The University of Colorado has become one of the first colleges to make a move in this space. It has agreed to partner with sports betting operator PointsBet.
William Hill did advertise with UNLV, but this is the first sports betting sponsorship with a college outside of Nevada.
“We supported the state bill around sports gaming because we believe the integrity of our sports will be stronger now that it’s legal,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said. “We are partnering with PointsBet because we feel this partnership further increases the integrity of our game.”
Colorado has been one of the states that have been moving quickly in the sports betting space. Since legalizing sports betting in November, they have seen almost every professional team in the state partner with a sportsbook.
In this case, PointsBet can now advertise with CU and be placed on its radio stations.
“Our intentions are to be synonymous with Colorado sports betting in the wake of the Kroenke partnership,” said Eric Foote, PointsBet’s chief commercial officer in the U.S. “This partnership also solidifies our efforts to become Colorado’s true hometown sportsbook.”
Questions of Integrity
The Colorado athletic department will now be receiving a financial boost from PointsBet. But the use of this sports betting platform is banned for the players and staff in the NCAA.
So, players and employees of the school can still get in trouble for taking part in the sportsbook. This is just one of the many reasons why the relationship between college sports and betting operators has become questionable.
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas made a comment on Twitter about the players not being allowed to participate, but the school can sell them to a gambling outlet.
As these partnerships continue, the relationships need to improve. In reality, this is another case of why college players should potentially be paid in some way. These partnerships are going to make athletic departments around the country even more profitable.
“Any marketing partnership between a sportsbook and a college or university definitely raises serious questions of a conflict with the NCAA’s global message regarding sports betting,” said Chris Grove, who tracks sports betting for Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a gambling industry research and consulting firm.
Who is Next?
When one team moved on these partnerships on the professional level, the rest began to follow. So, with Colorado being the first college to make the move, who is going to follow?
It will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend with college teams. Also, will the NCAA step in to create more restrictions on these partnerships?
This is definitely a move that can be profitable for schools, especially with the rise of popularity in sports betting. PointsBet has been a leader in the industry as far as partnering with teams around the country.