Hard Rock Partners With Panthers Ahead Of All-Florida NHL Playoff Matchup

Written By Cheryl Coward on April 19, 2024 - Last Updated on April 24, 2024
Panthers partner with Hard Rock Bet ahead of NHL playoffs

Hard Rock Bet’s partnership with the Florida Panthers came at just the right time. A week after signing the multi-year deal, the South Florida NHL team claimed the Atlantic Division title with a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Panthers now own home-ice advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs, including in the all-Florida first-round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which begins Sunday.

That’s great news for Hard Rock Bet, which can showcase its brand via premium arena signage at Amerant Bank Arena. It’s the only legal sportsbook in the state, and it is now the official sportsbook of the Panthers.

Sports betting partnership is the first for the Panthers

The Seminole Tribe of Florida relaunched its online sportsbook Hard Rock Bet last November after years of legal challenges. In fact, a case filed by West Flagler Associates against the tribe’s pact with the state that gave it exclusivity over Florida sports betting in the state is currently being challenged at the US Supreme Court.

Florida Panthers Chief Revenue Officer Shawn Thornton sees the partnership, the team’s first with a sportsbook, as a win-win.

“Through this partnership, we will increase fan engagement and excitement around the game of hockey in South Florida and beyond by adding an entirely new element to the game,” Thornton said in a press release about the deal.

Hard Rock Bet promotions premiered at Amerant during the Panthers’ April 9 shutout over the Ottawa Senators. Marketing includes or will include:

  • Digital branding
  • Marquee signage
  • On-site activations
  • Digitally enhanced dasher boards
  • Online promotions (coming next season)

Nick Menas, Hard Rock Digital’s managing director of corporate strategy, confirmed that promotions will be featured in the Hard Rock Bet app.

“With thousands of bets available on sports from around the world and live streaming of NHL games nightly on the Hard Rock Bet app, we’re thrilled to entertain hockey fans like no one else can.”

Panthers looking to avenge last year’s loss in the NHL Finals

Game time for the first game of the all-Florida NHL playoff series is 12:30 p.m. ESPN will televise the game.

Florida closed out the regular season by winning five of their last six games. During the season, the Panthers and Lightning played three times, with the Panthers winning two of the games. During the playoffs, however, the Lightning have had better luck, winning both series against the Panthers.

Last season, Florida played for the Stanley Cup but lost to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The deal with the Panthers is the second partnership for Hard Rock Digital. The company signed a deal in January making Hard Rock Bet the official sportsbook of the Daytona International Speedway and an authorized gaming partner of NASCAR.

Photo by AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
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Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward is a writer for PlayFL with a background in sports journalism. She started her career as a news reporter in Washington, D.C. She's a die-hard women's basketball fanatic and founded the website Hoopfeed.com as a result of that passion.

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