NFL posts VP of sports betting job after Calvin Ridley suspension

Posted: March 12, 2022, 4:56 a.m.

Last update: March 12, 2022, 05:09 a.m.

The timing may seem a little odd to some, but the National Football League posted a job posting on Friday morning: Vice President, General Manager – Sports Betting.

Calvin Riley
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley makes a catch during a 2021 NFL regular season game against the Washington Football Team. On Friday, the NFL announced it was looking for a vice president for sports betting just days after it suspended Ridley for betting on championship games last season. (Image: Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

As Bill King of Sports Business Journal noted, the league actually created the position two years ago before implementing a hiring freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL job description said the person chosen for the role would serve as a “key leader” for its Legalized Sports Betting (LSB) initiatives and work with others across the league.

This role will be responsible for continued growth and strategy, promoting LSB initiatives and partnerships across the League and its 32 member clubs, ensuring accurate and timely communication to senior management and ownership,” indicates the job description. “The ideal candidate works collaboratively, builds consensus while anticipating future dependencies, possesses strong interpersonal leadership qualities, and possesses a deep understanding of sports betting and the broader sports business landscape.”

There is no timeline for when the league can fill the executive role.

Maintaining league integrity a priority

The job description lists four objectives for the role. The first is “Continue to protect the integrity of the game”.

The integrity of the league was put in the spotlight last week when the league suspended Calvin Ridley for at least a year. The decision came after officials learned the Atlanta Falcons’ star receiver had placed a series of parlay bets that included bets on his team’s win.

According to reports, Ridley placed bets in late November using the Hard Rock Sportsbook app. He was not an active member of the Falcons at the time, as the team placed him on the non-football illness list earlier in the season. The former 1,000-yard receiver cited mental health issues as a reason for stepping away.

The NFL investigation later determined that Ridley had no insider information and no games had been compromised. However, the league considered it essential to issue a severe sanction against a high-level player.

“There is nothing more fundamental to the success of the NFL – and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league – than maintaining the integrity of the game,” commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter. to Ridley informing him of the league action. “It is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, match official and anyone else employed in the league. Your actions endanger the integrity of the game, threaten to damage public confidence in professional football and potentially undermined the reputation of your fellow players throughout the NFL.

The NFL is also looking to increase fan value and engagement

The NFL’s other legal betting goals include enhancing the league’s reputation and brand, increasing fan engagement worldwide, and leveraging the data and intellectual property of the league. the league.

Like other professional sports leagues, the NFL quickly moved from opposing legalized sports betting to embracing it. Part of that was having a say or possible control over how sports betting worked in new markets. A bigger reason was to make sure this and the teams get a share of the profits from the game. This is being done through efforts to require official data to classify bets and allow teams to partner with operators legal.

For example, Caesars Sportsbook and the Indianapolis Colts have used their partnership to help the team increase season ticket sales.

In some states, NFL teams have or will have access to betting licenses which they can then assign to operators. Construction began two months ago on a BetMGM sports betting site at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, where the Arizona Cardinals play. Sports betting law recently enacted in Ohio will allow the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns to join in sports betting.

The expanded Illinois Gaming Act that legalized sports betting in the state will also allow major professional teams to partner with operators as well. This means that if the Chicago Bears end up building a new stadium in Arlington Park, it could very well come with a sportsbook.

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