The New Orleans Saints announced on Wednesday that they and the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans -- both of which are owned by the late Tom Benson's wife, Gayle -- have signed a multiyear deal to make Harrah's New Orleans the team's Official Casino Partner.
In a press release, the Saints noted that the partnership includes "unique opportunities for Harrah's to bring the Saints and Pelicans experience to life. By doubling down on the Saints, Harrah's will be able to develop customized experiences, in game features, a Saints branded area on property and be designated as an official post-game destination."
"We are proud to align ourselves with a brand such as Harrah's New Orleans Casino that is an industry leader not only nationally but on a local level as well," New Orleans Saints and Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha said. "Located in the Heart of Downtown New Orleans, Harrah's vision for development and commitment to the city mirror that of the Saints and Pelicans and we could not be happier about this partnership."
The Saints joined the Cowboys, Ravens, Jets, Seahawks, and Lions as NFL teams that have secured advertising deals with casinos. The Cowboys became the first team to sign an official casino partner, and they were followed by the Ravens and then the Jets. The Seahawks announced their deal in early December, while the Lions and MGM announced plans for the casino company to build a luxury space at Ford Field.
The NFL itself is looking for an official casino partner as well, according to Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal, who reported last week that it was a topic of discussion at owners meetings.
NFL officials will tell owners today at league meeting that it will begin process of securing a national casino sponsor. NBA, NHL and MLB already have national deals with gaming company MGM— daniel kaplan (@dkaplanSBJ) December 12, 2018
The league had previously argued legal sports betting would pose irreparable harm to the sport, but has appeared to change course over the last year or so as significant financial opportunities have become available to teams and the league itself.