Ilitch Holdings Inc. officially announced that MLB team Detroit Tigers have signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with PointsBet, an Australian online sports betting operator, as the organization prepares for the launch of online sports betting. The partnership was finalized after MLB selected PointsBet as its official authorized betting operator, giving them the rights to use official MLB data, marks, and logos.

The Tigers are the first MLB team to join forces with a sports betting operator. The partnership between the Tigers and PointsBet was struck after MotorCity Casino, also owned by the Ilitch family, was allowed to have a bookmaker for its casino.

MotorCity Casino partnered with FanDuel but did not allow customers to bet anything Tigers related. As MLB relaxed the rules of sports betting, it became possible for the sportsbook to take bets on the Tigers.

The sponsorship deal hopes to enhance fan engagement by broadcasting the matches on television, garnering more exposure on the team’s digital account, and putting up PointsBet signage at Comerica Park. Its products are also expected to be integrated into the District Detroit and MLB Ballpark apps. It will also be featured on the Detroit Tigers Radio Network.

Group President of Sports and Entertainment at Ilitch Holdings Inc. Chris Granger said, “Our incredible fans will love the unique experiences and innovative offerings that PointsBet’s personalized platform provides. We look forward to the fan-friendly enhancements this will bring to the game-day experience in and around Comerica Park for years to come.”

Johnny Aitken, CEO of PointsBet USA, expressed the company’s excitement on the partnership deal. He promised to provide access to experiences, content, promotions, and more to the team by offering more betting options for MLB games with their unique betting products.

“PointsBet operates in rare space within the industry by owning our technology environment from end to end, which allows us to be extremely nimble on product innovation and personalized offering to complement out app’s market-leading speed,” he said.

Sports Betting in Michigan

Even though online sports betting was legalized last December, it has not yet been implemented in the state of Michigan. All gambling activities only take place in commercial casinos.

This is expected to change once the MLB season commences. There is not an exact date as to when fans can start betting, but mobile betting is projected to launch this fall, and fans will be able to place bets at Tiger games using the PointsBet app.

The first time PointsBet entered the US market was last year. They offered betting odds throughout MLB games on whether a batter would hit a home-run or strike out.

Betting in baseball seems to be heating up as organizations and teams are taking advantage after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in 2018. MLB recently announced a partnership with theScore, a Canadian iGaming business, and has now become the first authorized gaming operator of MLB. This will be the first of many sport betting operators that will partner up with the baseball league.