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When the Boston Red Sox make their 2014 home debut Friday - and, for that matter, every time they play at Fenway Park for years to come - Foxwoods Resort Casino will be hard to miss.
The casino's name will be right there on the "Green Monster," the stadium's iconic left-field wall.
Foxwoods announced this week that it has "extended and expanded" its long-running sponsorship deal with the reigning World Series champs, securing rights to Green Monster real estate that had been occupied since 2007 by Covidien, a health-care products company.
The 8-year-old Foxwoods-Red Sox partnership now will stretch through the 2018 season.
"We had an opportunity for the Foxwoods name to be on one of the most prominent focal points at Fenway Park," Sam Kennedy, Rex Sox executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "(Foxwoods') expanded relationship with the Red Sox demonstrates their commitment to the Boston market as the pre-eminent resort casino in New England …"
In addition to the Green Monster signage, Foxwoods will enjoy visibility throughout Fenway Park as well as at JetBlue Park, the team's spring training stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. The Foxwoods brand will continue to appear in rotational signage along the Fenway baseline and behind home plate during each game.
Foxwoods also will be identified as the sponsor of one in-game video board feature and appear for one inning in an LED sign on the right field roof deck.
"Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation are incredibly proud to be an official sponsor of the Boston Red Sox," Scott Butera, Foxwoods' president and chief executive officer, said. "… The Green Monster is the most iconic element of any stadium in the world. Having Foxwoods Resort Casino prominently displayed on the wall signifies our commitment to excellence."
Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods' southeastern Connecticut competitor, have long had marketing relationships with professional sports franchises in Boston and New York. A Yankee Stadium sports bar carries the Mohegan Sun brand, and the Uncasville casino's name appears on a rotating basis on signs behind home plate.
"Without question, there's a big association between sports fans and the people who go to casinos," said Mitchell Etess, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority's CEO. "We've had relationships with UConn, UMass, the Bruins and the Celtics, and Foxwoods has had many, too.
"At any given time, it comes down to what properties are available and what's under exclusive rights."
Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have proposed casinos in Massachusetts, Foxwoods in Fall River and Mohegan Sun in the Greater Boston city of Revere.