The NFL’s official gambling partners are all hoping to cash in this Super Bowl with legalized sports betting more popular than ever before.
FanDuel, DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment are taking different marketing approaches as they attempt to lure millions of potential gamblers to their platforms, placing their own bets on whether it’s more effective to run a pricey in-game ad, pregame spot, or both.
“They’re using the Super Bowl as somewhat of a coming-out party,” David Carter, a sports business professor at the University of Southern California, told Ad Age of the three brands. “This is the first Super Bowl where you really felt that legalized gambling is a viable alternative to the office pool.”
Long an opponent of legalized sports betting for fear it would ruin the integrity of the game, the NFL this season finally embraced the space by allowing seven sportsbooks to air up to six commercials during individual games for the first time. That agreement helped the league net a record $1.8 billion in sponsorship revenue, according to IEG, a sponsorship consultancy.
Last year, DraftKings became the first sports betting and daily fantasy brand to air a commercial during the Super Bowl. It aired two 15-second ads with spokeswoman Jessie Coffield speaking directly into the camera about a free fourth quarter prediction challenge in which viewers could guess, for example, who would score the last touchdown of the game.
On Sunday, DraftKings is expected to be the only betting brand with both a pregame and national in-game spot, the latter of which cost brands up to $7 million for 30 seconds of airtime on NBC. It is taking more of a creative route in this year’s Super Bowl spot, by introducing a leather-clad spokescharacter called the “Goddess of Fortune” with agency VaynerMedia. The spot, which promotes a free $1 million bet, was released Wednesday.