Podcast studios are now a Las Vegas attraction. Wynn Resorts today announced that it is investing $3.5 million in Blue Wire, a sports podcast network, as part of a deal that will include building a podcasting studio in the lobby of Wynn Las Vegas. This studio will host Blue Wire podcast personalities as well as star athletes to entice people to visit the hotel, get excited about the sport and hopefully bet on them. Wynn runs a subsidiary called WynnBet, which handles sports betting, and the team specifically looked to Blue Wire to promote that brand.
Craig Billings, president of Wynn Resorts, says the studio will be “activated” when March Madness and the NFL launch, for example, to bring energy to the hotel around sports, and in turn, that will entice people to eventually play on games. The studio is set to open this summer with the Blue Wire brand engaged for three years.
With this deal and investment, Blue Wire CEO Kevin Jones said his team will be hiring staff on both the operations side and the talent side based in Vegas. Wynn will receive capital from this investment as well as advertisements in the podcast, and the two groups will also collaborate on a branded podcast for WynnBet. Billings and Jones declined to share details about the trademark show, except to say it will have a “deep level of storytelling” that is “entertaining” and “compelling.”
Blue Wire recently raised $5 million in its Series A funding, and the network hosts more than 140 hyper-sports-focused shows. (This funding is separate from Wynn’s investment.) This deal echoes another in the industry; The Athletic, also specializing in sports content and podcasts, in partnership with BetMGM in January to launch a comprehensive sports betting hub on its website, along with deeper content integrations.
Both MGM and Wynn are big names in Vegas, so of course they want to become the biggest names in the space and where people go to place their bets. Maybe an on-site studio will be the thing that draws tourists through the Wynn’s door or maybe it’ll be a visiting athlete. Either way, Wynn hopes content will become a major enabler in the growth of sports betting.