Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, the reigning Most Valuable Player of the National Hockey League has joined BetMGM Sportsbook as a brand ambassador, making him the first active professional athlete from one of the four major North American sports to ink such a deal with a big-name sportsbook.
In his role with the sportsbook and casino gaming company, McDavid will appear in future marketing campaigns and promotions. McDavid joins a list of prominent former athletes who have partnerships with BetMGM.
“I am very excited to partner with BetMGM as they continue to shape the future of sports betting,” McDavid said. “It’s also a real honour to be on the same BetMGM team with star athletes like Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Garnett, both of whom I admire very much.”
Sports betting is legal in Canada, and commercial sportsbooks will launch on April 4. BetMGM has yet to release an official date for its launch in Ontario, but it is expected to be operational in 2022, perhaps before the Stanley Cup Finals.
The McDavid deal vaults him into the sports betting market ahead of other active athletes in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. It’s a signal that operators will aggressively market themselves in Canada leading up to the launch this spring and beyond. None of the other major professional leagues in North America currently allow their athletes to sign sports betting deals.
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McDavid Deal Signals BetMGM Commitment to NHL & Canada
BetMGM used a tweet to announce the landmark deal, saying that “greatness recognizes greatness.”
Greatness recognizes greatness.
In a groundbreaking agreement, we are thrilled to welcome @CMcDavid97 to the BetMGM family.
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) March 4, 2022
The Ontario-born McDavid leads the NHL in points, a category he’s also in three times previously. He’s won the Hart Memorial Trophy twice and been an NHL All-Star in each of his seven seasons. He’s still just 25 years old and seen as the most dynamic scorer to skate for a Canadian team since Gretzky wore the sweater of the Oilers.
Canada is a hockey-crazed country, and McDavid embodies that passionate relationship more than any Canadian-born player since Gretzky. In 2016, Edmonton made the 19-year old the youngest team captain in NHL history. He led the league in scoring that season as a teenager. McDavid captured the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer in his second season.
It has been nearly three decades since a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup (Montreal in 1993). McDavid’s ascent as the game’s greatest player for Edmonton has rekindled the national pride in the game and stoked hopes that the drought will soon end. The Oilers currently sit in fourth place in the Pacific Division. They have won just one playoff series since McDavid joined the team.