Recently-retired NFL quarterback Drew Brees is partnering with PointsBet as he begins his off-the-field career. The exclusive, multi-year agreement between the two parties includes an undisclosed equity stake and a cash component for the former Saints quarterback, who will serve as a brand ambassador for the global gambling operator.
Brees will have a hand in a number of the company’s advertising and marketing efforts, creating and starring in content, hosting watch parties, helping with promotions and more, similar to what other ambassadors, including former NBA star Allen Iverson, have done for the sportsbook.
The role overlaps with Brees’ transition into the broadcast booth for NBC Sports, which he confirmed following his retirement from the NFL this spring. NBC Sports has 4.9% equity stake of its own in PointsBet, part of a five-year partnership announced last August. PointsBet became the official betting partner of NBC’s sports assets (including NBCSN, the Golf Channel and its eight regional sports networks) in the deal, which was valued at almost $500 million including the equity.
The addition of Brees, now an analyst for the network, further intertwines PointsBet and NBC as the lines between sports betting and media continue to blur. Historically, sportscasters have avoided integrating sports betting directly into their on-camera commentary. Brees will not overtly discuss sports betting data or statistics on air per his broadcast contract, according to someone familiar with the deal.
The future Hall of Famer will start as an analyst for Notre Dame football games and a studio presence for Sunday Night Football’s lead-in programming, but it is widely presumed that Brees will eventually take over the network’s NFL game coverage. If and when he does venture into discussions about sports betting during broadcasts, it will be similar to how current Sunday Night Football play-by-play announcer Al Michaels subtly approaches the topic, allowing fans to “connect the dots on their own” using Brees’ knowledge of the game, the person familiar with the arrangement explained.
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, PointsBet launched in the U.S. in 2019 and currently operates in five states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and New Jersey.
“I am excited to team up with PointsBet, a leader in the future of sports entertainment built off elite technology,” Brees said in a release. “I am proud to be at the forefront alongside PointsBet and NBC Sports.”
The NHL is also among those with equity in PointsBet, part of a wider deal that brought PointsBet on as an official betting partner of the league. The sportsbook also has partnerships with the WNBA, the University of Colorado, PGA Tour and Indiana Pacers, as well as the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and their home arena via a multi-year deal with ownership group Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.