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New York Jets seal landmark 888 deal

Online gaming company 888 has today (Tuesday) confirmed a sponsorship deal with NFL American football franchise the New York Jets.

The deal is a first for an online operator with an NFL franchise, following recent permission to allow casino and poker operators to sponsor American football teams. As part of the deal, which will run for the remainder of the 2018-19 season, 888.com branding will be seen during Jets games at MetLife Stadium, including within RedZone highlights of other games shown on the stadium’s videoboards.

888.com’s sponsorship includes the use of New York Jets branding and logos in marketing materials, as well as adverts distributed during game day radio coverage and across the team’s digital platforms.

The deal is the latest development for 888 in the US market, following the launch of the 888sport brand in New Jersey in September, complementing the 888casino and 888poker brands already established in the state.

Yaniv Sherman, head of group commercial development at 888, said: “This exciting deal between the New York Jets and 888.com is a significant moment for both 888 and our industry as it marks the first ever sponsorship agreement between an NFL team and a global online operator.

“888 has a unique position across the three regulated states for full online gaming and we are confident that this deal will further strengthen the 888 brand in the US market. This will support the successful delivery of our growth strategy to be a leading operator in the developing and potentially significant US online gaming market.”

The deal was first reported by the New York Post last month and with 888 also operating a sports betting platform, questions had been raised over how the deal will tie in with the NFL’s policy on sports betting. NFL rules prevent the advertising of sports-betting sites, aside from fantasy-sports sites at stadia and on its broadcasts.

The newspaper said sources close to the Jets claim advertising under its deal falls within league policy as it doesn’t specifically name 888sport, the company’s sports betting site.

In this year’s off-season, the NFL relaxed its rules against gambling associations – such as casinos – partnering with clubs. The move came after a US Supreme Court judgement in May this year, which granted individual states new powers to legalise sports betting.