The Las Vegas Golden Knights announced a partnership with Upicktrade last week, and while some thought it was a positive step forward, it actually ended up backfiring- quickly. It's easy to see why. The Mexican-based company sells betting tips in various leagues, an obvious conflict of interest. Some sports fans even wondered if Upicktrade would have advance notice of the weekly lineup and injuries.
"The Vegas Golden Knights have ended their sponsorship agreement with UpickTrade. The organization will not have additional comments on the matter at this time," the team said in a statement released on Saturday. The news came only a few days after the team announced their partnership with the company, making for a very brief relationship. The deal was also the first time the NHL had a partnership with a Mexican-based company and the first time the league has worked with a sports insider site.
Keep in mind that an ESPN analyst actually confirmed with a representative of Upicktrade that the company would be allowed to sell information about Golden Knights games. Not only is that a huge conflict of interest for everyone involved, but it also raises questions about whether this kind of advertising has any place in sports at all?
"We are hopeful our fanbase will make UpickTrade.com a part of their sports betting pick process," Mike Mungiello, vice president of global partnerships for the Knights, originally said in a release announcing the deal.
In the end, it's really disappointing that a situation like this could drag down the Golden Knights. The focus really needs to be on what's happening on the ice. Fortunately for fans that might have been turned off by the partnership, the team is still performing great and sits at the top of their division. It's a great time to be a Golden Knights fan.