Podcast studios are now a Las Vegas attraction. Wynn Resorts announced today that it’s investing $3.5 million in Blue Wire, a sports podcasting network, in a deal that’ll include the build out of a podcasting studio in the Wynn Las Vegas’ lobby. That studio will host Blue Wire podcast personalities as well as star athlete guests to entice people to visit the hotel, get excited about sports, and hopefully place bets on them. Wynn runs a subsidiary business called WynnBet, which handles sports betting, and the team specifically eyed Blue Wire to promote that brand.
Craig Billings, president of Wynn Resorts, says the studio will be “activated” during March Madness and NFL kickoff, for example, to bring energy to the hotel around sports, and in turn, it’ll get people to possibly gamble on games. The studio is set to open this summer with Blue Wire branding committed to it for three years.
With this deal and investment, Blue Wire CEO Kevin Jones says his team will hire staff on both the operations and talent side based in Vegas. Wynn will receive equity through this investment as well as some in-podcast ads, and the two groups will also collaborate on a branded podcast for WynnBet. Billings and Jones declined to share details about the branded show other than to say it’ll have a “deep level of storytelling” that’s “entertaining” and “compelling.”
Blue Wire recently raised $5 million as part of its series A funding, and the network hosts more than 140 shows, hyper-focused on sports. (That funding is separate from Wynn’s investment.) This deal echoes another in the industry; The Athletic, which also specializes in sports content and podcasts, partnered with BetMGM in January to launch an entire sports betting hub on its website, along with deeper content integrations.
MGM and Wynn are both big names in Vegas, so they, of course, want to become the biggest names in the space and the places people go to place their bets. Maybe an on-premises studio will be the thing that gets tourists to walk in the door at the Wynn or maybe it’ll be a visiting athlete. Either way, Wynn hopes content becomes a major facilitator in growing sports betting.