The Chicago Bears and Rush Street Interactive have announced that they have reached an agreement on a new multi-year exclusive partnership. This is the first time that the Bears have signed an exclusive deal in the sports betting or casino industries.
Rush Street Interactive operates Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois, and also runs the BetRivers online sportsbook app. BetRivers is now the Official Sportsbook Partner of the Bears, and the Rivers Casino is the official casino partner.
Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips said, “We are incredibly excited to announce BetRivers and Rivers Casino as our first multi-year exclusive partner in the Sportsbook and Casino categories.” BetRivers and the Bears are expected to begin collaborating on a number of new products and promotions to benefit both parties.
Last year, the Bears agreed to a sports betting partnership with PointsBet, but it was not an exclusive deal.
Details of Partnership
BetRivers and Rivers Casino will receive a number of promotional opportunities with the Bears, including signage in and around Soldier Field. These two companies will also have the opportunity for digital advertisements on the team’s website and social media channels.
BetRivers will be given the opportunity to create a free-to-play game to be featured on the Chicago Bears mobile app. Customers at BetRivers will also be able to compete for exclusive prizes, including game-day experiences with the Chicago Bears.
More details of this partnership are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, with the games and contests being rolled out prior to the start of the NFL season.
BetRivers No Longer Leader in Illinois
BetRivers was the first online sportsbook to launch in Illinois, giving it a big edge over the rest of the competition. Governor J.B. Pritzker gave the operator a boost when he waived the in-person registration requirement with Executive Order 2020-41.
It wasn’t long until DraftKings and FanDuel were both able to enter the Illinois market, even though lawmakers attempted to keep them out. These operators were able to strike a partnership with an in-state casino, and they are now the market leaders.
Illinois now has six online sportsbooks available, and more could be on the way in 2021. This partnership with the Bears should allow BetRivers to help close the gap, especially during the NFL season.
Bears Moving to Arlington Heights?
The Chicago Bears recently submitted a bid to purchase the Arlington Park racetrack, a move that shocked both Bears fans and league executives. The Bears have a deal with the city of Chicago to remain in Soldier Field for another decade, but the ownership is exploring other options.
BetRivers has an association with Arlington Park, and this could be a move that will help get the bid by the Bears. If Chicago does win the bid, it is unclear what will happen with that property over the next few years.
Soldier Field is one of the smallest NFL stadiums in the league, and the location has limited the opportunities for the Bears to attract other events. This new sports betting partnership could make the move to Arlington even more attractive, but this will be a long process.