DraftKings bets big on social with hire of VaynerMedia
DraftKings is bringing on VaynerMedia to help the brand elevate its cultural relevance through social media efforts. The shop will be working with DraftKings' in-house agency, which has been aggressively marketing the betting brand since 2019.
“[DraftKings] like everyone else, realizes that there's incredible brand-building opportunities within social and digital and consumer insight extraction,” Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO and founder of VaynerMedia told Ad Age. “I think people don't realize how much brand is built-in social. I know in our world everybody thinks 'it's on a TV spot and let's clap.' It's not. I think that they're trying to get way better at it and I think we're the best in the world at it right now.”
The agency will be implementing its “Vayner Volume Model” as part of the deal to engage new audiences. The model essentially creates and tests a high volume of content in-market, allowing the agency to pinpoint what content is working and what’s not and, as a result, deliver creative content that is more impactful, less subjective, built from stronger insights, and more culturally relevant.
In 2019 Draft Kings released its first-ever campaign after bringing its marketing in-house. Prior to that, the company had worked with a number of agencies, including Deustch New York. This year the online betting company’s in-house agency created two Super Bowl spots featuring DraftKings host Jessie Coffield, encouraging viewers to bet for free on fourth-quarter action, such as who will score the last touchdown or if there will be a 20-yard gain. This latest move is another example of the company looking to build its awareness.
“We're going to help blow out their efforts in scaling their social, their branding, their contemporary branding, using our volume model,” Vaynerchuk says. “High-quality volume to drive consideration.”
Currently, consumers are able to bet through DraftKings in 11 states, according to DraftKings Sportsbook and the number of states legalizing sports betting in the U.S continues to grow. VaynerMedia will strategically target audiences based on people’s interests and prioritize states and markets the online fantasy sports company wants to target, Vaynerchuk says.
“By collaborating with VaynerMedia, DraftKings gains a fresh, outside perspective from innovative marketers who will present new and exciting ideas to assist in shaping our media presence,” the company said in a statement.
This relationship follows a number of recent significant moves for the agency and Vaynerchuk personally. Last week, Vaynerchuk announced a new unit within his ad agency called VaynerNFT and signed its first client Anheuser-Busch InBev. This follows a May drop where Vaynerchuk launched a more personal NFT project called VeeFriends, in which he auctioned 10,200 NFTs to fans with varying levels of perks culminating in a live event for the digital token-holders called VeeCon.
Earlier this month VaynerMedia named Eric Jacobs as the agency’s first chief innovation officer. Jacobs was most recently senior VP of business development at payment platforms company Adyen. Also, in May the agency launched its first Latin American office, VaynerMedia LatAm, based in Mexico City, which is being led by Gabriela Fenton, who most recently served as CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Mexico before taking on the role.