Plenty of professional teams have gambling-related partnerships, but nothing like what the Vegas Golden Knights just announced.
The NHL‘s Las Vegas-based franchise became the first US professional team to sign a sports betting tout as a partner. The Golden Knights signed a multi-year agreement with Mexico-based UpickTrade to be the team’s official sports pick service partner.
The agreement includes an unspecified in-game feature and in-arena branding. The team will also feature the brand on its web and social platforms.
“We are thrilled to partner with UpickTrade.com and become the first professional sports franchise to partner with a sports recommendation service,” said Golden Knights VP of Global Partnerships Mike Mungiello. “We are hopeful our fanbase will make UpickTrade.com a part of their sports pick betting process.”
UpickTrade CEO Carlos Lazo Reyes – whose website opens with a banner that says “Make a Living Off of Sports!” – called the partnership a “historic moment in the sports betting world.”
Why did Vegas Golden Knights partner with a tout?
LSR reached out to both the NHL and the Vegas Golden Knights for more information and for comments on the agreement.
Neither organization responded yet to those requests.
That could be because both organizations were inundated with media requests following the announcement. Most reactions to the agreement were less-than-flattering across social media.
Sports betting Twitter unites against agreement
Sports betting Twitter rarely unites to agree on one topic. A professional US team partnering with a tout service seemed to be the bridge to connect all sides.
Every other professional sports team looking at @GoldenKnights right now https://t.co/Nb6sxBjZ2c pic.twitter.com/XadU5gO9Li
— Brian Vratanina (@Bvrat) February 24, 2021
Can’t wait until tomorrow when the @GoldenKnights will probably name an official fentanyl distributor partnership or something
— Aaron Kessler (@aaronkessler) February 24, 2021
Outside of going with the Tennessee or Oregon lottery, I can’t imagine a dumber idea than the Knights going into bed with a tout service. While at the Stardust we literally started our own rotation to get rid of the tout service adds. What is going on here.
— Robert Walker (@robertusfsports) February 24, 2021
I give this a few days before the Golden Knights back out. What an awful idea. https://t.co/EhUwa6mo4m
— Bold Bias Sports (@BoldBiasSports) February 24, 2021
Details on UpickTrade
The Guadalajara-based company doesn’t include a ton of information on its website.
UpickTrade launched in December 2017 and has had more than 6,000 clients worldwide who “changed their perspective and are now making a living off of sports,” according to the website.
The tout charges $89 a month per league for its services. Users can select either recommended picks or data that lets them make their own picks.