Indianapolis deal solidifies Caesars’ presence in NFL
source: StadiumDB.com; author: michał
With exclusive naming rights for the Superdome, now Caesars Entertainment has teamed up with Indianapolis Colts to form an even stronger presence across NFL.
Famous primarily for the Caesars Casino at the heart of Las Vegas’ strip, Caesars Entertainment is now investing time and money to gain recognition throughout NFL. Case in point: the recent joint announcement with Indianapolis Colts, for whom Caesars became both the ‘official sports betting partner’ (not exclusive) and ‘official casino partner’ (exclusive).
With much of the sports betting market already snapped up by the big two (DraftKings and FanDuel), new contenders have to step up their game to gain recognition. So is the strategy of Caesars, whose sportsbook app is very fresh and needs every dose of exposure to get a piece of the lucrative betting cake.
What are Caesars and Colts up to?
As you might expect, the new Indianapolis deal doesn’t include stadium naming rights, as the Lucas Oil Stadium name is bought until 2026. But Caesars will get quite some room within the stadium, establishing its first sports betting lounge, free to enter for all fans 21 and older. Live odds, LED screens and bonuses will all be there to entice Colts fans to download the app and bet also once they leave the stadium. Also, Caesars will have a piece of the Colts app, making sure they catch the attention of fans online as well.
Aside from the lounge itself, the stadium’s most exposed south entry (depicted on the above photo) will be renamed Caesars South Gate to make sure the brand is visible already as fans enjoy their pre-match tailgating parties. The partnership comes on top of the existing bonds between Indianapolis Colts and Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Of course, both entities have numerous attractions in store for supporters, with weekly prizes and trips to Las Vegas as part of the offer. While the partners ensure it’s a ‘multi-year’ deal, details of its duration or value remain a secret, at least for now.
Caesars already have the Superdome
The entertainment brand’s portfolio is growing by the day and Indianapolis is just one of its recent expansion points. There’s no need for a naming rights contract in Indianapolis when you have a massive deal of the kind in New Orleans. As confirmed before the 2021 NFL season, Caesars is replacing Mercedes-Benz as the sponsor of the iconic Superdome.
The contract was signed for one of the longest periods across NFL these days, 20 years. That’s twice the duration of Mercedes’ contract. It also comes at a very good moment as the Superdome is undergoing one of its largest redevelopments in history. Having seen over $350 million spent on upgrades over the past 12 years, now the stadium is seeing investment to the tune of $450 million.
This most recent project will boost the quality of experience for the spectator at all levels. It will see the addition of field level suites, improved concessions and vertical spaces which improve the environment and amenities and ingress and egress, as well as operational upgrades crucial to event operation. Overall, the goal is a much more comfortable experience for fans, while also improvement of safety and versatility of the stadium.
After all, Caesars Superdome will not only host all games of the New Orleans Saints. It’s also the site of the upcoming Super Bowl LIX in 2025, the 2022 NCAA Men's Final Four, the annual Sugar Bowl and College Football Playoff contests. All this, of course, intertwined with concerts and other indoor events.
As is tradition, neither of the parties involved (Caesars, Saints or The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District) chose to reveal the deal’s actual value. However, it’s expected that the Saints alone can hope to receive as much as $11 million annually, with further (both direct and indirect) benefits for the stadium’s public owner.
Many more partnerships to come?
You won’t be surprised that Caesars isn’t resting yet, with just these two NFL locations. Just days ago, another premier sports betting partnership was announced with the Baltimore Ravens. The entertainment giant’s branding will be highly visible throughout the stadium, with naming rights of parts of the club level amenities.
This deal will last 5 years, however with no sports betting lounge within the stadium. Such premises aren’t entirely permitted throughout the states, depending on local legal situation. But, seeing the light-speed growth of the sports betting market in USA, one can only expect that further deals will include similar solutions. With fewer teams left untapped for betting and casino partnerships, the race is on between multiple players.
With all the above said, the still-fresh Caesars Sportsbook might not hang around for long. Reportedly, Caesars is one of the two companies (along with DraftKings) interested in licensing the ESPN brand for sports betting. Should that happen, and it would come at a price of up to $3 billion, the Caesars brand might be replaced with one far more associated with sports. Just as it was the case with Sports Illustrated (SI) Sportsbook, which is launched by a casino-associated brand, 888.