Gambling & Crypto Writer
The United States’ big leagues represent patriotism more than any other sports as its popularity has skyrocketed particularly in North America. However, this is not limited to America. Leagues like the NBA have been procuring talent from all corners of the globe for decades now. With baseball and American football now receiving worldwide exposure, the hockey league is not far behind.
In a recent development, the National Hockey League(NHL) has announced a partnership with sports betting brand OlyBet, which is owned by the parent company Olympic Entertainment Group. The move is seen as a bid by the NHL to tap into newer audiences around the world.
This partnership will see OlyBet becoming the official sports betting partner for the NHL’s Baltic market, contributing towards yet another working partnership between a gambling firm and a major sports league. NHL can tap into OlyBet’s vast footprint in the region, allowing it to brand throughout 100 diverse properties ranging from hotels, casinos to beverage locations spread across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
NHL can also leverage OlyBet’s media channels in the region for further exposure. For OlyBet, this is a great opportunity for the sports betting brand to gain worldwide exposure by tapping directly into the NHL calendar via promotions. The partnership between the two entities will cover the Stanley Cup from the playoff to the finals as well as regular-season games.
Both companies seem very happy with the future prospect of the partnership. John Lewicki, NHL Vice-President of business development called OlyBet “the top sports betting brand in the region” which “provides a terrific opportunity for the NHL to further fan engagement in this part of Europe”. OlyBet chairman and CEO Corey Plummer also expressed excitement at the prospect of the partnership, citing ice hockey’s popularity in the Baltic region.
Hockey’s “Big four” status as one of the worlds most-watched sports is under threat because of its declining numbers and struggling viewership. As reported by the Sports Business Journal, hockey’s average viewership for the regular season has gone down to 391,000 for the 2020/2021 season. This is one of the reasons why the league is looking to inspire interest.
Previously, the NHL has tied up with Betway in an effort to increase engagement among its North American fans. It has even procured shares in PointsBet which is a sportsbook. The National Hockey Lague has also teamed up with Bally’s Corporation, with the latter becoming an official sports betting partner.
There has been a growing trend of live broadcasts and games, social media activity, local events and sports betting, allowing fans to experience and engage with the league in a way that was previously unheard of. The above partnership will help tap into this trend, in addition to allowing the NHL to tap into a new market. Sportradar is also said to be supporting the partnership as the league’s official global data distributor.