ESPN, Caesars Entertainment To Launch Sports Betting-Themed Studio in Las Vegas
Scheduled to open in 2020, the production facility will be located at The LINQ Hotel & Casino
ESPN is officially joining the sports-betting party, teaming up with Caesars Entertainment to launch an ESPN-branded studio at The LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for sports betting-themed content. The studio, which will debut in 2020, will serve as a hub for odds-related content and be used to produce segments for ESPN’s recently launched sports-betting–related show, Daily Wager. Caesars data and branding will also be integrated into ESPN programming within the coming weeks.
“The sports-betting landscape has changed, and fans are coming to us for this kind of information more than ever before,” says Mike Morrison, VP, business development, ESPN. “We are poised to expand our coverage in a big way, and working with a category leader like Caesars Entertainment will help us serve these highly engaged, diverse sports fans with the best and most relevant content possible.”
The studio will serve as a content hub for ESPN linear, digital, and social shows as well as ESPN.com and the ESPN app. It will also play a vital role during major sports events and especially during marquee events hosted in Las Vegas.
“We’re really excited about the long-term value this collaboration with ESPN will create and thrilled that, starting immediately, ESPN’s platforms will begin featuring odds information generated by Caesars Entertainment,” says Chris Holdren, EVP/chief marketing officer, Caesars Entertainment. “Millions of sports fans look to ESPN as a sports authority, and Caesars is honored to have been selected for having the best odds to serve those fans. When you combine that level of exposure alongside the unique opportunity to build a studio along the famed Las Vegas Strip, this deal is truly unique.”
Caesars will also serve as ESPN’s official odds-data supplier across TV and digital, receiving associated attribution. Additional advertising and sponsorship activations will roll out in the coming months and throughout the deal term.
“Between an increased interest in sports betting among fans, regularly hosting marquee sporting events — like the upcoming NFL Draft and NBA Summer League as well as premier UFC and Top Rank bouts — and the arrival of the Golden Knights and the Raiders, Las Vegas has become an epicenter of sports culture,” says Connor Schell, EVP, content, ESPN. “Having a great partner in Caesars Entertainment and soon a full studio presence in Las Vegas will help us create content that taps into that culture and grows our offerings to avid bettors and more casual fans.”
The ESPN and Caesars announcement comes on the heels of Fox Sports’ recent deal with The Stars Group to launch two ‘Fox Bet’ products this fall: a free-to-play predictions game and a real-money-wagering platform in states with regulated betting.
More than two-thirds of avid sports bettors already watch ESPN (according to Langer Research Associates in 2018). This agreement with Caesars builds on a stable of betting-related content that dates back more than 10 years. In addition to Daily Wager on ESPNEWS, ESPN betting-related content has included Behind the Bets With Doug Kezirian podcast; Stanford Steve and The Bear podcast (football season); betting news and discussion segments in signature shows like SportsCenter, OTL;“Bad Beats” on SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt; and ESPN Insider content, such as PickCenter tools, projections, recos, analysis, and news articles.