For those who have tuned into the NHL Playoffs over the last 10 days, they may have noticed the branding of a Colorado sports betting newcomer displayed prominently at rinks across the league.
The logo of the company appeared on the dasherboards at Ball Arena for Game 1 of the West Division first-round series between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues. The on-ice branding can also be viewed at a number of other arenas during the opening round of the playoffs.
The branding opportunities result from a multi-year deal between Betway and the National Hockey League, the company’s first sports betting partnership with a North American professional sports league since making its U.S. debut. Betway gained market access in Colorado through a skin or licensing agreement with Famous Bonanza Casino in Central City.
“It’s an incredibly proud moment as we announce our first North American sports league partnership with the NHL,” Betway CEO Anthony Werkman said in a statement. “Starting with the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Betway brand will receive major exposure to sports fans around the globe and that will continue at other NHL tentpole events throughout the calendar, which is hugely exciting for us.”
Betway joins the SPAC party
The deal with the NHL came several weeks after Betway parent company Super Group announced a deal to combine with Sports Entertainment Acquisition Corp. (SEAH), a special purpose acquisition corporation founded by Eric Grubman, a former NFL executive. Under the deal, Super Group entered into an agreement to acquire Digital Gaming Corporation, subject to obtaining customary regulatory approvals. Digital Gaming has secured online sports betting and iGaming market access in 10 states, including Colorado.
The combined company intends to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SGHC.” The deal values the company at $4.75 billion based on a pre-money equity valuation. Under the assumption that there aren’t any redemptions among SEAH shareholders, the transaction will deliver about $450 million in cash to the combined company.
While SEAH shareholders will hold approximately 88% of company shares upon the closing of the deal, the new company will have approximately $200 million in cash on its balance sheet, according to a statement announcing the deal.
Super Group, which includes online sportsbook @betway and iGaming brand Spin, will draw on the expertise of a SPAC leadership group that includes former NHL COO John Collins and former NFL EVP Eric Grubman. https://t.co/YCMn1VYlgq pic.twitter.com/UP6OR3xU3l
— Sportico (@Sportico) April 27, 2021
Smooth sailing for Avs in first round
The Avalanche waltzed through the first round, dismissing the St. Louis Blues in four games. The Avs’ offense clicked throughout, as Colorado outscored St. Louis 20-7 in the four-game sweep. At Betway, Colorado remains as the favorite to win the 2021 Stanley Cup, with odds of 4/1. Four others, the Bruins (+550), the Golden Knights (+550), the Lightning (+650), and the Maple Leafs (+650), trail close behind.
For its Colorado customers, Betway offered a bevy of unique specials during the opening-round series. Prior to Friday night’s Game 3, a wager at Betway paid 10/1 on Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer and Blues counterpart Jordan Binnington to each record 32 saves. Neither hit the mark, as Grubauer notched a game-high 31 stops in the 5-1 win.
Betway offered other wagers that may have intrigued hockey customers. One bet paid out +650 if Avs’ center Nathan MacKinnon and Blues forward Mike Hoffman both scored in Game 3. While neither found the net, the wager would have been graded as a win in Game 2 when MacKinnon recorded a hat trick. Another wager carried a return of 51/1 if MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog (COL), Vladimir Tarasenko (STL), and Ryan O’Reilly (STL) all scored in Friday’s matchup. Although the wager did not come in, it gave bettors a chance to win several hundred dollars on a fairly small bet.
Given the crowded marketplace in Colorado, sportsbooks like Betway can differentiate themselves from competitors by offering creative wagers to customers.
The @NHL and @betway today announced a new multiyear U.S. partnership, naming Betway an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NHL. This deal represents Betway’s first sports betting partnership with a North American professional sports league.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 14, 2021
Regardless of whether the Avalanche make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Betway logo figures to be omnipresent at NHL arenas over the next several rounds.
“With the sports betting category continuing to evolve at a rapid pace, we’re thrilled to launch our new partnership with Betway at this very exciting time of our season,” NHL Chief Business Officer Keith Wachtel said in a statement. Betway has a very aggressive growth strategy and are an ideal partner to engage with our avid fan base.”