Oklahoma based Choctaw Casinos & Resorts has announced a multi-million dollar deal featuring three of Texas most storied athletes.

Choctaw’s location is just 90 minutes from Dallas, Texas, although it sits in the state of Oklahoma. The three Texas celebrities unveiled in the “Where the Players Play” campaign are former Texas Ranger MLB Hall of Famer Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez, plus Darren Woodson and Troy Aikman, two Dallas Cowboys NFL Hall of Famers.

The partnerships are four-years in length, and part of Choctaw’s aggressive marketing strategy to attract North Texan residents given the glacial pace of Texas gambling expansion. Currently, plans for legal Oklahoma sports betting are gathering pace but yet to pass through the legislature.

Janie Dillar, Senior Executive Officer of the Commerce Division, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma commented in a release: “We are excited to welcome championship-caliber talent in Troy, Pudge and Darren to the Choctaw Casinos & Resorts family.”

She continued: “We look forward to working alongside them in this unprecedented campaign to promote ‘Where the Players Play. The North Texas market is home to a large majority of our annual visitors, and we can’t wait to have these sports icons represent and celebrate the Choctaw brand.”

The Oklahoma casino will now feature imagery of the three ambassadors all over the resort. In addition, video, social media, radio and television will be used to activate the campaign all over the North Texas market.

2023 has marked a significant year for Choctaw Casinos & Resorts sponsorship of North Texas sports teams and entities. The release outlines sponsorship presence has grown 800%, and includes the following:

  • Texas Rangers and Arlington Renegades stadium naming rights (formerly Globe Life Park)
  • Celebrity Classic (Irving) presenting sponsor
  • Official casino and resort of: Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks, AT&T Byron Nelson, the Dallas Marathon, Dickies Arena, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Grandscape (retail/entertainment district) and The American Rodeo and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

With the addition of the above, the Oklahoma-based brand now boasts 24 sports-related partnerships.

NFL Hall of Famer and ESPN Analyst commented: “Choctaw Casinos & Resorts has come onto the sports scene in a big way. As a proud Oklahoman, I couldn’t be more excited to join their roster for this trailblazing campaign”.

Darren Woodson, Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer said: “From special appearances to hosting football watch parties in Durant, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve spent at Choctaw. As the sports and gaming industries continue to intersect, I applaud Choctaw for their continued efforts to align themselves with each of the top sports properties in Dallas Fort-West – one of the most dominant regions for sports business in the country.”

Baseball Hall of Famer Pudge concluded: “I take pride in having represented Choctaw Casinos & Resorts for the past few years and look forward to continuing my association with them in this next chapter. Choctaw Casinos & Resorts’ strong relationship with the Texas Rangers is just one more reason why this partnership makes perfect sense.”

Legalized Texas sports betting and casino both edged slightly closer with the introduction of HB 1942 and HJR 97. The former, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Leach proposes the regulation of sports betting pending a vote from Lone Star state residents. The House Joint Resolution, sponsored by Rep. Charlie Green looked to amend the constitution to allow for the creation of the Texas Gaming Commission and legalization of retail casino gaming and sports betting.