MGM Resorts International today announced it’s becoming a partner of MLB Players, Inc. — the business arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) — gaining group marketing rights and access to MLB Players branding.
MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. Operator MGM Resorts is partnering with MLB Players. (Image: FOX Business)
Financial terms of the accord weren’t revealed, but it’s described as a “multi-year” pact. MLB Players gains hospitality benefits at MGM properties ,and those venues will host a variety of functions for the players’ business unit.
Under terms of the agreement, MGM Resorts can use the MLB Players’ group rights across a broad range of print and digital promotions, advertisements and sweepstakes in the U.S., China and Japan,” according to a statement. “Additionally, MGM Resorts will become a participating partner of MLB Players, Inc.’s Players House hospitality space at each season’s All-Star Game.”
The release didn’t say if that part of the agreement is in effect for the 2022 All-Star Game, which is scheduled for July 19 in Los Angeles.
Batter Up for MGM
The MLBPA is the players’ union “and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League Baseball players.”
For MGM, the deal with MLB Players is the latest in a slew of such agreements involving gaming companies and professional baseball. In terms of domestic betting handle, baseball trails football and basketball by wide margins. However, deepening ties with MLB Players could pay dividends for MGM.
For example, several of MGM’s regional casinos, including those in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, are in markets that are homes to MLB franchises. Additionally, with the proliferation and increasing acceptance of regulated sports wagering, some players are partnering directly with sportsbook operators, opening the door to broader arrangements such as the one MGM is forming with MLB players.
“MLB Players will also have opportunities to enter individual ambassador agreements to promote MGM Resorts through appearances, social media posts, autographed memorabilia, and advertisements,” according to the statement.
More MLB, Gaming Agreements
Historically, MLB took a hard line against betting. But that stance noticeably softened following the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
Today, MLB’s ties to the gaming industry run deep, including pacts between franchises and gaming companies. As just one example, BetMGM is the official sports betting partner of the Houston Astros — a team that plays in a state that currently doesn’t permit sports wagering.
MLB and the players union are also investors in Fanatics, which is widely expected to soon enter the sports wagering industry.
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