In the last three years, official betting partnerships between betting operators and sports leagues have rapidly expanded across the US. Here, Cole Rush discusses some of the key lessons brands can take from these partnerships, including how to ramp up fan engagement without alienating nonwagering fans. To date, nearly two dozen states have allowed bettors to place bets on races and other sporting events. This rapid growth is being welcomed enthusiastically by the sports leagues, operators, and platform providers.

Official betting is important to fans of sports events, as it helps them better understand the odds and the likelihood of a game’s outcome. It’s not always easy to interpret the odds, though, since the odds for any game depend on a variety of factors. To this end, the NFL has signed deals with betting operators, integrating betting content into broadcasts and the stadium experience. This year, the NFL expects to generate $270 million in official sports betting. Other sportsbooks can join in this partnership and make official betting data available to fans.

For an official betting partnership to be effective, both companies must find common ground. Although announcements about these partnerships often focus on the basics, there’s often more to the deal than meets the eye. For example, the PGA Tour’s vice president of gaming, Scott Warfield, believes that sports betting on its events will increase over the next five to ten years. Therefore, the PGA Tour needs to take a proactive approach to its sports betting content.