuesNow

DraftKings has been making a huge marketing push with a variety of partnerships similar to Fanduel in the podcast space, influencer, and with former athletes. One of the more significant additions to DraftKings in recent years is the addition of Micheal Jordan taking on a role as a Special Advisor to the board. Gaining traction through numerous partnerships with former star athletes is creating more promotions that is enticing users to choose Draftkings and Fanduel over many of the traditional sportsbooks. Teams and leagues are working on partnering with either company due to the large market share and user loyalty being gained. An estimated 40% of the online sports gambling market share is held by Fanduel, while a near 29% is held by Draftkings. 



Current Athletes and Sports Betting Partnerships: 

The next major push in this space will be the rights for current athletes to partner with sports gaming companies to create sponsorship deals. Since the industry and laws are still unclear, it is currently difficult for athletes in leagues like the NBA and NFL to be a part of this push as of now. However, during the MLB lockout this past year, a new collective bargaining agreement stated that the athletes are allowed to partake in marketing and sponsorship deals with sports gaming companies, but cannot bet on the sport. Colorado Rockies outfielder, Charlie Blackmon, became the first baseball player to start a partnership in this space with MaximBet. 

Charlie Blackmon Props, Betting Odds and Stats vs. the Nationals - May 28,  2022 - RYP Articles


The new wave of sponsorship deals with sports gaming companies is opening more doors than ever for leagues, teams, former athletes, tournaments, influencers, and media outlets. With the growth in marketing spending by gaming companies and an increase in partnerships, find out more about how Opensponsorship can help form creative and strategic partnerships to bring this to life!

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Apr 28, 2022 10:30:00 AM / by OpenSponsorship posted in open sponsorship, sports innovation, sports innovation for athletes, Brand Endorsements


OpenSponsorship is the world’s largest and smartest digital marketplace,  our tech-platform has created and closed thousands of partnerships for our community of 12,000+ professional athletes and brands, who are looking to for authentic marketing relationships.

Meet Charles Turner, Head of our U.K. Team ! 

Charles is head of our U.K. Team. He has done some amazing webinars with brands in the finance industry and talking about hot topics such Cryptocurrency, NFT's for athletes & Web3. Aside from his extensive knowledge about the finance industry he is an expert with the EMEA region. In our most recent webinar with Sportcash One, Charles talked to Andrew Lubahn, COO of Sportcash One about athletes for NFT's.

Prior to his role as Head of U.K. for OpenSponsorship, Turner co-founded Neat Nutrition, an award winning plant-based protein and whey powder brand based out of the U.K. with his fellow British Swimming teammate, Lee Forster. He has broad experience across sales, partnerships, and brand marketing, both as a brand owner and formerly representing some of the most recognisable rights holders in the entertainment industry.

Let's take a look at our very first NFTs webinar !  

HubSpot Video

An Interview with Charles Turner

  • 1. What do you love best about OpenSponsorship?

As a former struggling athlete, I love the fact that OpenSponsorship creates brand partnership opportunities with athletes of any status and from any sport. We can have a huge impact on these lesser known athletes by providing them something as simple as free products (like supplements or kit) to help with day-to-day training. We now also know that these athletes tend to have really high engagement rates and have genuine influence over their followers, helping brands to quickly build authentic communities.

  • If you had to spend a day in any athlete's life who would it be and why?

The Olympic Games has alway been special to me having had two parents that competed as swimmers in the 1968 and 1972 Games respectively. As a former swimmer myself, seeing what Michael Phelps did at the Olympic Games in Beijing was remarkable and it would be amazing to experience the jubilation of one of those closely fought gold medals.However I'm a terrible, terrible golfer and I'd love to play one round like a pro - so maybe Rory McIlroy or Tiger! Imagine not losing 5+ balls and hitting every bunker on the course!

  • Since you’re the head of our UK team, what excites you about our European market?

After a couple of tough years sport is back and it's more emotive than ever! For the UK in particular we have some amazing events on home soil, like the Commonwealth Games, Women's UEFA Football Championship and evergreen events like Wimbledon, which create an opportunity for brands to capitalise on the halo effect competing athletes bring to a product or service.I also love the diversity of the brands we work with having already collaborated with businesses in the Nordics, Germany, Netherlands, UAE, India and of course the UK, on a range of briefs all entirely unique to one another. It excites me that we can impact sales and marketing efforts in so many different ways via athlete marketing.



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Sports innovation for athletes

Jun 23, 2017 3:59:58 PM / by Arsène Rasoamanana posted in american football, humon, influencer marketing, innovation, innovation for athletes, innovations for athletes, marketing, marketing opportunities, NBA, NFL, Sponsor, sponsoring athletes, sponsorship, sport technology, sports, sports innovation for athletes, sports marketing, sports sponsorship, sports techie, sports technology, statsports, UFC, vicis, athlete health, athletes on social media, Brand Endorsements, breakthroughs, Endorsement, football, guardlab


What's cooler than sports innovation for athletes? It enables athletes to play harder for their team, be safer while competing and fans can know more about their favorite athletes.

