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Volume 25 No. 84
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Devils Set To Become Second Team To Sign With William Hill U.S.

The first sportsbook to sponsor a major U.S. team will add a second franchise to its portfolio today when William Hill U.S. announces a multiyear deal with the Devils, this time placing its name on a sports bar-style lounge on the main concourse of Prudential Center. The deal will almost certainly will be the precursor to others in the category in the coming weeks.

The Devils deal includes several components featured in William Hill’s sponsorship of the Golden Knights: Presentation of updated league odds displayed on the four-story tall, center-hung scoreboard during intermission, a “William Hill Line Change” promotion tagged to the first Devils line change of each period, a dasher board sign and advertising across Devils radio, digital and social channels. William Hill also will sponsor Devils watch parties at Monmouth Park Racetrack, where it operates a sportsbook that was the first to open for business in New Jersey when it took its first bet in June.

“We liked the William Hill line change so much that we trademarked it,” said William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher. “And when we saw there was the opportunity to do the lounge, we liked that, too. There will be odds displayed and we’ll have ambassadors there so, if people are so inclined, we can help them download the app and sign up right there and start betting.”

Both parties declined to reveal specific terms of the contract, but Devils execs have said they project the category to be worth about $5M in its first year. The Devils are expected to sign deals with most of the major New Jersey sportsbooks, a non-exclusive approach that Asher said likely will be the norm as states legalize sports betting. That is a departure from the team’s usual sponsorship strategy.

“If you have the right conversations and dig into the (sportsbook) brands, they end up separating themselves,” said Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment Chief Revenue Officer Adam Davis, whose company own the Devils and 76ers. “They all want you signing up on the app and playing on the app. But how they position themselves to get you there is a little bit different. William Hill has been around for 80 plus years. (It’s) the most trusted sports book operator in the world. But people think they’re like John Hancock. It shouldn’t be too surprising to find that William Hill is a sports book once you’ve entered that lounge.”