- The Chicago Bears have partnered with BetRivers for advertising purposes.
- This deal is similar to the deal between the Baltimore Ravens and BetMGM.
- Neither deal is for offering sports betting, which is currently against the NFL’s rules.
CHICAGO - The Chicago Bears have reached a partnership deal with BetRivers, a famous sports betting company.
The Bears and BetRivers will partner in much the same way as the Baltimore Ravens partnered with BetMGM - an advertising partnership, with potential for more down the line.
For the Bears, it’s not just that BetRivers could provide a partner should NFL betting be legalized in stadiums.
It’s also that BetRivers owns Arlington Park, which adds fuel to speculation that the Bears could be moving away from their current home, Soldier Field.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) June 22, 2021
The Bears PR statement cites mostly advertising benefits as the focus of the deal, as the Ravens’ agreement with BetMGM did.
The deal covers signage and other Bears-related advertising for BetRivers, as well as a partnership on a free-to-play game on the Chicago Bears app.
However, one wonders at what point these relationships start to shine light on if teams expect sports betting to be legal in NFL stadiums at some point in the future.
After all, if they do expect NFL sports betting to be something available to teams - which would require a change in the NFL’s rules - having pre-existing partnerships with sportsbooks would be a good idea.
What Does This Mean?
For sports betting fans, this is another in a series of agreements between NFL teams and online gambling titans that could presage an eventual move towards sports betting from the NFL.
For Bears fans, this partnership means something else - a potential for the Bears to move to Arlington Heights.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking with Chicago’s 670 The Score, admitted that the Bears were looking at alternatives.
However, he pointed out that any such change was a long way away, and that this could easily be explained as the Bears simply doing their due diligence.
"We have a long lease at Soldier Field,” said Goodell. “It's a great place. But we're all looking to the long term and trying to look at alternatives, and that's what the Bears are doing. But I think for fans right now, I wouldn't be focused on that.