As North Carolina prepares for statewide launch of sports betting, Penn partners with PGA Tour venue Quail Hollow Club

December 5, 2023 8:49 PM
Photo: Penn Entertainment
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
December 5, 2023 8:49 PM
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports

Penn Entertainment announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, Penn Sports Interactive, has entered into a long-term partnership with Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina, where the PGA’s Wells Fargo Championship will take place from May 6 to 12.

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No doubt the North Carolina event will feature something similar on the marketing front to what Penn Entertainment’s theScore Bet introduced last summer in Toronto. As sponsor of the PGA’s RBC Canadian Open, theScore Bet hosted a market activation at Oakdale Golf & Country Club, designed to show how they intended to do things differently in the Ontario market.

Up above No. 7 of the Thompson course (Oakdale has three nines), with pros like Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, and Canadian Corey Conners playing below, theScore Bet built Hole Zero, where fans hit golf balls on an actual 150-yard par-3 hole, with a clubhouse where you could check into your locker, get a lesson from a golf pro, then tee it up, and compete for prizes. The prize for a hole-in-one was $75,000. The market strategy for theScore Bet overall in Ontario has been meant to empower fans and bring them closer to the experience, then through that build brand affinity.

Penn Entertainment secured market access to the North Carolina tournament for its new ESPN BET sports-wagering platform, as the industry heads toward the launch of regulated online sports wagering in North Carolina.

ESPN BET will become the exclusive official betting partner of the Wells Fargo Championship and through the deal, ESPN BET gains access to various marketing integrations. The marketing team will be afforded the same kind of freedom to really lean in on integration programs like the ones they’ve been executing over the past two summers with theScore Bet’s sponsorship deal with Golf Canada.

“As we prepare to bring our new online sports betting brand, ESPN BET, to North Carolina, we look forward to working together with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship to create unique fan activations,”  said Benjie Levy, Head of Penn Interactive, in a statement.

ESPN BET launched Nov. 14 in 17 states.

“We welcome the upcoming launch of regulated online sports wagering in North Carolina and our partnership with a leading gaming and entertainment operator in Penn Entertainment,” said Johnny Harris, President, Quail Hollow Club. “Penn’s compelling online sports betting brand ESPN BET, cutting-edge technology, and extensive operational expertise make them an ideal long-term partner for this industry.”