In 2009, teams began entering into sponsorship agreements with state lottery agencies, allowing them to use team logos. The Maryland Lottery began the Ravens Cash Fantasy scratch-off game three years ago. The game has become the best-selling $5 scratch-off in Maryland Lottery history and has generated net revenue of $2 million to $3 million annually, state officials said.
In 2010, the NFL began allowing teams to accept advertising for Las Vegas, provided the material contains no references or depictions of gambling or casinos.
As Maryland Live at Arundel Mills gears up for its opening in June, Maesano said, promoting the state's newest casino with the Ravens made sense. Maesano said he planned to reach out to the team over the next several months.
The casino, which will open with 3,100 of the 4,750 slot machines it will eventually have, has established marketing partnerships with DC United, the Nationals, the Orioles and the Capitals.
"It's about brand alignment and reaching a large group of people. Professional sports teams in Baltimore, especially a team like the Ravens, reach a lot of people," Maesano said. "Their brand is solid and it's the entertainment business. Sports is to have fun. That's what the gaming industry is all about."
Burch, the marketing executive, put the cost of advertising with the Ravens in the low six figures, depending on the scope of the contract.
For smaller facilities like Hollywood Casino Perryville, advertising with the Ravens would be economically unfeasible given the state's 67 percent tax rate on gambling revenue, said Marc DeLeo, the casino's marketing director.
"Partnering with a brand like the NFL could be very expensive," DeLeo said.