North American ice hockey’s NHL has significantly expanded two existing partnerships it has in place with FanDuel and BetMGM, with those two organizations now the league’s first sports betting partners across the whole of North America.

The deals, announced today (April 7), extend the reach of the two partnerships into Canada. Their involvement had previously been confined to the US.

This extension comes after the Canadian province of Ontario launched a “regulated single-game sports betting market” earlier this week. Other Canadian provinces are expected to legalize the practice later in 2022.

The expanded partnership entails both BetMGM and FanDuel securing rights to using NHL branding and category designations in their marketing, while both brands will also continue to receive content from the NHL’s media channels. 

They will also both be “integrated into the NHL’s marquee events across North America, including camera-visible signage and on-site activation as well as premium hospitality solutions”, the NHL has said.

Ontario is home to two NHL sides, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators.

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Keith Wachtel, chief business officer and senior executive vice-president at the NHL, said: “BetMGM and FanDuel were our first sports betting partners in the US, and we’re thrilled to expand our partnerships with both of these leaders in the sportsbook and mobile betting marketplace as we begin our transformative entry into this space in Canada.”

Last month, the NHL secured its first Canada-specific sports betting partner, by striking a multi-year deal with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Amy Howe, FanDuel Group’s chief executive, added: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with the NHL to include all of North America as our business grows into Canada with the launch of the Ontario market … This partnership has allowed the NHL and FanDuel to collaborate and become true innovators in sports betting.”

FanDuel’s extension with the NHL will focus on “leveraging the NHL’s most prominent camera-visible assets across its calendar of regular-season events”, while BetMGM will focus on “furthering efforts across custom content, media, and email marketing programs in Canada”, it has been announced.

The NHL also has sports betting deals in place with FanDuel, William Hill, and PointsBet.

BetMGM, meanwhile, is also a partner of several specific NHL franchises, including the Vegas Golden Knights and the New York Rangers.

The US-only partnership between that firm and the NHL was last renewed in February.

The NHL announced another Canadian partnership yesterday (April 6) too, bringing in online car retailer Clutch as a sponsor.

Clutch is now the league’s official online pre-owned car retailer, with this deal marking Clutch’s first sponsorship of a major North American sports league.

The new agreement, Clutch has said, will provide the brand “with an array of exclusive marketing rights and designations that will connect the brand with the NHL” through the league’s various digital and social media marketing channels.

The partnership begins immediately, and will also see the two bodies collaborate to create content across all media platforms.

The Clutch brand logo will be displayed in in-ice advertising during the end-of-season Stanley Cup playoffs, which will start on May 2

Kyle Mann, senior vice-president of North American business development, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Clutch to the NHL family … We look forward to building impactful fan-focused programs while providing major brand visibility.”