PokerStars has partnered with the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings in a multi-year sponsorship deal that will bring the venerable online-poker brand front and center to Red Wings fans throughout the Detroit area and Michigan, one of the U.S. states where PokerStars is licensed and regulated.
The deal involving PokerStars branding and advertising strengthens the synergy between Stars parent Flutter Entertainment and Ilitch Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the Red Wings’ NHL franchise. Flutter’s primary sports-betting brand, FanDuel, already has a partnership in place with the Red Wings.
According to a press statement, the new deal involving PokerStars will place “fan experience at the heart of the action,” with poker-specific experiences and events offered to the Red Wings’ fan base. Besides the Stars-branded fan opportunities and experiences, other planned rewards include signed memorabilia, merchandise, and game tickets. PokerStars branding will join FanDuel in being featured throughout Detroit’s Little Caesars, where the Red Wings play.
“This is a partnership that our fans, especially poker players, will really enjoy,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of Ilitch Sports and Entertainment. “It’s great to see PokerStars’ branding on the ice level at Little Caesars Arena, and we’re very appreciative of their support.”
PokerStars US Managing Director Severin Rasset offered the PokerStars-side quote. “We are extremely proud and excited to build a long-term relationship with such an iconic NHL team as the Red Wings,” said Rasset. “Through this partnership, we look forward to delivering epic experiences for our PokerStars community, expanding on what we can offer our Michigan based players, as well as those across the rest of the US.”
Though advertising deals involving prominent land-based casino entities and sports-betting brands have become commonplace throughout American professional sports over the past decade, the deal is still rare in featuring an online-poker brand in conjunction with an American professional sports team. In 2014, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers reached an advertising deal with PartyPoker that marked the first such partnership between an American team and any U.S.-regulated online-poker brand.
Featured image source: LinkedIn / PokerStars