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Michigan State athletics completes partnership deal with Caesars Sportsbook

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Michigan State is going all in, and that’s not just on the playing field.

On Thursday, the university announced it was partnering with Caesars Sportsbook to become the official and exclusive sports betting and iGaming partner of MSU Athletics.

Sparty leads out the football team.

According to a press release from MSU and Caesars, the multi-year agreement combines fan engagement opportunities, a new premium seating area at Spartan Stadium and an expansion of responsible sports gaming education.

“The opportunity to partner with Caesars, a leading force in the sports and entertainment industry, will help enhance gameday experiences for Spartan fans and provide significant resources to support the growing needs of each of our varsity programs,” Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller said in a statement. “We are excited to be on the cutting edge of this innovative opportunity, while recognizing the importance of Caesars’ commitment to responsible sports gaming education both for the student-athletes and the University community as a whole.”

In addition to premium seating areas at Spartan Stadium, the partnership allows Caesars to create an outdoor tailgating area at football games for its bettors and will allow Caesars to have signs at venues for Michigan State football, basketball and hockey games. It will also see Caesars provide VIP experiences and exclusive hospitality for bettors through its Caesars Rewards loyalty program.

“Michigan State has a proud tradition of excellence and partnering with an internationally recognized brand in college athletics is a great opportunity for us,” Eric Hession, Co-President of Caesars Digital said in a statement. “The Spartan fan base and alumni network is passionate and well-established across the country. We look forward to building upon our connection with them while strengthening the legacy we hold in the state of Michigan and advancing scholarship opportunities through this partnership."

The agreement between Michigan State and Caesars is the latest in a growing trend in college athletics. In 2020, Nevada Las Vegas and Nevada Reno entered a partnership with William Hill Limited, which was acquired by Caesars in April. The University of Colorado partnered with Points Bet in October of 2020 and in September of 2021, LSU teamed up with Caesars.

Michigan State's partnership with Caesars was facilitated by MSU third-party multi-media rights holder, Playfly Sports.

"Caesars Sportsbook will provide annual funds to support student-athlete responsible gaming education, student scholarships, as well as internships and professional development opportunities for MSU to create strategic opportunities for our college properties that not only provide impactful gaming education resources but also significant opportunities to drive new sources of revenue,” said Christy Hedgpeth, President of Playfly Sports Properties. “Connecting Caesars’ iconic brand to MSU’s passionate community of students, fans and alumni is a perfect fit and another example of how partnerships like this are creating tremendous benefits for all parties involved.”

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau