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Sports betting providers spend up to $ 1 billion on football advertising


In its first national advertising campaign, FanDuel promises “Make Every Moment More”.

Caesars commercials promise that bettors will be treated like royalty.

DraftKings’ new ads proudly announce that it is now an official sports betting partner of the NFL – while also featuring the league’s shield logo prominently.

Here comes the tide.

With the NFL kicking off Thursday, experts say sports betting will spend up to $ 1 billion on advertising this year.

The upcoming commercial flash is welcome news for media companies that have lost billions during the pandemic-induced sports stop. Especially when some traditional marketers – like movie studios and automakers – are still holding back.

Look for reach, frequency, and total spend to overshadow 2015 when the relaunched FanDuel and DraftKings seemed to be buying up every commercial on sports television.

FanDuel aims to become “the next iconic sports brand in America,” said Andrew Sneyd, senior vice president of brand marketing, in an interview with Front Office Sports.

Conclusion: The old stigma surrounding sports betting is gone, said Sneyd. The category has become mainstream.

For the first time ever, sports bets can buy commercial time during NFL games. With revenue growing 159% to $ 906 million in the second quarter, FanDuel is welcomed with open arms by television, radio and digital media companies starving for advertising revenue.

“We realize that we spend money when many others are forced not to – or choose to withdraw,” Sneyd said. “We have become an important part of partnerships with regional sports networks and others.”

Chris Holdren, Co-President of Caesars Digital, confirmed that Caesars Sportsbook is planning a “far-reaching branding push” for the new NFL season.

“As the official casino partner and exclusive sports betting partner of the NFL, supplemented by a full list of partnerships with individual NFL teams and the naming rights to the Caesars Superdome, all anchored through a national advertising campaign and new promotions for Caesars Sportsbook, Caesars will be this fall have high visibility with NFL fans, “Holdren said in a statement.

In a $ 1 billion deal, the NFL announced FanDuel, Caesars and DraftKings as their first official sportsbook in April. Last month the league added FOX Bet, MGM, PointsBet and WynnBet as approved sports betting providers. The league’s official TV partners – CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN – can sell up to six gambling-related spots per game show to these seven brands.

FanDuel, Caesars and DraftKings together spent $ 314.6 million on advertising last year, up from just $ 84 million in 2019, according to Kantar Media. With live sports fully returning this year, the three of them spent a combined $ 109 million in the first quarter of 2021, up from $ 18 million in the same period last year.

The increasing legalization of sports betting in the US has created a perfect storm of opportunity for sports betting providers, say sports marketing experts. You haven’t seen anything yet, said sports marketing expert Bob Dorfman.

Dorfman predicts that sports betting companies will spend between $ 500 million and $ 1 billion on soccer this year.

The ultra-competitive category could become the next Cola Wars or Beer Wars, added media advisor Brad Adgate. He estimates these companies will spend over $ 300 million on ads in the fourth quarter alone.

“It’s no wonder the NFL has seen a surge in the rights fees the networks have been willing to pay,” Adgate said.

While other companies are struggling, betting companies have the money – and they’re ready to hire the best.

FanDuel’s first national branding campaign was created by Wieden + Kennedy, the advertising agency behind Nike’s famous “Just Do It” campaign. FanDuel hired superstar golfer Jordan Spieth to play in his main “Hymns” spot.

In addition to three national ads, FanDuel will also broadcast five spots with a focus on sports betting with the NFL logo in 10 states that currently offer mobile sports betting: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Colorado, Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Sneyd said, “This is a great opportunity to bring our product and every important moment to life for FanDuel as a whole.”

With most of the legal brakes off, sports bettors could lose more than $ 20 billion on NFL / college bets in single games, according to PlayUSA, which tracks legal sports betting. That’s $ 12 billion for the NFL and $ 8 billion for college football.

According to The American Gaming Association, 45.2 million Americans are expected to bet on the upcoming NFL season. That is 36% more than in the previous year.

Dan Lovinger, NBC Sports Group’s executive vice president of ad sales, said most of the seven operators were talking about buying ad time for “Sunday Night Football,” which has been the most watched prime-time show for the last 10 years.

“We are undoubtedly seeing considerable demand reminiscent of the opening of the fantasy category,” Lovinger said in a press conference. “I think if you’re starting a business and trying to establish your brand, you’re going to be looking for the top rated property with the greatest reach as possible. There is no better place than Sunday Night Football. “

Since the league is finally allowing commercials for bets in and around its games, operators can now advertise directly to their target group.

“Nobody will be shy,” said Sneyd.


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