||Keep Your Eye on Online Gaming as a Potential Blockbuster Sponsor Category
Just a little over two years ago, the Internet gambling industry in the U.S. was under siege from the federal government. It was declared illegal and the operators of its largest concerns were the targets of criminal and civil lawsuits.
But just as a gambler can quickly turn around a losing streak, the business itself is poised for a comeback. The federal Department of Justice has reversed course, opening the doors for states and possibly even Congress, to legalize online gaming.
New Jersey has just joined Nevada and Delaware in opening the legislative doors to Internet gambling, and other states are projected to follow. The Wall Street Journal detailed all of this in a recent article.
With online gaming companies ready to get back to business, marketing budgets will be ramped up. This could be very good news for rightsholders, as the category has demonstrated strong interest in sponsorship.
In the middle of the last decade, brands such as PartyPoker, Sportsbook and others signed a host of deals in the U.S. Overseas -- primarily Europe -- the category is huge, with brands such as Betfair, Bwin, Mansion, Paddy Poker and others investing millions of dollars in high-profile deals with football (soccer) clubs and other major properties.
As IEG Sponsorship Report pointed out about the first wave of online gaming deals back in 2005, the main objectives for such sponsorships are earning trust, building awareness and driving traffic: "Gaining a credible and trustworthy reputation so that gamblers feel safe spending money with them is of utmost importance."
That will still be the case, as will the necessity for rightsholders to conduct thorough due diligence and ensure that any deal they make in the category can stand up to scrutiny for being appropriate and worthwhile.
(Source: IEG Sponsorship Blog, 03/08/13)