partypoker’s corporate relationships in the US took a knock this week after the online poker operator announced that it had cut ties with the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to a press statement given to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the original deal between partypoker and Philadelphia’s NBA side contained certain “triggers” which allowed either side to terminate the contract.
Although a 76ers representative wasn’t prepared to comment on why the sponsorship deal was brought to an end before the end of the contracted time period, its believed that the online poker site’s new owner, GVC, could be looking to cut costs.
Under the terms of the multi-year deal, partypoker’s parent company, bwin.party, would supply branding for a variety of 76ers events. However, with the fate of online poker and casino gaming in the state still unclear, it looks as though the operator is happy to cut its losses early.
Despite many hoping that Philadelphia would have regulated iGaming by now, no solid decisions have been made. Subsequently, partypoker’s presence within the state, although still potentially useful, is now a drain on resources.
This fact, coupled with GVC Holdings’ desire to cut costs at bwin.party and, possibly, sell the partypoker platform, are likely the reasons the relationship was ended just one week before the start of the NBA season.
While partypoker will no longer be a presence in the NBA and in Philadelphia, the online poker operator will continue to sponsor’s New Jersey’s ice hockey outfit, The Devils.
The company’s deal with the NHL side was announced at the same time as its partnership with the 76ers as both teams are owned by Josh Harris and David Blitzer.
However, with online poker a real thing in the Garden State and partypoker performing relatively well in the market, a sponsorship deal still appears to make sense.
As for the 76ers, it doesn’t appear that the uncertain status of online poker within Philadelphia has deterred the company from attaching itself to the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry. Although partypoker will no long be a sponsorship partner, leading DFS site DraftKings will be.
Unlike Nevada, Philadelphia hasn’t taken such a severe stance on the industry and, while its legal status is still unclear, it doesn’t appear to be in any danger just yet.
In fact, while relationships between DraftKings and the World Series of Poker have come to an end recently thanks to the DFS industry’s legal issues in Nevada, it doesn’t look as though this will affect the company’s relationship with the 76ers just yet.