The New York Jets became the first NFL team to sign a full partnership with a gaming firm, announcing Wednesday that they will be teaming up with MGM Resorts for promotional efforts and a free predictions game that will live inside the official Jets app.

New York Jets 888 MGM
The New York Jets have officially signed a gaming partnership with MGM Resorts, with sources saying a deal with 888 Holdings will be announced in the days to come. (Image: Bill Kostroun/AP)

While some teams had previously signed sponsorship deals with individual casinos, this marks the first time a team has gone farther in working with a gaming brand, something that has become possible as the NFL has loosened its restrictions on gambling advertising this year.

MGM Sees Long Term Benefits in Partnership

For MGM, the big draw of the partnership is the ability to advertise the PlayMGM app to Jets fans. While NFL rules do not allow the direct promotion of sports betting, MGM can still drive traffic to their online gambling products in New Jersey, thanks in part to the fact that it includes free play options alongside its real money casino and sports betting offerings.

MGM probably wont directly make any revenue off the deal, though the company hopes that theyll see long-term benefits in brand recognition and app downloads in the state.

We love the demographic that Jets fans provide, MGM president of interactive gaming Scott Butera told ESPN. They have high household incomes in an area where sports betting is now legal.

MGM will see their logo plastered across in-stadium signs, and will also serve as the sponsor for the Jets studio, where the team produces digital and televised content.

The gaming firm which owns the Borgata in Atlantic City will also sponsor a game known as I Called It. Appearing in the Jets app, this game will challenge fans to predict what will happen in a Jets game, with prizes being awarded to successful users.

The move is the latest example of MGMs efforts to align itself with leagues and teams in the sports betting sector. MGM is the official sports betting partner of the NBA, and earlier this week, the company and the NHL announced a non-exclusive sports betting sponsorship agreement.

888 Advertising Causing Controversy for Jets

It appears that the Jets wont be settling for just one gaming partner, however. The New York Post cited sources as saying that the Jets have signed a sponsorship contract with 888 Holdings, which operates casino, poker, and sports betting sites in New Jersey. Evidence of the partnership has already shown up outside MetLife Stadium, where there are now several large banners on display.

The Post reported that some sources with knowledge of the 888 deal have questioned whether it might run afoul of NFL rules, however.

While the report says that sources close to the Jets believe the fact that the portal connects to all of their gaming options, and not just the sportsbook, means they should be in the clear. However, others seem to think the fact that sports wagering is front and center for visitors to the website could be enough to violate the leagues guidelines. One source told the Post that the deal will be officially announced later this week.

These partnerships could create a confusing jumble of gambling advertisements and sponsorships in and around MetLife Stadium for Jets fans. In addition to the MGM and 888 branding, theres also the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack, which is located in the same complex. Fans are able to take shuttles between the sportsbook and the stadium on game days.