Many sportsbooks are turning to brand ambassadors in an attempt to grab some of the sports betting market share in their respective states. BetMGM has announced it’s teaming up with one of Michigan's most iconic athletes: former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders.
Sanders and BetMGM agreed to a multi-year deal to have the Hall of Fame running back serve as a celebrity brand ambassador. Sanders will be featured in BetMGM’s upcoming marketing campaigns and take part in numerous events with BetMGM customers, according to a news release.
"I'm excited to be a part of the BetMGM team and hop on the ride of the fastest-growing sports betting app in the business," Sanders said in the release. "Typically, I am the one breaking records in Michigan, but it is amazing to see what BetMGM already has accomplished in my home state."
BetMGM is also partnered with the Lions, where Sanders played 10 seasons and amassed the fourth-most rushing yards in NFL history with 15,269 yards. He was named the NFL’s MVP in 1997 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
"It's an honor and surreal moment for all of us at BetMGM to team up with Barry Sanders,” Matt Prevost, chief revenue officer for BetMGM, said in the release. “Adding Barry to the BetMGM family brings a new level of excitement and the potential for us to create unique experiences for our customers."
Sanders will engage with BetMGM players and MGM Resorts’ M Life Rewards loyalty members through in-person and virtual private and public events. He will also appear in BetMGM social media posts and make guest appearances on radio and television programs across the country.
BetMGM was one of the 10 operators to go live in Michigan when mobile sports betting and online casino gaming officially launched on Jan. 22. BetMGM is currently offering a risk-free bet up to $600 for new users who sign up. If the first bet by the player loses, they will be refunded up to $600 in free bets.
Sanders becomes the latest well-known athlete to become a brand ambassador with a sports betting company. PointsBet teamed up with former Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton, while BetRivers partnered with former NFL running back and Michigan native Jerome Bettis.
Expect more sports betting companies to announce deals with former athletes as operators look to gain a marketing edge over their competitors.