The Philadelphia Eagles’ season got off to a disastrous start Sunday as the Birds, ravaged by key injuries before they even played a snap, blew a 17-0 lead against a team without a name.
But off the field, leads are being padded, not blown, as business is humming and the Eagles organization is making deals rather than breaking hearts.
The latest was announced Tuesday morning, when Sportico broke the news that the Eagles and online sportsbook FOX Bet are now partners. Among numerous details of the multi-year sponsorship deal, the most eye-catching is a plan for a 4,000-square-foot betting lounge and production studio at Lincoln Financial Field.
Poly-partnership approach prevailing
Partnerships between betting operators and pro teams (and even some college teams) are exploding in legal sports betting states, and the Philly market for such deals is getting awfully crowded.
The notion of a “co-exclusive” agreement, while deeply offensive to anyone who cares about the meaning of words, has apparently taken root in the sports gambling space. Interestingly, FOX Bet is not the first online sportsbook to partner with the Eagles.
Last November, Unibet announced a multi-year deal for a prominent branding presence at “The Linc.”
The FOX Bet partnership goes in some different directions, but both agreements call for an abundance of in-stadium branding.
This seems to be the way of things. The 76ers have deals with both FOX Bet and Parx Casino, and the Flyers have a deal with the Rivers brand. Both of those teams play in the Wells Fargo Center, which houses the studio of NBC Sports Philadelphia, which recently announced PointsBet — a sportsbook not even available in Pennsylvania — as its official betting partner.
Meanwhile, the new Live! casino will be opening in the next few months in the same complex as all of the South Philly sports venues.
For bettors, the options for wagering before or during a game at a casino sportsbook, at a stadium lounge, or on any of the apps on their phone will be plentiful.
FOX not on top in PA, but in the mix
The PA sports wagering hierarchy might be shaken up soon with the arrival this week of the Barstool Sportsbook app, but for now, the Eagles organization has aligned itself with the betting app that ranked third in the state in online revenue as of the most recent monthly report.
DraftKings was king in July with $1.84 million, followed by FanDuel at $1.43 million. The two Rivers brands, BetRivers and PlaySugarhouse, combined for just over $1.6 million, but with the two apps counted individually by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, FOX Bet edged them each out with a $965,052 haul in July.
The new FOX Bet-branded lounge at Lincoln Financial Field will have room for 380 fans — possibly only after paying a premium ticket price or an entry fee to the lounge — and will host a broadcast studio for such shows as the upcoming betting-oriented program Eagles Edge.
The idea of an in-stadium betting lounge is nothing new. New Jersey’s Prudential Center opened its William Hill Sports Lounge back in December 2018, then followed with a Caesars Club a month later. Venues in other states have gotten in on the act, including the Denver Broncos opening a BetMGM lounge.
There’s not much urgency for The Linc to complete the new FOX Bet studio and lounge, as fans are currently not permitted at Eagles home games. It remains to be seen whether Philadelphia will follow the lead of Kansas City and Jacksonville, both of which allowed limited numbers of fans in for their home openers last week. Teams and state and local health officials are presumably watching closely to see if either football game leads to a rise in diagnosed COVID-19 cases in those areas over the next week or two.
There’s much uncertainty surrounding all of this. But if you’re looking for a sure thing, bet on the proliferation of deals between pro teams and sportsbooks to continue.
And you can also bet on Nikola Jokic Tuesday night (for a maximum of $10) if you’re looking for a sure thing from the sportsbook the Eagles just partnered with:
It’s been 1,060 days since Nikola Jokic was last held scoreless in an #NBA game.
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? OPEN TO ALL STATES!!! (PA, NJ & CO)
— FOX Bet (@FOXBet) September 15, 2020
Photo by Bill Streitcher / USA Today Sports