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If the University of Maryland athletic teams are as quick as its marketing agency, bettors might truly have something to smile about when placing a wager on the Terrapins.

One day after MGM National Harbor announced it will open its retail sportsbook on Thursday, Dec. 9, officially launching sports betting in the state, Maryland Sports Properties — a Playfly Sports property that sells marketing and multi-media rights for of the University of Maryland — announced a multi-year marketing agreement with PointsBet USA. It’s the first such sports betting partnership within the Big Ten Conference.

The deal is valued in the seven figures, ESPN reports.

The University of Colorado partnered with PointsBet in 2020, becoming the first collegiate athletic program to have a betting sponsor. This September, in advance of sports betting going live in Louisiana the following month, LSU and Caesars announced a similar partnership.

PointsBet is in the Maryland market via its agreement with the Riverboat on the Potomac, a minority-owned gaming facility that offers off-track betting, lottery bingo, keno, and soon, sports betting.

The agreement with PointsBet will feature fan-facing and in-game and campus activations in and around the school’s Xfinity Center and its Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Education focusing on responsible and problem gambling with be available to the school’s staff, students, and fans, and a charitable aspect will be announced in the future.

“We are looking forward to raising awareness and educating our student-athlete and University community about responsible gambling,” Maryland Executive Associate Athletic Director and Chief Strategy Officer Brian Ullmann said in a statement. “Maryland Athletics continues to lead boldly with the first deal of its kind in the Big Ten Conference and in the region.”

In addition to in-arena activations and commercial assets, PointsBet will be featured across Maryland’s digital channels and sports radio network broadcasts.

“Investing in the University of Maryland athletics program expands our ability to impact local communities and the greater DMV region while also connecting PointsBet with alumni that remain actively involved in reverence to their alma mater,” PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken said. “Sports betting education and safe gambling is key to our long-term strategy, as is making a tangible impact on the communities we invest in.”

Maryland has 20 varsity sports, and five of its 46 national team championships have come since the school joined the Big Ten Conference for the 2014-15 season.

About the Author
Mark Ashenfelter

Mark Ashenfelter

Mark Ashenfelter is a Connecticut-based sportswriter and editor who has covered everything from NASCAR to the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles. A life-long Philadelphia sports fan, in addition to Penn State football and the Baltimore Orioles, he's previously worked at ESPN, NASCAR Scene magazine and the Daily Local News in Chester County, PA.

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