Michigan State University achieved a first for the school Thursday, inking a pact with Caesars Sportsbook to become its official sports betting and iGaming partner.
It’s the first deal signed between the emperor and a Big Ten program. The University of Maryland’s deal with PointsBet is the only other sports betting pact in the conference.
The multi-year Caesars-MSU deal allows the Michigan online casino operator to put its name on a new premium seating area at Spartan Stadium, in addition to opening opportunities for hospitality and VIP experiences through Caesars’ loyalty program, according to a company press release.
Caesars will also sponsor outdoor tailgating areas, along with promotions on mobile sports betting, iGaming, and the World Series of Poker, the release said.
The operator previously signed a similar deal with Louisiana State University of the Southeastern Conference in September.
The deal comes on the heels of Caesars Sportsbook Michigan being one of four operators — along with DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and BetRivers/Rush Street Interactive — to launch mobile operations in New York state last Saturday.
Why Michigan State is Perfect Partner for Caesars
The opportunity to connect Michigan State’s network of alums with Caesars’ sports betting and iGaming products was a major motivator behind the partnership, according to Eric Hession, who serves as co-president of Caesars Digital.
While the state has had legal casino gambling for more than 20 years, Michigan online sportsbook apps first launched in January 2021.
“Michigan State has a proud tradition of excellence and partnering with an internationally recognized brand in college athletics is a great opportunity for us,” Hession said in the press release. “The Spartan fan base and alumni network is passionate and well-established across the country. We look forward to building upon our connection with them while strengthening the legacy we hold in the state of Michigan and advancing scholarship opportunities through this partnership.”
Michigan State to Receive Scholarship Funding
For the Spartans, the deal with Caesars presents an opportunity to improve the experience both on game days and non-game days, while also providing the university the chance at leading the way in safe sports betting behavior for students and graduates.
As part of the deal, Caesars will provide funds for an annual responsible gaming education program that supports Spartans athletes. The operator will also fund scholarships, internships, and professional development opportunities for Michigan State students.
“The opportunity to partner with Caesars, a leading force in the sports and entertainment industry, will help enhance gameday experiences for Spartan fans and provide significant resources to support the growing needs of each of our varsity programs,” Alan Haller, Michigan State Vice President and Director of Athletics, said in the press release. “We are excited to be on the cutting edge of this innovative opportunity, while recognizing the importance of Caesars’ commitment to responsible sports gaming education both for the student-athletes and the University community as a whole.”