US entertainment and gambling company PENN Entertainment has announced a partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL), North America’s elite ice hockey competition, that will see its brands become official sports betting partners of the NHL.

PENN operates ESPN Bet in the US, a joint venture with sports network ESPN, and theScore Bet in Ontario, Canada, both of which become sports betting partners of NHL in their respective locations.

The two sports betting properties will receive intellectual property rights from the NHL to aid with marketing and media activations undertaken in conjunction with the league.

The partnership begins with immediate effect and will cover the remainder of the 2024 NHL regular season, as well as postseason playoffs and other big-ticket events put on by the league such as the Winter Classic, the stadium series, and the all-star weekend.

Aubrey Levy, senior vice president for marketing and content at Penn Interactive, said: “Becoming an official partner allows us to more broadly engage hockey fans, develop compelling integrations and uniquely leverage NHL programming. This is also a key partnership for theScore Bet in Ontario, where the popularity of hockey is unmatched.”

The NHL is one of the first leagues to have officially partnered with ESPN Bet, owing to the league’s broadcast agreement with ESPN proper.

Jason Jayazeri, NHL vice president for business development, said of the deal: “From day one we’ve said our media rights deal with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company has been a big win for our fans and our League, and this new collaboration is further testament to the value of our partnership.”

ESPN Bet was launched earlier in November in 17 US states where PENN holds a gambling license, with the odds it provides used across ESPN programming and editorial content as its official odds.