Chicago Bears announce BetRivers partnership
Chicago Bears, BetRivers, and Rivers Casino have agreed to an exclusive, multi-year deal.
The Chicago Bears have agreed to a multi-year exclusive deal with Rush Street Interactive (RSI), which will see Rivers Casino become their sports betting and casino partner. Additionally, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines will also become a partner of the Bears. Illinois sports betting has been highly successful since its launch, despite an in-person registration requirement.
Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips said they are “incredibly excited” to join forces with BetRivers and Rivers Casino in a first such agreement for the NFL franchise. Phillips added that the Bears organization is looking forward to “connecting with our fans in fun and unique ways through these avenues” and said they are proud to be “building this relationship with a hometown company.”
As per the terms of the deal, Rivers Casino will get in-stadium signage in addition to digital, social, and print assets. BetRivers Sportsbook will also serve as the primary partner of the team’s free-to-play game on the official Bears app. Other features of the deal will include collaborative promotions and exclusive Bears prizes.
Neil Bluhm, the executive chairman of RSI, described himself as a “lifelong Bears fan.” He said he was “thrilled” to have Rivers Casino and BetRivers named as official partners of “our hometown NFL team.” Bluhm confirmed that the aim is to continue “expanding our relationship with the Bears and their dedicated fan base.” Finally, Bluhm said that this deal further reinforces “our commitment to hometown teams” in states with BetRivers online and land-based sportsbooks.
Bears Try to Purchase Arlington International
In other off-the-field news, the Bears confirmed that they submitted an offer to buy Arlington International Racecourse last week. The track was put up for sale by Churchill Downs last year. The news came out of the blue and confirmed speculation that the Bears are open to moving out of Soldier Field. The team could construct a modern mega-stadium in Arlington Heights, potentially opening up a wide range of new business opportunities.
If the Bears decide to move to Arlington Heights, a retail sportsbook could be highly successful. The Arlington sale will ultimately come down to what Churchill Downs chooses to do. The Bears are a big-name potential buyer, and now, even if indirectly, Churchill Downs and the Bears are partners.
BetRivers Still Big Player in Illinois Market
In the opening sages of Illinois sports betting, BetRivers was the market leader. The operator was the first to launch an online sportsbook in the state.
Since those opening months, it has fallen behind DraftKings and FanDuel for handle and revenue on a monthly basis. However, it is still the third-best sportsbook by those metrics in a state that recorded the second-highest handle in the US in April.
Although third on the list, BetRivers Sportsbook retains a nice lead over other operators PointsBet and Barstool. It is an excellent spot to be in. Additionally, there is an added buzz in Chicago after the Bears drafted Quarterback Justin Fields in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
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