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Foxwoods and New York Liberty team up

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. – One of the most successful national women’s basketball teams has partnered with the country’s largest Indian resort casino in a unique pairing.

In early June, the New York Liberty and Foxwoods Resort Casino announced they had entered a multi-year partnership in which Foxwoods will receive prominent logo placement on the New York Liberty jersey, a first-of-its-kind partnership for an Eastern Conference Women’s National Basketball Association team and the first resort casino to have branding on the front of a professional sports team jersey.

The New York Liberty was selected as one of eight charter members of the WNBA in October 1996. Rebecca Lobo, the player who led the University of Connecticut to its first undefeated National Championship in 1995, joined the team in 1997 for its first year of play. Lobo was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame this month. The New York Liberty team has made the WNBA playoffs almost every season and played in the championship four times.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, evolved from a high stakes bingo hall in 1986 into the largest resort casino in the world, with six casinos, more than 7,200 slots, 380 table games, the only WPT World Poker Room in New England, high stakes bingo, and Ultimate Race Book. The resort has three hotels, dozens of restaurants and shops, a spa, meeting and event spaces, theaters and entertainment venues, and championship golf courses. In May 2008, the MGM Grand at Foxwoods opened, with another casino, additional guest rooms, meeting space, and other amenities.

“The New York Liberty has a passionate fan base in the world’s largest media market, and we are thrilled by the opportunity this partnership presents to promote our brand to WNBA fans, the team’s loyal followers and the New York Metropolitan area at large,” said Robert Victoria, chief marketing officer for Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises.

The Foxwoods name and logo will appear on the front of the Liberty’s home and road jerseys as well as shooting shirts for all games, providing the company with premium brand exposure to fans in-arena and other consumers via national and local media coverage and television broadcasts, the team said.

“We are very proud to partner with Foxwoods Resort Casino and welcome their support of the Liberty and WNBA. We look forward to strategically integrating the Foxwoods brand across all of our business platforms and developing a partnership that will be great for our team and fans both on and off the court,” said Carol Blazejowski, New York Liberty president.

That means the Foxwoods brand will be seen not only on the players’ jerseys in Madison Square Garden, the New York Liberty team’s home court, but also in courtside LED signage; in a feature on GardenVision, the scoreboard that shows special presentations during intermissions; and in Foxwoods on-court contests. In addition, Foxwoods will be promoted to thousands of passersby daily on The Garden’s outdoor marquees on 7th and 8th Avenue.

Foxwoods and the New York Liberty will also jointly host a number of community events each season. The New York Liberty, along with other entities involved in Madison Square Gardens is a partner in Garden of Dreams Foundation, which uses the fame of the Garden and its sports celebrities “to bring joy and happiness to children facing devastating problems – whether they relate to illness, homelessness, poverty, foster care issues or tragedy.” The organization has helped more than 135,000 children and their families.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has donated tens of millions of dollars to charitable organizations both in Connecticut and nationally since it opened Foxwoods Resort Casino in 1993. The tribal nation recently celebrated a milestone – its $3 billion cumulative contribution to the state of Connecticut over the past 17 years from 25 percent of its gross slot revenues.

“This partnership between Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Liberty is emblematic of the fact that there is strong interest among brands to align with the WNBA, not only for its elite athletes, high level of play, and outstanding entertainment, but also for its authentic connection to communities and to women,” said WNBA President Donna Orender.