Detroit Red Wings and Poker Stars Agree to 1st NHL Poker Sponsorship

Detroit Red Wings and Poker Stars Agree to 1st NHL Poker Sponsorship
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The Detroit Red Wings pulled an ace out of their sleeve with the team’s latest sponsorship deal involving the NHL squad.

The Original Six squad became the first American professional sports team to strike a deal with an online poker company as PokerStars signed a multi-year pact with the Red Wings on Friday.

The partnership allows Red Wings fans to cash in on unique experiences, such as signed memorabilia, merchandise, and tickets. The agreement also giving the Irish-based online poker company access to signage and other marketing opportunities at Little Caesars Arena and beyond.


PokerStars Happy About Unique Pact

Severin Rasset, the U.S. marketing director of PokerStars, called the pact between the company and Detroit’s NHL club a no-brainer for all involved amid a healthy Michigan online gambling market.

“We are extremely proud and excited to build a long-term relationship with such an iconic NHL team as the Red Wings,” Rasset said in a press release. “Through this partnership, we look forward to delivering epic experiences for our PokerStars community, expanding on what we can offer our Michigan based players, as well as those across the rest of the US.”

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Giving Fans Something to Look Forward To

The main motivation behind signing the multi-year deal with PokerStars for franchise figures, such as President & CEO of Ilitch Sports + Entertainment Chris McGowan, is the opportunities it presents supporters of the team in a state where Red Wings betting is a component of an expansive gaming market.

Michigan is one of seven states to have made regulated online poker legal. The others are New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Connecticut. Those states, minus Nevada, have other forms of Michigan casino apps too, including slots, roulette and other card games.

McGowan said in the team-issued press release that the bolstered in-arena advertisements and other branding options will help both parties win over Detroit’s faithful fans, while also placing added emphasis on responsible gambling.

“This is a partnership that our fans, especially poker players, will really enjoy,“ McGowan said in the press release. “It’s great to see PokerStars’ branding on the ice-level at Little Caesars Arena, and we’re very appreciative of their support.”

Who is Partnered With the Red Wings

The deal that Red Wings’ ownership announced on Friday with PokerStars in Michigan is just the latest in a string of gambling partnerships involving the club.

The Dublin-based online casino operator joins a list that includes PointsBet and BetMGM, as an official gambling partner of the Original Six squad.

The Red Wings struck a multi-year deal with PointsBet, the Australian mobile sports betting operator, in 2021.

They previously announced partnership deals with Michigan sports betting mainstays, DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks, giving Red Wings fans plenty of wagering options as the NHL season hits its stride.

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Christopher Boan has covered sports and sports betting for more than seven years and has worked for publications such as, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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