Blackmon becomes 1st MLB player to sign with a bookmaker

Colorado's Charlie Blackmon has signed a deal to endorse MaximBet.

Colorado right fielder Charlie Blackmon has scored two runs in each of his last two games.

He scored a deal off the field as well, becoming the first active MLB player to endorse a bookmaker in the United States. ESPN’s David Purdum reported the partnership between Blackmon and MaximBet on Wednesday morning.

The four-time All-Star will be a brand ambassador for the online sportsbook. However, he is not allowed to promote baseball betting specifically due to an MLB policy, so he will have to settle for endorsing the sportsbook in general.

“As I learned more about MaximBet, I knew this absolutely was the right brand for me,” Blackmon said in a press release. “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.”

He is the first player to take advantage of baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement. Players were not allowed to sign marketing or sponsorship deals with sportsbooks in the past, but the new CBA changed that restriction.

Legal bookmakers are now operating in 30 states as well as the District of Columbia. Multiple ballparks in the majors are planning on implementing physical sportsbooks. MaximBet currently operates only in Colorado, but it plans to expand to Iowa and Indiana.

“We are thrilled to welcome Charlie to the MaximBet family,” MaximBet CEO Daniel Graetzer said. “We look forward to him hitting it out of the ballpark for us as we continue to grow in Colorado and across the country.”

Blackmon, who made his MLB debut in 2011, is batting .229 with one home run to open the season. He has been with Colorado for his entire career, winning the Silver Slugger Award in 2016 and 2017, including the National League batting title in 2017. He is the second-longest tenured player in Rockies history.

“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.

MaximBet became the first sports betting company to enter an NIL deal with college athletes last year. It offered endorsement opportunities to all 21+ female student-athletes in Colorado at Division I, II or III colleges, including social media content, event appearances and free merchandise.

This is certainly a step in an unexpected direction for the MLB, who has banned Pete Rose from the Hall of Fame for wagering on games he played in.

Elsewhere in sports betting news, a bettor at Caesars Sportsbook wagered $50,000 on Minnesota to beat Memphis at +250 odds on Tuesday night. The bet never had a chance, as the Grizzlies picked up a 124-96 win. Star guard Ja Morant led seven Memphis players in double figures with 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

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