BetMGM has named Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all time, its brand ambassador, according to a news release issued Wednesday. As per the multi-year deal, NHL Hall of Famer and four-time Stanley Cup champion will join the online sportsbook’s hockey and North American marketing efforts.
The online sportsbook’s Chief Revenue Officer Matt Prevost welcomed the NHL star into BetMGM’s fold, praising Wayne as an “exceptional talent who transcends the sports world”.
BetMGM, the digital arm of MGM Resorts International, is looking toward potential expansion into Canada, in addition to the US. The partnership with Gretzky, a Canadian player, is part of its expansionist agenda.
BetMGM Absorbs Another “Great One”
Gretzky, who is more commonly referred to as The Great One, said he’s excited to be a part of BetMGM’s continued expansion into new states and to help tell the company’s story. “BetMGM is a terrific company and one at the forefront of the dynamic changes occurring in the sports business,” he said.
The legendary player holds or shares as many as 61 unique National Hockey League (NHL) records. Gretzky is also the all-time leader in both goals and assists, totaling 2857 points in 21 seasons with Los Angeles, New York Rangers, St. Louis, and Edmonton.
In addition, the Canadian player also has won nine Hart Trophies as the league’s Most Valuable Player. Gretzky has accomplished more than any other player in the NHL history, the news release said.
Gretzky Joins Turner Sports
Last week, Gretzky joined Turner Sports to be a studio analyst for the network ahead of the NHL season that begins in October. Before this, he was serving as vice chairman of the Edmonton Oilers.
Turner Sports begins its NHL rights deal after the league’s deal with NBC Sports ends this season. Ice Hockey fun will now be available on Turner and ESPN the following season.
Turner Sports’ seven-year agreement also includes the 2023, 2025, and 2027 Stanley Cup Final on its network.
While joining the network, Gretzky spoke to the Associated Press that it was the perfect time to move into an analyst role through Turner. The Canadian legend moved to Missouri earlier in 2021.
MGM Resorts-NHL Background
In Oct. 2018, MGM Resorts and the NHL struck a multi-year partnership, making the Las Vegas-based casino operator the league’s first official sports betting partner.
At the time of the announcement, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called the partnership “both exciting and groundbreaking” for the league. MGM Resorts Chairman & Ceo Jim Murren, who co-announced the deal, called it “historic.”
Like BetMGM, other sportsbook entities have been striking similar partnerships with former star athletes. Last year, DraftKing partnered with NBA legend Michael Jordan, making him a special advisor to its board of directors. More recently in February, the Boston-based company struck a similar arrangement with baseball great Cal Ripken Jr.
BetMGM, the third-largest operator in the nation, recently announced a multi-year deal with the LPGA Tour to become the first official sports betting operator and partner of the professional golf tournaments for female golfers.