NHL Sports Betting, DFS Sponsorships Spike in ’22-23, Become Major Team Revenue Stream

Commissioner Gary Bettman once said that sports betting wasn’t in keeping with the image the NHL wished to project.

But as the Golden Knights closed out a first Stanley Cup championship in the ancestral homeland of American gambling, a new reality had become clear: sports betting is greatly benefitting a growing number of NHL teams.

According to a report released this week by SponsorUnited, titled “NHL Marketing Partnerships Report 2022-2023”, NHL sports betting and daily fantasy team sponsorships spiked 185% in the 2022-23 NHL season. The category has now jumped into the top 10 NHL sponsor categories.

Key in the leap, according to the report, is the league’s embrace of virtual advertising projected on the ice or dasherboards during play. S0-called DED ads allow for dynamic advertising, which allows for the digital replacement of images during television broadcasts.

Says the report: “A staggering 79% of Betting and DFS deals now include virtual signage, including DED ads — nearly 2.5x the league average of 33%.”

… the NHL’s debut of digitally enhanced dasherboards (DEDs) marked arguably the most exciting introduction not only within the league, but across all professional sports this season. Seven years in the making, DEDs represent the next frontier in NHL advertising, enabling the digital replacement of camera-visible ads within local, national and international NHL game broadcasts. While the Automotive sector leads in DED exposure so far, other categories — including Sports Betting & Fantasy, whose NHL sponsorships surged a staggering 185% this season — are quickly piling on.”

More Findings from SponsorUnited’s NHL Marketing Study

  • NHL team sponsorship revenue rose by 21% overall this season to $1.28 billion.
  • Betting and daily fantasy revenue showed the second-largest percentage increase, up 66% to $50,712,888.
  • Media had the biggest leap, up 108% to $50,252,762.
  • Five percent more sports betting ads air during broadcasts in Canada than in the United States, led by NHL partner DraftKings.
  • bet365‘s activation with Sportsnet in Canada yielded more than 115 million impressions through the NHL playoffs.

Related: NHL Star Connor McDavid’s BetMGM Ad a Rarity Despite Fading Sports Betting Stigma

NBA Comparisons

By comparison, the NBA generated a record $1.4 billion in 2022-23, according to SponsorUnited.. This represented a 10.5% increase.

According to that report, the “Sports Betting, Gambling & Lottery” category was one of several to post an increase, establishing itself in the top 10 for the NBA. The gambling vertical improved by 21% to $71 million, putting it fourth overall.

Sportsbook platform Betway was the fourth-most prolific social media brand among league partners, trailing only Michelob Ultra, Verizon, and Socios.com.

Seventeen NHL teams have official sports betting partners. The Washington Capitals and Golden Knights have sportsbooks as jersey sponsors. Fifteen NBA teams have sports betting partners.

Methodology of SponsorUnited NHL Marketing Study

According to the company, the report was “compiled using SponsorUnited’s proprietary platform.” It continues: “The data encompasses more than 2,300 brands, 360 assets, and over 44,000 social posts. The report was jointly authored by SponsorUnited’s Marketing Research & Insights and Marketing Departments, using data from January 2018 through May 2023.”

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About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Lead Writer
Brant James is a lead writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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