OpenSponsorship is the leading marketplace for sports sponsorship. We are finding ways to connect more of these cool brands to professional athletes. This week we have been focused on finding out who are the coolest companies bringing sports innovation for athletes. We then find ways to make these matches between the brands and pro athletes. We help the sports innovation companies decide who to use, what to do and how to do it (clue: largely social media and content marketing based).

Our friends over at Sportstechie have been a major source of knowledge to understand who is leading the charge in sports innovation for athletes. We have also been referencing the sports brands highlighted by the Sports Technology Awards (quick plug: we were named a finalist in 2015 in the category of Best Technology facilitating commercial returns!).

So how do we do this matchmaking process for these companies who are bringing sports innovation for athletes? Thanks to integrations with IBM Watson and the largest marketplace network of athletes, globally, we are able to find which athletes who are talking about sports innovation; who are already promoting innovative products and even find which athletes get the best engagement on social media when they do promote a sports innovation for athletes.

Our Top 4 Sports Technology Products Which Stood Out As Great Sports Innovation For Athletes And Teams

I/ GuardLab's 3D Printed Mouthguard

Sports innovation, sports technology: Guardlab, 3D printed mouthguard

Concussions are plaguing sports nowadays and thus this first entry on our 'sports innovation for athletes' list operates in the all-important security space. According to Head Case's website, the number of total concussions doubled from 2002 to 2012. Mouthguards are an integral part of head protection in many sports. Such as rugby, soccer, american football, combat sports and of course martial arts. Lots of players throw their elbows from left to right at head height. It is easily understandable that players want to protect their head, mouth and teeth. 3D printed mouthguards ensure a top-notch fit and thus, protection.

Our idea for this sports innovation, Guardlabs, is to find an athlete that is not happy with their current fit, and design a custom product for the athlete to use. A great before and after shot showing the better fit would be great. Using an MMA fighter who is known to produce great content would be recommended. Someone such as Andre Fili - full disclosure we assume he wears a good mouthguard.

II/ Vicis' Zero 1 Football Helmet


Sports innovation for athletes: Vicis Zero 1 Helmet Vicis Zero 1


Football helmets are known to be hard, very hard. Football helmets all feature the same principle: a hard shell coupled with padding inside for comfort and shock absorption. However, Vicis is going in the opposite direction by featuring a soft shell and multiple layers to redistribute the impact over the whole helmet. And thus this helmet is second on our list of best sports innovations for athletes.  Judging by their testing, helmets are much more efficient by absorbing impacts with a soft and adaptive surface. This approach could reduce concussions significantly.

Our idea for this sports innovation, Vicis, is to find an athlete that is known for hard knocks. Such as a Defensive Tackle in the NFL e.g. Cleveland Browns athlete Desmond Bryant.

III/ StatSports' Sensors

Sports innovation, Sports technology: StatSports tracking device and software

StatsSports have been developing sensors which are being used by lots of sports teams across 6 of the most popular sports in the world. Soccer (FC Barcelona, Juventus), rugby (Springboks, Chiefs), football (Panthers, Raiders), hockey, athletics and basketball (Grizzlies, Wizards). These Sensors get into our list of top sports innovations for athletes thanks to the incredible accuracy in measuring many criteria. E.g. for American football - Power, Snap reaction, speed and acceleration at time of first hit. This sports innovation is all about helping performance.

Our idea for StatSports, is to use their sports innovation for athletes, by exemplifying the accuracy of Statsports Sensors over traditional methods. They could have a NFL player do the 40 yard dash and then post it on social media. Fans could guess what the acceleration rate was, and whoever got closest to the StatSports time gets to meet the player. Jeremy Langford, NFL running back for the Chicago bears would be great for this sponsorship.

IV/ Humon Hex

Sports innovations for athletes: Humon HexThis innovation in sports for athletes focuses on performance and predicting tiredness, by determining Oxygen levels in real-time. This sports innovation also helps athletes know if they are warmed up enough before a workout. Then allows athletes to set limits for a workout and enables athletes to quantify the effort they are putting in.

Our idea for Humon Hex is to use their sports innovation on athletes who have been active on social media talking about oxygen levels and its importance. E.g. recently surfer Luke Davis told his Twitter followers that he was taking "oxygen utilization" supplements.

If you are a brand sign up for free here to access our roster of 2600+ athletes, teams and events. If you are an athlete you can sign up for a free account here. Then, start applying to campaigns posted by our brands! :)


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