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Ohio Welcomes Fubo Gaming Through Cleveland Cavaliers

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T-shirts are placed on seats for fans. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP.

The Ohio legal sports betting industry hasn’t even launched and already there is a sports betting provider making waves in the state. Fubo Gaming Sportsbook, despite not having launched itself has made a move into what is expected to be a robust Ohio legal sports betting scene through an announced partnership deal with one of the most beloved franchises in the state, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

The partnership is the first for Fubo Gaming with an NBA team and the first such tie-up between a sportsbook provider and an Ohio-based professional sports team.

“We’re thrilled to have our first NBA team partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers, an innovative sports franchise known to have one of the most passionate fan bases in the league,” said Scott Butera, president of Fubo Gaming. “This partnership is a natural extension of our overall goal to deliver sports fans dynamic and engaging experiences with the teams and sports they love.”

The Ohio Market

The Ohio legal sports betting industry is one of the most anticipated in quite some time for the broad US scene. Ohio is home to 11.7 million residents which ranks seventh in the nation as well as teams in all four major North American sports leagues. Ohio college programs are also very popular in the state.

Fubo Gaming has been able to get a jump on the inevitable competition that will be coming into the market soon. Fubo, through their Cavaliers partnership, beats names like BetMGM, Caesars, and the two DFS giants-turned sports betting behemoths in the race for market exposure and brand awareness in Ohio.

“Even if the actual legislation is on the way to being passed, you get value by getting in the market early,” Fubo Gaming president Scott Butera said in an interview. “It’s good that we can get kind of a head start on an emerging market, as opposed to an established market where we’re sort of making up for some lost ground.”

Fubo has long expected to have its legal sports betting platform in place in Q4 and hopes to officially launch by the end of 2021.

Fubo Gaming Gains

The brand exposure for Fubo Gaming as a new provider on the scene is the biggest gain for the sportsbook brand. Fubo’s brand will be featured prominently right away during this NBA season at the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Fubo Gaming advertising will be prevalent in and around the Stadium and will organically appear on Cavaliers TV and radio broadcasts as well as the team’s social channels and the Cavs’ GameDay+. Fubo Gaming will also be awarded title sponsorship privileges of the Cavs’ in-app prediction contest and gains the rights to use Cavaliers marks and logos in advertising campaigns.

Cleveland Cavaliers Gain

The Cleveland Cavaliers get what seemingly every pro sports organization in America is chasing – a better overall and more encompassing experience for their fans. The focus on fan engagement has been gaining steam most recently with the gambling industry playing a large part in not only introducing something new to fanbases but also giving loyal followers a stake in the games they love.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will have a large presence on Fubo TV going forward and get the honor of being the first Ohio sports team with a sports betting partner. Overall, the Cavaliers get healthy brand enhancement from their Fubo partnership.

“We couldn’t be more excited to align our Cavaliers brand with Fubo Gaming, a company that shares a mutual passion for innovation and as we like to say, who are ‘obsessed with finding a better way’ in such a new and rapidly-evolving sports gaming category,” said Shelly Cayette, Cleveland Cavaliers senior vice president, global partnerships. “We are proud to team up with Fubo Gaming and help bolster their brand presence across the greater Cleveland region, all over Ohio, and with our fanbase for many years to come.”

Floodgates

The Cleveland Cavaliers/Fubo Sports partnership deal could signal the start of the floodgates opening in the Ohio market. Hoping to go live in the next few months, it is expected that Fubo’s pre-legalization dive could set off a rash of partnership deals for Ohio teams.

All eyes will be on the nation’s 7th largest population base to see just when their legal sports betting launch takes place, which providers will enter the scene and which team will be next to align with a sportsbook partner.