The touchdowns, tackles, and of course, Tom Brady are back! The 2022 NFL season is only a week away. With the addition of Ontario’s regulated iGaming market, this football season is bound to be exciting. The season brings a high possibility of revenue growth and sponsorship opportunities for the province and merchants.
On April 4th, 2022, Ontario’s iGaming market went live, allowing players to place bets in a regulated and safe environment. But, back in April, there weren’t many major sporting events to place bets on. Despite that, the Q1 market data results released by iGaming Ontario indicate that the province’s player base is very active. On average, players in Ontario are spending about $113 on online gaming a month. And in the first three months of the market launch, players wagered a total of $4,076 million which brought in $162 million in total gaming revenue. This is a positive sign for both the merchants and the province who are gearing up for the NFL season. Players in Ontario not only love to wager, but they also enjoy watching football. According to the Toronto Guardian, in 2020 the NFL TV viewership across Canada grew by double-digit percentages through week 8. A report released earlier this year reported that “45% of Canada’s population watched some part of SUPER BOWL LVI” and during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show the viewership peaked at 11.4 million viewers. Using these figures, it would be easy to predict that this NFL season’s viewership and betting figures will increase significantly.
Along with revenue growth, there could be a lot of sponsorship opportunities for merchants. Recently, the NFL teamed up with three gaming merchants in Ontario. The first to collaborate with the NFL was the provincial-run sportsbook Proline+. This partnership is very important because under this deal the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Proline+ became the official retail lottery and sportsbook partner of the NFL in Ontario and across Canada. The second merchant to partner with the NFL was FanDuel, and BetMGM followed after that. These partnerships allow merchants to create football-related content for their consumers as well as provide them with free-to-play games which attract new players. Through these deals, merchants can also engage in promotional campaigns which result in better brand awareness and credibility in a newly regulated gaming market.
With new offers, new sites, and a safer betting environment, players in Ontario will be more keen to place wagers on their favourite sporting events, such as the NFL. This excitement will convert into great revenue and sponsorship opportunities for both merchants and the province.