WNBA, PointsBet Enter Sports Betting Partnership

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Sports Betting PointsBet has partnered with the Women’s National Basketball Association. It is the company’s first women’s sports league deal.

The licensing deal, announced Friday, will allow PointsBet to use WNBA team logos and player images on its platforms to boost its brand awareness. The company is looking to position itself for sports betting among women’s sports consumers, and the WNBA says its viewership is rising.

Financial terms of the one-year agreement were not provided.

In a statement, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the deal with PointsBet will provide a second-screen digital experience. The deal gives WNBA consumers a new way to watch games infused with PointsBet betting.

“Innovating at the WNBA and improving the fan experience starts with recognizing how our fans want to interact with the players, teams and the league,” said Engelbert.

The WNBA is celebrating her 25th birthday this season and says it’s seeing an increase in viewership. Turner Sports reported a 27% increase (81,000 viewers) for the May 14 NBATV broadcast, a season opener featuring New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu. That compares to last July’s Washington-Connecticut match, which averaged 64,000 viewers.

In October, ESPN said the three-game WNBA Finals Series with the Seattle Storm and Las Vegas Aces averaging 440,000 viewers, with Game 3 averaging 570,000 viewers. The network said the latter game had a 34% increase in viewership over the 2019 WNBA Finals Game 3 match.

PointsBet believes in the growth potential in the women’s sports betting business. It measures the success of the 2021 women’s college basketball tournament as proof that women’s sports can lure gamblers. In April, ESPN said the Arizona vs. Stanford title game averaged about 4 million viewers, peaking at 5.9 million. The network said it was the most-watched competition for women since 2014.

“We are excited to join the WNBA and bring the world-class PointsBet experience to one of the most digitally engaged fanbases in the world,” said PointsBet CEO Johnny Aitken. “The WNBA has done a phenomenal job with growing fan engagement, and PointsBet is excited to be a piece of that puzzle going forward.”

PointsBet, based in Australia with a US headquarters in Denver, is also focusing on the future of in-game betting. In March, it acquired Banach Technology, aka the Robinhood of sports gambling. In-play bets allow consumers to make micro-bets during games.

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