MLB Snags A Big Partner For 2019 Baseball Series In Japan

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on February 28, 2019

MGM Resorts International is taking its baseball partnership overseas. Major League Baseball (MLB) announced Monday that MGM will be the title sponsor of the 2019 MGM MLB Opening Series in Japan.

The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners will be part of a five-game series at the Tokyo Dome in March.

MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren told Forbes:

“We are excited to partner with MLB and the MLB Players Association to deliver a one-of-a-kind fan experience that celebrates baseball in Japan. We look forward to giving fans a unique experience to participate in baseball activities in and out of the Tokyo Dome.”

MGM and MLB deal takeaways

As part of the sponsorship, there will be a visible presence around the stadium as well as a patch on the uniform of the Oakland A’s, according to Forbes.

“In just a few months as partners, MGM Resorts has really embraced this relationship and expanded their presence in the league,” said Noah Garden, MLB executive vice president.

“MGM Resorts will have a great opportunity to engage with and experience the extraordinary passion of baseball fans in Japan. We’re excited to have our new partners become such a significant part of our games in Tokyo,” he said.

Partnership expansion

Back in November, MGM became the “official gaming partner” of MLB. The deal allows MGM access to the league’s logos and official data for use in sports betting operations.

While the live feed of baseball games is not exclusive, MGM will be the only sportsbook operator with access to “enhanced statistics.”

Financials of the opening series in Japan were not disclosed. However, the deal does reaffirm how casino/professional sports partnerships are evolving.

Here is what Timothy Slavin, president of MLB’s Players, Inc., had to say:

“With this relationship, MGM is reinforcing the depth of its interest in baseball. We’re delighted to welcome them as partners for this event, and our players look forward to working together more directly in ways that maximize fan interest.”

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MGM + professional sports leagues

MGM has also secured deals with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL).

The NBA announced on July 31.

The NHL announced on Oct. 29.

Additionally, MGM recently purchased Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway for $850 million. Once New York joins the sports betting ranks, MGM will have properties in four states with legal sports betting.

MGM also owns properties in several other states that may legalize sports betting in 2019 and beyond.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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