By David Caraviello | | 3 mins
BetRivers Signs Sportsbook Deal In Louisiana With Pelicans
Less than two weeks after mobile sports betting in Louisiana went live, Rush Street Interactive has deepened its ties to the Bayou State through an assortment of agreements that includes a partnership with the NBA franchise in New Orleans.
Rush Street’s BetRivers Sportsbook has become the official sportsbook partner of the New Orleans Pelicans, the company announced Tuesday. The deal includes signage throughout Smoothie King Center, the Pelicans’ home arena, including the front row of courtside seats, and the rebranding of the facility’s Chairman’s Club as the BetRivers Chairman Lounge, complete with a live NBA odds board.
"The Pelicans partnership and BetRivers Chairman Lounge is an RSI investment to enhance fans' watching and wagering experiences inside the Smoothie King Center, as well as emphasize our commitment to Louisiana sports throughout the state," said Richard Schwartz, Rush Street chief executive officer. "We are thrilled to have our BetRivers sportsbook in the Bayou State and are proud to be the official partner of the New Orleans Pelicans with its core of young, talented players and exciting future."
Sportsbook deals proliferating in NBA
Online sportsbooks have proven a ready source of sponsorship dollars for both the NBA and its teams. In late 2021, DraftKings and FanDuel became the NBA’s co-official sports betting partners, while the Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors are among the franchises that announced individual NBA betting deals with various sportsbooks.
In 2019, the Pelicans partnered with Harrah’s Casino, which has had a gaming facility in New Orleans since 1999. That deal did not include a sportsbook element, clearing the way for the Rush Street agreement.
"New Orleans and Louisiana are home to some of the most passionate sports fans in the country, and it was important for us to partner with an online sportsbook such as BetRivers that delivers the high-quality experience that these fans expect and deserve," said Dennis Lauscha, president of the New Orleans Pelicans. "We appreciate the support of RSI and BetRivers and look forward to their increased presence in the Smoothie King Center."
RSI agreement follows mobile launch
Chicago-based Rush Street further deepened its Louisiana ties by signing former NFL player Brandon Stokely and sports media personality Jimmy Ott as brand ambassadors. A Lafayette, La., native and former player for the University of Louisiana, Stokely won two Super Bowls during his NFL career and will provide “football analysis and betting content” to BetRivers, according to the release.
Ott, an LSU alum, has been a Baton Rouge sports radio and television personality since 1990. He currently hosts “Jimmy Ott's Gametime presented by BetRivers” on ESPN Radio Baton Rouge, where he provides handicapping content to football fans.
The Rush Street investment in Louisiana comes on the heels of the state launching mobile sports betting in most of its parishes on Jan. 28. BetRivers was among the handful of betting apps which went live on launch day. Up to 41 mobile platforms could eventually be approved by state regulators, which are awarding them on a rolling basis pending a vetting process conducted by the state police.
New users who sign up at BetRivers in Louisiana can get $250 in free bets by making a $250 first-time deposit with the sportsbook. There is no promo code required.