The news hit Wednesday at NJ.com — the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils were coming together to build a partnership with one of the world's leading online poker rooms, partypoker.com.
Apollo Global Management, an investment firm owned by billionaire Josh Harris, owns both sports franchises. An official announcement was made at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Thursday by bwin.party CEO Norbert Teufelberger and Harris on the partnership. The partnership opens the door for the Devils and 76ers to become online gaming partners with nj.partypoker.com. Radio and television advertisements, along with advertisements at both the Prudential Center, where the Devils play, and the Wells Fargo Center, where the 76ers play, are included in the sponsorship deal.
Jon Brennan, NorthJersey.com, interviewed Teufelberger who said that there will be girls located inside the arenas during games to "explain the concept of online poker to new consumers."
"There is a much bigger opportunity to engage fans in the arena here," said Teufelberger. "European fans go to the stadium and watch the game, where [in the U.S.] things are much more interactive."
This partnership will give nj.partypoker.com players a chance at scoring VIP and regular, courtside box seats to every New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers home game in a newly created promotion named the Dream Seat Series. Registering a new account and making a new deposit will automatically guarantee entry into the contest. Previously registered players can also win Dream Seat Series tickets by playing in $1 qualifiers, daily freerolls, playing frequently, or by making a deposit into their account!
"The Dream Seat Series is a natural extension of the partypoker experience," said Team partypoker’s Mike Sexton. “The sensation of pulling off a bluff and the feeling when your team scores in overtime are two sides of the same coin. We believe the Dream Seat Series adds an additional dimension of thrill to our offering that will appeal to a wide range of people who like a good game regardless of whether they’re watching it or playing in it.”
With this partnership deal in place, the 76ers and Devils have become the first major U.S. sports franchises associated with the online gambling industry. partypoker's parent company, bwin.party, has partnerships with sports franchises in Europe, the two most notable are soccer powerhouses Manchester United and Real Madrid.