Daily Camera (Boulder)

Pro­gram to get at least $1.625M from part­ner­ship with Pointsbet

CU will re­ceive quar­terly pay­ments dur­ing 5-year deal

- By Brian How­ell Sports · College Sports · Colorado · United States of America · University of Colorado at Boulder · Chulalongkorn University · National Collegiate Athletic Association · NCAA Division I · Nevada · Illinois · Kroenke Sports & Entertainment · Clark University · Folsom · University of Nevada, Las Vegas · EW Scripps · Boulder · IMG College

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

Buf­f­zone.

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.

 ?? Cliff Grass­mick / Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher ?? Colorado ath­letic di­rec­tor Rick Ge­orge and the ath­letic depart­ment an­nounced a five-year deal with Pointsbet USA last month.
Cliff Grass­mick / Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher Colorado ath­letic di­rec­tor Rick Ge­orge and the ath­letic depart­ment an­nounced a five-year deal with Pointsbet USA last month.

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