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NHL takes stake in PointsBet as it announces multi-year partnership


Australian sports betting operator PointsBet has agreed a multi-year strategic partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL), becoming an official sports betting partner of the league and acquiring a small stake in the operator worth $500,000.

The agreement covers both the US and Australia and allows PointsBet the right to use NHL marks and logos, as well as a variety of sponsorship and commercial opportunities across its linear, digital and social media assets, the operator said.

The deal also allows PointsBet to integrate content into live NHL game broadcasts across NHL media partners, including NBC Sports, Altitude TV and other potential future alignments.

PointsBet, NBC Sports and the NHL have already begun installing such integrations for the 2020-21 season, including the incorporation of PointsBet odds, data and insight to run alongside pre-game, in-game and post-game broadcasts.

“As the sports betting landscape evolves at a rapid pace, we continue to develop unique, strategic alliances within the sports gaming industry,” said Keith Wachtel, NHL Chief Business Officer and Senior Executive Vice President.

“Our partnership with PointsBet brings to life our collaboration with our valued media partners and we look forward to enhancing our fan engagement opportunities in concert with both PointsBet and NBC. We are proud to welcome PointsBet to the NHL family.”

Johnny Aitken, chief executive of PointsBet USA, added: “The NHL’s on-ice product provides fans with captivating, nonstop action – it is a privilege to join forces with the NHL and its forward-thinking team, complementing that action with PointsBet’s sports betting product.”

“We are excited to further elevate fan engagement via offering the most markets in the world for each NHL game, including our exclusive PointsBetting product, and enhance TV and digital integrations with mutual partners like NBC Sports.”

The operator has agreed to issue the NHL 43,106 fully paid ordinary shares, representing $500,000 based on the 20-day trading volume weighted average price of shares immediately prior to February 5, 2021.

The shares will remain in a holding lock and will be released in equal proportions after 12, 24 and 36 months.

PointsBet has signed a number of sponsorship deals recently as it continues to expand its offering in the US. The operator became a partner of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Detroit Pistons in January, before being approved to launch online sports betting in the teams’ home state of Michigan.

Results published in January showed that PointsBet saw turnover and revenue for the first half of the 2020-21 fiscal year grow rapidly, however high spend and investment saw its net loss continue to widen.

For the first half of the year, PointsBet’s turnover came to AUD$1.89bn (£1.06bn/€1.19bn/$1.45bn), up 254.5% from 2019–20. This resulted in gross revenue of $153.8m, a year-on-year improvement of more than 460%.

After high levels of spending, however, the operator posted a net loss of $48.8m, up 51.1% from the previous year.