Fans, teams scoring big with lottery deals
Published September 7, 2009
Since the NFL relaxed its restrictions this summer on the ways NFL clubs can align themselves with lotteries, 17 deals between teams and state lotteries have been reached for instant game, scratch-off tickets.
More than $18 million in cash has been distributed to winners since the Seattle Seahawks were the first to put a game in play, July 21, in Washington.
Each agreement includes two prize elements. Instant cash prizes start at $5 and can be as much as $1 million for Washington Redskins, New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens-themed tickets. The Massachusetts State Lottery awarded two of its 10 available $1 million prizes in the first week of its Patriots-themed game.
The second-chance prizes offered by most state lotteries include game tickets, autographed merchandise and stadium tours. A New York Jets fan will get to be “team owner for a day,” which will include traveling to an away game on a private jet, courtesy of the New Jersey Lottery. The Ravens and Redskins are giving away two premium club seats for 20 years, while Patriots fans could win season tickets for life.
Terms of most deals have not been made available by teams or lottery commissions, but each calls for the state to pay a licensing fee to the club for the rights to use team marks on the lottery ticket, and an agreement to purchase the second-chance prizes.
The Texas Lottery, for example, will pay the Dallas Cowboys a licensing fee of approximately $1.15 million, and will purchase up to $3.05 million worth of second-chance prizes. The Houston Texans could earn up to $1.45 million through the same two avenues.
The Business Journal in Milwaukee, a sister publication to SportsBusiness Journal, reported that the Green Bay Packers will be paid $467,000 in their lottery partnership with the state of Wisconsin.
Maryland’s Ravens-themed game began Aug. 10 and has already paid out nearly $2 million. The state paid the Ravens $1 million for the rights to put the team’s marks on the scratch-off, and to purchase the various prizes, which include season tickets for 20 years.
“Oh my God, it is unbelievable. It is the most successful $5 ticket we’ve ever had,” said Buddy Roogow, director of the Maryland State Lottery. “We can’t keep it in stock.” The commission printed 4 million tickets, but as is customary with new games, sent a limited amount to each of its 4,000-plus retail outlets to gauge interest by site. It is now sending overnight shipments daily.
State lottery officials in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts say the NFL team game card is already one of, if not the, most successful instant game launch in their respective commission histories.