Boston Globe Media to add sports betting section to its free Boston.com site

Sports betting at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Photo (cc) 2008 by Alan Kotok.

Boston Globe Media is going into the sports-betting business, announcing a partnership with an outfit called Better Collective. I suppose this was inevitable once the state legalized sports betting; three years ago Globe owner John Henry made two unsuccessful bids to buy the Everett casino. Still, gambling is a miserable business, and I wish the Globe would just say no.

It turns out that Better Collective announced the deal a week ago. The memo below, sent to me by trusted sources, was written by Boston Globe Media chief commercial officer Kayvan Salmanpour and Boston.com general manager Matt Karolian.

Hi all,

We are excited to share that Boston.com has entered into a partnership with Better Collective, a global sports betting media group, on the soon to launch Boston.com/betting section.

The section will provide our readers with content, data, and statistics for sports coverage and sports betting. This partnership will also allow us to monetize the section through sponsorship and a revenue share with Better Collective. This is the largest deal for Boston.com in recent history, and a reflection of the investment we have made in rebuilding and modernizing the entire site, better connecting it to our community, and in the consistent and relevant journalism led by Kaitlyn Johnston and the whole Boston.com team.

The arrangement capitalizes on the success of Boston.com’s domain authority and will drive users to the site primarily through SEO optimization. This partnership allows us to ink additional deals with sports betting operators to drive incremental revenue. It will also serve as a complement to Boston.com’s incredible journalism and will contribute to our continued effort to diversify revenue for the site beyond advertising.

We first started working on sports betting concepts last year when we looked at opportunities for betting odds integrations into Boston.com. This concept eventually led to partnership conversations with Better Collective, and we look forward to working with them to deliver a quality experience for our Boston.com readers. Better Collective already has successful partnerships with the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and NY Post in similar commercial arrangements with many more publications in their pipeline.

We’d like to thank all of those who helped make this partnership for Boston.com happen. Erin Kimball for tirelessly leading the charge from advertising, Gary Dzen for originally identifying and supporting the opportunity, Katie Lazares who worked extremely diligently on the contract negotiations, Noel Sinozich for helping us think through revenue recognition, Jeff Griswold, Kaitlyn Johnston, Katherine Rodman, Leza Olmer, Meredith Ball, Rich Rinker, and the entire Boston.com product team.

Congratulations to the entire team,

Kayvan & Matt

Correction: I’ve tweaked the item because it’s not entirely clear that you’ll be able to actually initiate a bet at Boston.com.