Charlie Blackmon made history Wednesday.
And it has nothing to do with his exploits on the baseball diamond.
Or the Colorado Rockies’ surprising 8-3 start.
Instead, the veteran Rockies outfielder became the first active Major League Baseball player to sign an endorsement contract with a sportsbook Wednesday when MaximBet Colorado announced a landmark partnership agreement.
Chuck Nazty: Brand ambassador
Blackmon, 35, is in his 12th season with the Rockies. He is a four-time National League All-Star selection.
The 2017 NL batting champion was selected by Colorado in the second round of the 2008 draft. And he currently trails only Todd Helton in games played (1,279), at-bats (4,862) and hits (1,458) in franchise history.
He’s also one of the most popular Rockies in the club’s 29 years.
That’s a given with his full, flowing beard, his distinctive @Chuck_Nazty Twitter handle and instantly recognizable Coors Field walk-up song (The Outfield’s “Your Love”).
Blackmon, a former Georgia prep star and Georgia Tech graduate, also loyally still drives his beloved 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Now, though, he’s one of the new faces of MaximBet, the year-old online sportsbook. MaximBet is operated by Carousel Group holding company and is partnered with Maxim men’s lifestyle magazine.
MaximBet currently only offers sports wagering in Colorado.
However, it has plans to launch in Iowa and Indiana. It also has access deals in New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada.
Retail-wise in Colorado, MaximBet is partnered with Johnny Nolon’s Casino in Cripple Creek.
As an approved gaming operator with MLB, MaximBet’s choice to pair with Blackmon is somewhat surprising nationally. But it certainly makes sense locally, given its Colorado-only operations.
As MaximBet CEO Daniel Graetzer said in Wednesday’s news release:
“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. We are thrilled to welcome Charlie to the MaximBet family. We look forward to him hitting it out of the ballpark for us as we continue to grow in Colorado and across the country.”
‘Right brand,’ right time
MLB players obtained the right to sign sportsbook endorsement deals via the new collective bargaining agreement that was ratified in March. That CBA ended the 99-day lockout which delayed the start of the regular season.
According to the sportsbook news release, Blackmon will “be featured by MaximBet in upcoming marketing campaigns, fan events, promotions and social media content.”
MaximBet also will collaborate with renowned artist SolesbySir (a.k.a. Marcus Rivero), the release notes, to design “one-of-a-kind baseball and personal interest items for Blackmon.
That process is well under way.
SolesbySir has crafted a custom Rawlings glove, Nike cleats and New Era Rockies hat for the veteran player. And, “given Blackmon’s love of fishing, he minted a personalized tackle bag, fisherman’s scissors and cooler” for him as well.
Blackmon sounds eager for the new partnership.
“As I learned more about MaximBet, I knew this absolutely was the right brand for me,” Blackmon said in the news 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.”
It’s also another ground-breaking sports betting moment for Colorado. The state will mark the two-year anniversary of live sports wagering on May 1.
Our sister site, PlayUSA.com, pointed out as much Wednesday, noting that the Centennial State also featured the first U.S. collegiate-sportsbook marketing agreement when the University of Colorado partnered with PointsBet in 2020.