Colorado Rockies Star Charlie Blackmon Becomes First MLB Sports Betting Endorser with MaximBet Deal

Charlie Blackmon, a Colorado Rockies outfielder, officially became the first Major League Baseball player to partner with a licensed sportsbook, when MaximBet on Wednesday announced its deal with the four-time All-Star.

Charlie Blackmon
Charlie Blackmon
Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon is the first active Major League Baseball player to sign on as a brand ambassador for a sportsbook. On Wednesday, MaximBet announced it signed the four-time All-Star to a deal that includes participating in marketing campaigns and attending special fan events. (Image: ESPN)

The deal comes a little more than a month after the league and the MLB Players Association finalized a new collective bargaining agreement. Among the provisions included in the five-year deal was a provision allowing players to enter into marketing partnerships with sports betting operators.

Blackmon becomes the second active athlete from one of the “big four” North American team sports leagues to become a brand ambassador for a sportsbook. Just days before the MLB CBA was finalized, BetMGM announced a partnership with Edmonton Oilers wunderkind center Connor McDavid, one of the top players in the NHL.

In a statement, MaximBet CEO Daniel Graetzer explained what the sports betting operator saw in the 35-year-old, 12-year pro to make him a marketing partner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Blackmon will take part in future marketing campaigns, fan events, promotions, and social media posts

“Charlie is one of the most revered Rockies players of all time, and his style and career success makes him a perfect fit for MaximBet,” Graetzer said.

Colorado is currently the only state where MaximBet operates.

To celebrate the partnership, MaximBet said it commissioned artist SolesbySir to customize several items for Blackmon. That includes a glove, cleats, and a Rockies ballcap. Blackmon, an avid fisherman, also getting some customized angling gear, too. MaximBet will also give custom SolesbySir swag to new customers through the end of April.

Who is Charlie Blackmon?

Unless you’re a baseball fan, you likely don’t know much, if anything, about Blackmon.

Nicknamed “Chuck Nazty,” which also doubles as his Twitter and Instagram handles, Blackmon has a quirky personality that has made him a fan favorite at Coors Field. With his trademark bushy beard, Blackmon is just as likely to post pics about his outdoor adventures as he posts pics about baseball.

For a four-year span in the late 2010s, Blackmon was one of the best hitters in baseball. From 2016-2019, he hit .315 with 127 home runs and 342 runs batted in. He appeared in three of his All-Star Games during that stretch and also won his two Silver Sluggers, which go to the best hitters in the game at their respective positions.

In 2017, he led the lead with a .331 batting average, 387 total bases, 213 hits, 137 runs scored, and 14 triples. He also had career-highs of 37 homers and 104 RBI that season.

The production has waned some in recent years, but Blackmon still has some pop in his bat. He hit his first home of the season in a game  Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

MaximBet Promotes Lifestyle Brand

MaximBet is owned by the Carousel Group, which partners with Maxim Magazine on the sportsbook. Much like the publication, MaximBet considers itself a “lifestyle brand,” and it seeks to offer experiences to its customers. That includes giving its customers real and virtual access to athletes, celebrities, and other influencers.

As I learned more about MaximBet, I knew this absolutely was the right brand for me,” Blackmon said in a statement. “MaximBet has really attached itself to the local Colorado community, and I cannot wait to have some fun with MaximBet and surprising fans with incredible ‘money can’t buy’ experiences all season.”

Even as sporting leagues have embraced wagering wholeheartedly in the post-PASPA environment, some may consider an active professional athlete endorsing a sportsbook as going a step too far – even if leagues like MLB and the NHL have given it their blessing.

That may hold especially true in baseball, a sport where the average fan has more than a little gray on them. It’s likely more than a few baseball fans will react to Blackmon’s deal with MaximBet by once again asking when will Pete Rose get reinstated.

Simply put, that isn’t the audience MaximBet is pursuing by signing Blackmon or by promoting such events as a MaxQuerade Party in Denver around Halloween.

While MaximBet is only in Colorado for now, the sportsbook’s leadership has plans in place to expand. Indiana and Iowa will likely launch first, but the operator also has market-access agreements in New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. MaximBet also has eyes on entering the recently launched Ontario market in Canada.

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