The NFL is searching for a vice president and general manager of betting operations, the first in the league’s history. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Sports betting meets the NFL
The National Football League (NFL) is looking to hire a general manager and vice president of sports betting.
The position was first created in 2020, but never filled because of the pandemic-induced hiring freeze; the league previously stated that the position will focus on protecting the game’s integrity, advancing the NFL’s brand and reputation, boosting fan engagement around the world, and increasing the value of the NFL’s data and intellectual property.
The announcement signifies the league’s intent to continue progressing toward a world where professional sports and sports betting live in harmony.
poised to become the next great chapter in sports participation and fandom
Sports betting has been a rapidly-growing market since the US Supreme Court struck down its ban in 2018. Now, it is poised to become the next great chapter in sports participation and fandom.
The NFL entered the 2021 season with four partnered sportsbooks— FoxBet, WynnBet, PointsBet, and BetMGM— that gained access to otherwise restricted NFL data and analytics.
Sports stadiums also began to forge partnerships with different betting operators a couple years ago, a trend started by the Denver Broncos. Recently, the Arizona Cardinals became the first team to ink a deal for a retail sportsbook at their stadium; their pact with BetMGM will ultimately create a 17,000 square-foot sportsbook at State Farm Stadium.
The NFL is the most marketable professional sports league in America and has numbers to prove it; pre-Super Bowl estimates claimed this year that 31.4 million Americans would wager upwards of $7.6 billion on the Super Bowl. This is especially impressive since over one-third of states still have not legalized gambling, and just over half of states offer online gambling.
NFL sports betting GM and VP
The NFL has historically been much more opposed to gambling than its professional-level counterparts. The NBA, MLB, and NASCAR all already enroll betting VPs.
The league’s recent year-long suspension of Calvin Ridley shows that it is still treating the manner with the utmost caution.
The NFL sports betting division had been under the command of chief strategy officer Chris Haplin, who departed in January. NFL chief revenue officer Renie Anderson has handled these responsibilities since then and will command the new hire.
an extensive network in the sports betting and gaming industries”
Qualifications for the unfilled position include “an extensive network in the sports betting and gaming industries” and a “deep understanding” of the market.
The future position-filler will also be responsible for working with the NFL’s media division in the “distribution of content for gaming purposes and the integration of gaming products into the NFL’s platforms.”
The league moves forward
The league should have no problem driving visibility and engagement once the infrastructure is established. The NFL is big time, so external media networks will be eager to partner with the league.
On top of that, the league already has easy access to NFL Network and NFL.com, both of which could be used to push sports betting agendas.
The NFL’s decision to welcome sports betting into its plans is a major boost for the entire industry. There is no entity in sports with a higher profile than the NFL, and this decision will open a plethora of previously-closed doors.
The NFL has to get the hire right or risk being set back years; if they nail it, however, they could easily grow their brand to a height never before seen.
This is an ongoing situation and updates will follow.