In a mad rush to get a foothold, sports betting companies are flooding the airwaves
If you jogged to the bathroom recently during an NFL or NCAA college football television timeout, you likely missed either a DraftKings or FanDuel commercial. Soon Flo from Progressive will be providing halftime lines and picks on late games. The relationship between TV ads and sports betting has gotten a bit overwhelming. But if you think it will depart soon, it might really have just begun sports fans…and sports bettors.
No doubt we have come a long way in a short time since Al Michaels made coy over/under references on Sunday Night Football. Motivation to wager on sports is clearly presented to a full national audience with a full national audience taking advantage. Or is there?
Where we are
Currently 18 U.S. states have licensed and regulated sports betting with as many as 12 others as potential in 2021. However, that list does not include key states California, Texas, Florida and probably New York. By the numbers, approximately 35-40% of the potential U.S. buying audience will be missing next year and possibly beyond.
DraftKings and FanDuel have both opened onsite sportsbooks in New Jersey, Mississippi, New York, and Iowa, and launched online mobile sportsbook apps in Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and West Virginia.
Both companies have gone public over the last year. Their stock has soared along with other betting names like Penn National Gaming, even with sports shut down due to the pandemic. FanDuel in 2018 sold to Paddy Power BetFair, an Irish bookmaker, which rebranded as Flutter Entertainment last year and, unlike DraftKings, also operates a U.S. online poker business.
Fanduel is the no 2 advertiser during NBA games since the league returned on July30th, according to ad tracker iSpot. The firm also noted that after last NFL season DraftKings and FanDuel ads left TV for the most part, until very recently
Both FanDuel and DraftKings in their new ads, promise signup bonuses for new users. The DraftKings ads are a bit straighter, with slides showing images of its sportsbook app. In an NHL-specific ad, DraftKings invites fans to "slide into your bets in no time". The MLB version of the ad says, "Swing away at your bets in no time."
The FanDuel's ad campaign uses real videos from social media of people creating their own improvised sports at home during lockdown, and says, "You earned this season, fans." The company reported it has added a $10 credit to every existing user's account, "no strings attached."
FanDuel CEO Matt King told YahooFinance the app had its "biggest night ever" on MLB Opening Day on July 23, and has equally high expectations for NBA signups: "There’s going to be a lot of volume on basketball, it could easily be a third to half the business today, so the fact that it’s back means a lot more players and a lot more volume."
The point of all this is that initial SIGNUPS are the key. Locking in every possible player early in every new market to earn their loyalty is paramount. Quite understandable, but still rather strange from a business that by logic shouldn't have 100% loyalty from the player perspective.
Here Come the Stars
On Tuesday, a major announcement came forth that award-winning actor and musician Jamie Foxx agreed to star in BetMGM's new advertising campaign, centered upon the invented claim that it is the King of Sportsbooks. Either adopting from Budweiser's "King of Beers" or maybe borrowing from the MGM lion symbol meaning king of the jungle. Whatever the case, having superstar Jamie Foxx along will get attention and command respect from a widespread audience.
Commercials will debut later this year and will feature Foxx 'levitating' across the MGM-owned Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas. We expect personal appearances and contest promotions to attract signups along the way.
It was only a few weeks ago we learned NBA legend Michael Jordan announced he is taking an equity stake in DraftKings in exchange for becoming a special adviser to the sports betting and fantasy sports company. We have not heard any formal announcement yet whether he will be involved in any advertising or promotion efforts. Knowing Michael's long-time love and passion for wagering, it would not be surprising to see him promoting the DraftKings brand. Strictly business mind you, not gambling to help the cause.
No doubt radio has not been ignored either with many of these new sportsbook mega powers vying for bettor attention. The beginning of football season is the optimum opportunity of the year to bring on new customers. DraftKings and FanDuel have also used radio extensively to remind customers of their perks and dominance in the daily fantasy wagering world.
The huge difference is the segmentation tertiary radio enjoys compared to television. Especially in giant markets within Florida, Texas, California, etc. where no current legislated sports wagering exists. That is expected to continue through October, with the unique timing of the NBA Finals, Major League Baseball Playoffs, the World Series, and football simultaneously.
An interesting footnote is the entry of specific offshore sportsbooks continuing to advertise on radio and compete in these opportunity markets. Be sure to keep check on the list of top online sportsbooks for the best information and up to date background feedback.
Never Be Monogamous
Back to Rule One again in that sports bettors should never be monogamous or loyal to one specific sportsbook forever. It is always in their best interest to join at least two or more books to shop lines for comparison and optimal opportunity.
Take advantage of every sportsbook signup incentive possible but when the fluff runs out it will be THE GAMES you are investing in day in and day out. The Sportsbook tab above lays out the advantages for each potential sportsbook for bettors easily and effectively.
While sportsbooks will continue to spend millions on TV to hypnotize you on which book to marry, it is always in your best financial interest to be a polygamous bettor. And that is not illegal anywhere and never has been.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, including previews and picks from Glenn, click here.