Daily Camera (Boulder)
Program to get at least $1.625M from partnership with Pointsbet
CU will receive quarterly payments during 5-year deal
With headquarters opening in Denver, sports gambling now legalized in Colorado and a sponsorship deal with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment in place, it made sense for Pointsbet USA to identify the University of Colorado as its first partner in college sports.
CU and Pointsbet announced a sponsorship deal last month, the first between a sports betting operator and an NCAA Division I program from a Power 5 conference. It’s a five-year deal that will pay CU at least $1.625 million.
“We wanted to enter into the college space in the proper way and having the foundation of our headquarters here in Denver and Cu-boulder being in our backyard and being a Power 5 school and part of the Pac-12, that was what we felt was the best path forward for us,” Eric Foote, chief commercial officer of Pointsbet, told
It’s a good path for CU, too, as it will provide a significant financial boost to the athletic department starting next summer.
In the five-year deal, which runs from 2021-26, CU will receive quarterly payments each year totaling $305,000 in 2021-22; $315,000 in 2022-23; $325,000 in 2023-24; $335,000 in 2024-25; and $345,000 in 2025-26. The first payment of $76,250 is due July 1, 2021.
CU can also get a $30 referral fee for each PointsBet customer who is a “qualifying player” and signs up using a Cu-specific promotional code.
Pointsbet advertisements will be on display at the Buffs’ facilities, including Folsom Field and the CU Events Center. The radio broadcasts of football games will also include several Pointsbet segments and commercials.
For CU, Pointsbet will be its exclusive partner in several areas of sports games, such as retail, daily fantasy, casino, online casino and free to play games.
Pointsbet has not yet launched in Colorado, but Foote said he hopes that will come before January.
Aside from CU, Nevada and UNLV both have partnerships with sports betting operators.
Foote said Pointsbet began talking to CU right after the holidays last winter and since the announcement last month, several schools have expressed interest in similar deals.
“We had several reach out on the heels of this and even as we did this deal, we’re having conversations across the U.S. with select schools and select opportunities and select multimedia rights holders, including Learfield IMG College from a corporate level,” Foote said. “It’s obviously a very unique space.
“We’re just quite strategic and thoughtful on how we do those (deals). We’ve looked at a lot, we’ve turned down a lot and we want to make sure that deals we do are strategic. … For the CU deal, it’s really putting that flag in the ground in our backyard in building that really true pipeline of talent into our headquarter offices.”
Part of the strategy with CU is that Pointsbet will include specific support for CU’S Scripps Leadership and Career Development Program, which helps prepare student-athletes for success beyond their career at CU. Pointsbet has committed to recruiting employees from tech talent along the Front Range, including CU Boulder tech graduates.
“We’re very fond of how CU has structured that,” Foote said. “It gives us the ability to educate, not only student athletes from a responsible gaming standpoint, but also from a coaches and administrator standpoint, on a very regular basis. It also unlocks the ability to speak to other businesses or other departments at CU relative to the business school and the engineering school about creating that job fair, that pipeline of talent back to Pointsbet.”
Pointsbet recently launched in Illinois and Foote said the full attention is now on the launch in Colorado. Pointsbet owns and operates its own technology, he said.