The Baltics welcome more targeted and tailored NHL coverage through an OlyBet partnership that will feature special activations and betting experiences for hockey fans in the region.
NHL Goes International Again
America’s big leagues may have patriotism written all over them, with the sports they represent proving particularly popular in North America, but this has not stopped them from appealing to the rest of the world as well. In fact, the NBA has been sourcing talent from all over the globe for decades now, and baseball and American football are very popular across Europe and Asia, and so is hockey.
Now, the National Hockey League or NHL is looking to reach new audiences tapping into a fresh partner with Olympic Entertainment Group, the parent company behind the popular Baltic sports betting brand OlyBet. Moving forward, OlyBet will become the official sports betting partner for the league in the Baltic region, extending the relationship between leagues and gambling firms.
OlyBet’s footprint in the region is significant, and it will be able to bring NHL content and branding throughout 100 diverse properties, from casinos to hotels, to beverage locations across Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The operator will also leverage its media channels to give NHL further exposure in the region.
OlyBet will leverage various promotions and opportunities tying directly into the NHL calendar and helping the league gain further exposure globally and in the region specifically. Naturally, the activations between the companies will cover both regular-season games and the Stanley Cup from the playoffs to the finals.
NHL VP of business development John Lewicki said that the league was thrilled to welcome OlyBet as part of the family. “There are legions of loyal and passionate NHL fans in the Baltics, and partnering with OlyBet, the top sports betting brand in the region, provides a terrific opportunity for the NHL to further fan engagement in this part of Europe,” added Lewicki.
A Beginning of Great Partnership
OlyBet CEO and chairman Corey Plummer were equally excited at the news of the partnership, expressing confidence that ice hockey is a particularly popular sport in the Baltics and, as such, it would be able to lead to better engagement for the NHL.
A more global approach to the sport may be necessary as hockey’s “Big Four” status has long come under threat because of struggling viewership and declining numbers across the board. In a report by the Sports Business Journal, the outlet said that the average viewership for the regular season in 2020/2021 has decreased to just 391,000 viewers across NBCSN and NBC.
In this context, the league has been looking to inspire interest. The NHL teamed up with Betway to boost fan engagement in North America. The league even bought shares in PointsBet, a sportsbook.
Back home, the hockey governing body also teamed up with Bally’s Corporation, which has become an official sports betting partner for the league. “This is the beginning of a great partnership with the NHL to promote the brands and the sport. Ice hockey is very popular in our markets, and our customers will now have more opportunities to engage with the NHL,” Plumer added.
There will be various live broadcasts and games, local events, social media activations, and, naturally, sports betting experiences that allow fans to engage in new ways and the league to win over new followers.
To top things off, Sportradar is also supporting the sponsorship as it’s the official global data distributor for the league.