Phoenix Mercury Optimistic About Future Following Partnership with Bally’s

Phoenix Mercury See Bright Future After Bally’s Partnership

The Phoenix Mercury, with three WNBA championship titles under their belt, were recently presented with an irresistible offer that they couldn’t turn down.

On July 1, Bally’s Sportsbook made history by entering into a 15-year partnership with an Arizona sports betting go-casino, marking the first time an American professional women’s sports team has secured such an agreement.

Mercury’s Chief Operating Officer, Vince Kozar, told that the success of the $66 million deal depended on the compatibility between Bally’s and the franchise.

Kozar stated that Bally’s was the ideal operator for their needs, emphasizing the importance of market access for both their own company and others interested in entering the state now that sports betting is legal. However, she noted that their decision was not solely based on market access.

Their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as their goal of becoming the first company to collaborate with a women’s professional team, made them a perfect fit in all regards.

A recent survey conducted by showed significant interest in sports betting in Arizona, suggesting a strong excitement for the upcoming launch of the legal market.

Exciting gift for women’s sports

Daniel McIntosh, a senior lecturer in the marketing department at Arizona State University, states that the deal made by Kozar and his team presents numerous value propositions.

McIntosh pointed out that partnerships like the one between Mercury and Bally’s make sense and offer numerous benefits.

McIntosh noted that for individual teams, partnering with gambling providers can serve as an extra revenue stream, especially in light of decreased attendance due to COVID-19. This highlights the advantages that gambling providers stand to gain from these partnerships.

These companies are competing fiercely to capture a larger portion of the market. FanDuel is going head-to-head with DraftKings, who are also rivals with Bally’s and Barstool, among others.

Betting on sports is a popular activity among women.

McIntosh also pointed out that the agreement between Bally’s and Mercury offers a chance to tap into the untapped female sports betting market.

According to HPL Digital Sports, the proportion of female bettors has risen by 5% since their 2020 survey, now making up 33% of all bettors.

In addition, a survey conducted by PointsBet Sportsbook on betting activity during the Tokyo Olympics found that 60% of bets were placed on women’s competitions, with only 40% placed on men’s competitions.

Similar trends were seen in other Olympic sports, with soccer having 85% women and 15% men, beach volleyball with 70% women and 30% men, and water polo with 65% women and 35% men.

Among all Olympic sports, only 5 on 5 basketball had a greater betting interest for the men’s competition compared to the women’s competition, with 90% of bets being placed on the men’s side and 10% on the women’s side.

Kozar’s confidence in the future success of women’s athletics is evident, as he pointed to professional teams like the Mercury as trailblazers in sparking interest.

Kozar shared her enthusiasm about being the first but also eagerly anticipates being joined by others. She stressed the importance of this opportunity for her team and Bally’s, emphasizing the overall impact on women’s sports.

McIntosh talked about a similar topic as Kozar, describing the Bally’s deal as a strategic decision for both parties because of the growing attention on women’s professional sports in the United States.

McIntosh observed that traditionally, the sports industry and sports marketing have predominantly focused on and tailored their efforts towards a male demographic. Nevertheless, over the last ten years, there has been a shift towards emphasizing women’s sports and engaging female fans.

I see it as a cost-effective way to enter the Arizona market or a unique strategy to attract the untapped female demographic and differentiate ourselves in the market.

A new era of boldness in Arizona.

Kozar is confident that the legalization of Arizona sports betting apps will have a significant impact on sports like women’s basketball, allowing fans to form fresh connections with teams.

Kozar pointed out that the excitement of sports betting comes from not needing to be a devoted fan of a specific team to enjoy it. He noted that many of his friends, despite not being NFL employees themselves, participate in fantasy football and become emotionally attached to their team’s performance each week, even if they don’t have a strong allegiance to any particular team.

They are currently viewing 15 games at once, completely engrossed in a fantasy football platform such as ESPN, Yahoo, or CBS. This is attracting new fans who may not have been following the league from the start, broadening the audience and heightening the excitement.

Kozar is excited about the possibilities that legalized sports betting brings, such as offering fans additional in-game options like prop bets on quarterly over/unders, which can enhance engagement and be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

He mentioned that there are various opportunities for engaging in sports betting with women’s teams at these venues, citing past success with men’s sports and expressing enthusiasm for expanding into women’s sports.

Kozar highlighted that the Mercury have conducted extensive research and have a strong belief in the growing fan interest in sports betting and WNBA basketball.

Kozar and the Mercury are working to bring together new fans and longtime supporters in order to expand the team’s WNBA fanbase.

He said that he views the team’s partnership with Bally’s as just the beginning of their journey, with sports betting serving as the entry point for the franchise.

Kozar pointed out that women account for one-third of all bettors, indicating a substantial presence in the world of men’s sports betting. By broadening the scope of betting to include individual players, matchups, rivalries, and other factors beyond team outcomes, there is a chance for a more diverse range of participants to get involved.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher, who previously covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News for over seven years, is now the lead writer at

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