For last year’s game, FanDuel limited its ads to pre-game buys. Referring to the fact that most people place bets before the game, Sneyd at the time made a Halloween comparison, saying spending during the game would be akin to a candy company advertising while kids are already trick-or-treating. It ended up luring 8 million bets placed on the 2022 game—a sizeable figure, but one that it no doubt would like to exceed this year.
Of course, some viewers will be shut out of FanDuel’s 2023 prize pot: Sports betting is only legal and operational in 32 states, plus Washington, D.C., and FanDuel at present only operates sports betting in 18 states.
As for why the brand went with a national in-game ad, rather than local buys in those markets, Sneyd cited the cooperation FanDuel is getting from Fox. Gronkowski works for Fox Sports and will be involved in the Super Bowl broadcast, giving FanDuel a tight integration with the broadcast.
“This is a live spot. So we're going to be cutting away from pre-recorded film with Fox to Gronk on a field, and attention-building for whether or not he can kick the field. So it was not an option for us to be able to buy local spots,” he said.
The campaign is another example of how some brands in recent years have leaned on Big Game campaigns that include at least some level of fan participation in an attempt to separate themselves from the Super Bowl ad clutter. For instance, in 2021 Mtn Dew offered a $1 million prize to the first person who was able to count the number of Mtn Dew bottles appearing in its ad.
FanDuel risks disappointing fans if Gronkowski misses the field goal. “It is a moment that we all get to nail-bite with, so we really hope he hits it,” Sneyd said. But “anything can happen.”
FanDuel will hype the kick with a series of ads, including one showing Gronkowski training with legendary NFL kicker Adam Vinatieri. One ad released today (and shown above) shows Gronk having a conversation with an agent about the kick, which FanDuel has branded the “Kick of Destiny.”