TORONTO — A partnership between TheScore Bet and the Toronto Blue Jays seems like a natural fit to John Levy, the CEO of the sportsbook.
Levy spoke to media on the field at Rogers Centre where new signage over the bullpens for TheScore Bet was unveiled on Thursday morning. The new banners were revealed just as a 10-year exclusive partnership between the gambling service and the Blue Jays was announced.
"It's Canada's baseball team, Canada sportsbook, there's a lot of history here with our families and with our organizations," said Levy, who pointed out that The Score used to broadcast Blue Jays games on its radio station and that in 2012 The Score Media was sold to Rogers Communications, owner of Sportsnet and the Blue Jays, with The Score's digital properties remaining a separate entity.
"So we knew the Rogers family, we had this great television network, and there was a relationship between Rogers and our organization."
The new partnership will provide exclusive in-stadium and digital offerings to Jays fans and theScore Bet users via sponsorship elements.
That will include two immersive premium seating sections on the baselines, extensive in-stadium branding, in-game features, a number of team-related experiences.
"The fan experience is evolving and this monumental partnership with theScore Bet offers compelling new ways for sports enthusiasts to be a part of the game," said Mark Shapiro, president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays in a statement. “We are excited to be partnering with a Canadian company that operates at the highest level of the industry and understands our role in Toronto and Canada, to bring baseball to more fans nationwide.”
The deal also designates theScore Bet, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, Inc. that's headquartered in Toronto, as the presenting partner of the Jays Care 50/50 program.
Ontario's sports-betting industry opened fully Monday. The Score had previously been focused on news aggregation and reporting of scores through its digital media properties, including an app for smartphones.
Levy said that launching its betting app has been successful so far.
"It's way too early to talk about but, as you can see, I'm smiling, so that's a good sign," said Levy. "And it's for a bunch of reasons because this is a culmination of something we've been working on for a long time, a long time.
"The media app is one of the most popular sports media apps in North America and the way we've integrated sports betting by making it easy for the customer with TheScore Bet is really a unique offering that nobody else has."
The Blue Jays open the 2022 season Friday night hosting the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2022.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press