Colorado, PointsBet Reach First NCAA Sports Betting Deal

Colorado, PointsBet Reach First NCAA Sports Betting Deal
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The University of Colorado has reached a partnership agreement with PointsBet, becoming the first NCAA program to have an official sports betting partner.

The deal, for five years, includes football stadium and basketball arena signs and a presence on school broadcasts, according to a news release. Sports betting, fantasy sports, casino games and free-to-play contests are part of the agreement between the Boulder-based school and the Australian gaming company.

PointsBet, which is building a new North American headquarters in Denver, announced a month ago that it reached a deal to become the official and exclusive partner of the professional teams and venue owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment in Colorado. The deal includes the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League and the Pepsi Center, where the teams play.

Learfield IMG College, the media rights holder of University of Colorado Athletics, negotiated the deal with PointsBet, the release said.

“We’re thrilled to have PointsBet as a partner and for the benefits this sponsorship will provide for our student-athletes for years to come,” CU Athletic Director Rick George said in the news release. “We are impressed with their commitment to raising awareness around responsible gaming. And we’re particularly excited whenever we can partner with sponsors who call Colorado home.”

Colorado is a member of the Pac-12, which postponed all fall sports until Jan. 1. It joined the Big Ten as two of the Power Five conferences postponing fall sports.

Terms of the five-year deal weren’t released, but it should help CU Athletics with budget shortfalls from the coronavirus pandemic. The agreement also calls for specific support with the CU Athletics’ Leadership and Career Development Program, which helps prepare student-athletes for success after their playing careers are over, according to the release.

The NCAA does not have an official sports betting partner.

PointsBet Coming Soon to Colorado

PointsBet is not available in Colorado, but has said that it will be soon. It should launch in Illinois before the NFL season starts Thursday and will then focus on Colorado. It is building a retail sportsbook in partnership with the Double Eagle Hotel and Casino in Cripple Creek.

“As a tech company at heart that is proud to call the state of Colorado home, we are thrilled to announce this partnership as part of our ongoing quest to become synonymous with Colorado sports betting,” Johnny Aitken, CEO of PointsBet USA, said in the release. “Since announcing our plans for a new headquarters in Denver, we’ve consistently stated our desire to work closely with the state’s first-class university system and rich pool of tech talent.

“It is an honor to become a partner of the Colorado Buffaloes, where we look forward to bolstering general sports betting knowledge and responsible gaming awareness while recruiting some of the best and brightest minds to help install a foundation for prolonged success.”

Strong Run for PointsBet

The deal with the University of Colorado continues an active streak for PointsBet in the U.S. market, including:

On Aug. 28, PointsBet announced a five-year agreement to become the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. As part of the agreement, PointsBet will have year-round media and marketing opportunities across NBC Sports platforms, including NBCSN, the Golf Channel and regional sports networks. NBC gets an equity share in PointsBet.

On Aug. 18, the PGA Tour named PointsBet as an official sports betting operator, joining DraftKings and BetMGM. PointsBet will have use of PGA Tour trademarks, be able to market on tour platforms and have access to content and video for pregame and postgame betting programming.

On July 2, PointsBet became the first sports betting operator to reach an agreement with an MLB team. The agreement with the Detroit Tigers gives PointsBet advertising at Comerica Park, on the team’s broadcast and on the Tigers’ digital platform. PointsBet is an authorized gaming operator of MLB, which allows it to use official league data and logos.