Churchill Downs Inc. has made another move to show it’s ready to step up its sports betting business. On Thursday, the company’s TwinSpires division announced Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre would star in an upcoming campaign for its sportsbook.
According to a press release, Favre has a multi-year ambassador deal with TwinSpires. The first commercial will begin airing in the near future. The “Bet Dedicated” campaign will feature Favre going through a training camp-style regimen to help him become a better bettor.
The campaign will also feature digital ads to go along with traditional media spots.
This isn’t Favre’s first time being a pitchman, as he has been featured most notably in commercials for Wrangler jeans. Best known for his years with the Green Bay Packers, a sportsbook endorsement deal is a natural fit for a man who, as a gunslinging quarterback, was never afraid to take a gamble on the field.
I knew this was a campaign I could get behind the moment it was introduced to me,” said Favre. “I was never the biggest or the strongest or the fastest. But throughout my career, I outworked the guys that had the same dream, because I was the most dedicated.”
Favre joins the list of ex-athlete ambassadors to sign on with a US sportsbook. Others who have gotten into the game include Charles Barkley with FanDuel and Allen Iverson with PointsBet.
Commercial to Air in Michigan First
According to TwinSpires, the campaign will debut in Michigan. That’s where TwinSpires will launch its first online sportsbook. That could happen as early as next week, pending state approval, company officials said.
It may or may not be coincidental that Favre is the TwinSpires spokesman as it prepares to roll out in Michigan. The Churchill Downs subsidiary is partnering with the Hannahville Tribe in the state. The tribe’s casino is located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, about 100 miles from Green Bay.
As northern Wisconsin is chock full of Cheeseheads, it’ll be a short drive for them to go to the UP and bet on the Packers to win the Super Bowl – whether they bet at Hannahville’s Island Casino sportsbook or anywhere else in Michigan.
TwinSpires will also offer mobile casino games, or iGaming, in Michigan as well.
Churchill Downs Making Moves in Sports Betting
The pending Michigan launch will officially introduce TwinSpires to sports betting and iGaming. Earlier this month, Churchill Downs announced it would rebrand the Bet America retail and online sportsbooks under the more familiar TwinSpires name.
That brand is synonymous with the iconic landmarks at Churchill Downs in Louisville. It currently serves as the company’s online horse racing platform. Per the Oregon Racing Commission, TwinSpires also ranks as the country’s top online service in terms of handle.
The company plans to change over the rest of its Bet America sportsbooks by the end of June. That includes both retail and mobile sportsbooks and iGaming sites. Those states are Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
The sportsbook also recently received preliminary approval to operate in Tennessee.
The Bet America brand has struggled to gain traction in any of its states. But Churchill Downs executives hinted at the rebrand for months. They’re optimistic people who bet on horses through TwinSpires, or recognize the brand will use it for sports betting in states where it’s licensed.
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