PointsBet has signed a five-year deal to become a betting, gaming and fantasy sports partner of The University of Colorado Buffaloes, becoming the first operator to sign an agreement with a “Power Five” collegiate sports team.
The deal will see PointsBet signage appear at football stadium Folsom Field, as well as at the team’s basketball and volleyball stadium the CU Events Center. The operator’s brand will also feature in gameday promotions, television advertising space and on radio broadcasts.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which governs collegiate athletics, has taken a strong stance against gambling in the past and does not permit gambling advertisements during competitions it organises such as the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
However, there is no such prohibition for conference games, other regular season games or games organised by other entities such as college football bowls and playoffs.
The University said the deal “provides a financial boost for CU Athletics during a time when athletic department budgets nationwide are stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic”, with other Division I universities cutting back on collegiate sports programs.
Johnny Aitken, chief executive of PointsBet USA, said the deal represented a further step in PointsBet’s ties to the state of Colorado, where it has built its headquarters.
PointsBet last month entered a multi-year partnership with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth and the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.
“As a tech company at heart that is proud to call the state of Colorado home, we are thrilled to announce this partnership as part of our ongoing quest to become synonymous with Colorado sports betting,” Aitken said. “Since announcing our plans for a new headquarters in Denver, we’ve consistently stated our desire to work closely with the state’s first-class university system and rich pool of tech talent.
“It is an honor to become a partner of the Colorado Buffaloes, where we look forward to bolstering general sports betting knowledge and responsible gaming awareness while recruiting some of the best and brightest minds to help install a foundation for prolonged success.”
University of Colorado athletic director Rick George said PointsBet would emphasise responsible gambling to the university’s student-athletes through the deal.
“We’re thrilled to have PointsBet as a partner and for the benefits this sponsorship will provide for our student-athletes for years to come,” George said.
“We are impressed with their commitment to raising awareness around responsible gaming. And we’re particularly excited whenever we can partner with sponsors who call Colorado home.”
Learfield IMG College, the media rights holder of University of Colorado Athletics brokered the deal.
The Colorado Buffaloes play in the Pac-12 Conference for all sports. The Pac-12 last month announced the suspension of its college football season and said it would target a new start date in early 2021.