Blackmon Becomes First Active MLB Sportsbook Endorser
Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon became the first active Major league baseball player sign a endorsement agreement with a bookie when MaximBet announced his role as brand ambassador on Wednesday.
Blackmon, 35, is a four-time All-Star and the 2017 National League batting champion. According to a statement, “Chuck Nazty” will be “featured by MaximBet in upcoming marketing campaigns, fan events, promotions and the social media content”.
“Learning more about MaximBet, I knew it was absolutely the right brand for me,” Blackmon said in a press release. “MaximBet has truly connected with the local Colorado community, and I look forward to having fun with MaximBet and surprising fans with amazing ‘money can’t buy’ experiences all season long.”
MLB players won the right to sign sports betting endorsement agreements in the new collective bargaining agreement that ended a 99-day lockout this spring. Going first could be fraught with potential pitfalls given baseball’s institutional trauma to the 1919 Chicago White Sox and Pete Rose gambling scandals.
But Jason Pomrenke of the Society for American Baseball Research thinks the proliferation of legal sports betting in the United States will appease the public.
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Why was MLB player Charlie Blackmon right for MaximBet, historic role?
Blackmon is a popular veteran with a history of high performance and the personality to fill a role that needs it. The fact that he’s a seemingly devout Christian who often talks about his religious beliefs doesn’t make him an obvious candidate, however. Blackmon’s national appeal didn’t fit the mold many branding experts felt was necessary, but MaximBet’s focus in Colorado could make him and the bookmaker the perfect first movers. He is the very first spokesperson for MaximBet.
“Charlie is one of the most revered Rockies players of all time, and his style and professional success make him an ideal candidate for MaximBet,” said Daniel Graetzer, CEO of MaximBet in one release. “We are thrilled to welcome Charlie to the MaximBet family. We look forward to him stepping out of the ballpark for us as we continue to grow in Colorado and across the country.
A Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association licensed gaming operator, MaximBet currently offers sports betting only in Colorado, but plans to expand into Indiana and Iowa. It has market access agreements in New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada.
According to a statement, MaximBet will collaborate with artist SolesbySir, to design “one-of-a-kind baseball and self-interest items for Blackmon. SolesbySir, real name Marcus Rivero, designed a co-branded Rawlings glove, Nike cleats and a New Era Rockies hat and, given Blackmon’s love of fishing, he created a custom tackle bag, fisherman’s scissors and a cooler for the new MaximBet ambassador. ”
With this announcement, Colorado confirmed its place in the history of legal sports betting in the United States. In 2020, the University of Colorado signed an agreement with PointsBet it was the first such sponsorship and marketing agreement between a bookmaker and a higher education institution.