While a Michigan sports team and operator have linked another sports betting pact, one legendary local athlete is pioneering a partnership. Former Detroit Pistons champion Richard Hamilton will be a brand ambassador for PointsBet. The upcoming Michigan online sportsbook announced a deal with the Pistons on Tuesday.
Hamilton, whose No. 32 hangs at Little Caesars Arena, is the first athlete from a Michigan pro sports franchise to sign with a sportsbook operator. Michigan online gambling will launch this month, according to the most recent reports.
PointsBet, however, is bolstering its ties to Michigan. Last summer, the company signed a deal with the Detroit Tigers, a first for any MLB team. The Pistons already inked partnerships with FanDuel and DraftKings.
Having local athletes promote the platform is not new for PointsBet, either. The company signed Devin Hester to a partnership in addition to their deal with the Chicago Bears last year. But Hamilton marks the first for a Michigan athlete.
Rip Hamilton not the first pro athlete in PointsBet’s corner
PointsBet has an uphill climb to earn name recognition for the Michigan online sports betting marketplace. Hence, deals like this make sense for the Australian company.
Hamilton, best known for his nickname Rip and signature face shield, helped the Pistons to the 2004 NBA championship. He played nine seasons in the red, white, and blue.
The three-time All-Star and national champion at UConn takes fans back to better times in their minds. PointsBet is banking on those good feelings helping out the company’s future.
“My love for Michigan and the city of Detroit is no secret,” said Hamilton in a press release.
“I’m incredibly excited to join the PointsBet team and help usher in the fastest, most premium sports betting experience to the best fans in sports. Detroit sports fans will love what PointsBet has to offer, such as an app that is specifically tailored for the teams they support, as well as the most betting options in the world, including up to 1,000 markets per NBA game.”
Hamilton also touted the sites unique features such as the Name A Bet option and points betting platform. “What’s not to love?” Hamilton said. “Get ready, Michigan – ‘Yessir’!”
A release announcing the partnership indicated PointsBet will “leverage Hamilton’s knowledge of basketball and more specifically of the Detroit sports atmosphere to align his unique insight with the company’s premier offerings.”
PointsBet, of course, has inked deals with individual athletes before. In New Jersey, the brand has a well-known tie (and a clever series of TV ads) with former Philadelphia 76ers Allen Iverson.
And Darrelle Revis, NFL cornerback of the NY Jets and New England Patriots, built the Revis Betting Academy with PointsBet in 2018.
More on the Detroit Pistons, PointsBet deal in Michigan
Detroit Pistons fans have been inundated with sports betting commercials and signage in the lead up to an expected online launch this month.
FanDuel and DraftKings are very visible at Little Caesars Arena. Parx Casino brands show on the digital courtside apron. And BetRivers runs commercials and also sponsors broadcast spots on Fox Sports Detroit.
As for the PointsBet deal, it gives the operator full usage of Pistons IP, marks, and logos, as well as sponsorship opportunities and brand visibility across various digital and social assets. The company will have rights to limited in-game, broadcast-visible digital signage opportunities, too.
PointsBet also will be displayed at pistons.com, as well as the team’s mobile app and social media channels.
When will PointsBet online sportsbook arrive in Michigan?
The Australian company has said for some time it wouldn’t launch until early 2021. PointsBet made that clear even when the hope was for Michigan online gambling to launch late last year.
Now that everyone will start soon, PointsBet will be near the starting line in a competitive race.
We expect 15 online sports betting operators in Michigan eventually. Each of the state’s 12 federally recognized Native American tribes and three Detroit commercial casinos offer pathways for access.
Michigan is a big market for PointsBet. It is the first market for its online casino. As such, the mood at PointsBet is upbeat and excited with the Detroit Pistons deal.
“PointsBet is thrilled to partner with the Pistons, aligning with a first-class organization supported by particularly passionate fans,” said Johnny Aitken, PointsBet USA CEO.
“Michigan is a fantastic sports state, and we look forward to the opportunity to soon serve Michigan sports bettors on a personalized platform with unrivaled speed and ease of use, now alongside both the Pistons and brand ambassador Rip Hamilton — a storied champion at both the collegiate and professional levels who’s work ethic and spirited style embodies the PointsBet philosophy.”
PointsBet has its free-to-play challenge, the PointsBet Pick 6, available in Michigan. The contest is a weekly opportunity to win $25,000.