This year has been a challenging one for casinos. They have seen their revenues plummet like stones. The lockdown announced in March saw the dawn of a 3-month period with zero gamblers in physical casinos, bringing job uncertainty and reduced revenue. Casinos in Atlantic City and beyond began to reopen in early June, but this has brought little financial respite.
Owing to new restrictions, less disposable income among gamblers and a less enjoyable new normal at casinos, gamblers just aren’t returning in the expected numbers. As the casino industry refocuses, the digital world seems to be the solution. Sports betting is big business; we are seeing mass spending on sports ads by the biggest casinos.
Clear Evidence of Success
Although no business has escaped the downturn of 2020, sportsbooks such as DraftKings and Flutter Entertainment have maintained solid stock prices during the year. Flutter is the owner of Draftkings rival FanDuel. Both companies have seen their market value rise from $6 billion in March to $45 billion at the time of writing. We covered all you need to know about sports betting shares here.
This success has, of course, prompted casinos to target customers who enjoy sports betting. In doing this they have pumped up their advertising spending on sports ads, to inspire gamblers to migrate to gaming.
Doubling Down on a Winning Formula
Investment in sports by casinos is nothing new; they have been actively looking for ways to target this market for a long time. We only need to look at the football world to see evidence of this investment. Casinos such as Bwin, Fun88 and Betway have been sponsoring football teams in some of Europe’s biggest leagues for years now.
Most casinos investing in sponsorships hope to lure visitors with a sportsbook and then hit them with casino promotions. Now, even casinos without sportsbooks are targeting this market with big spending on sports ads. Ultimately, casinos have recognized that these ads give them huge access to enormous audiences who clearly like to gamble.
Opportunity With The Return of Sports’ Biggest Leagues
During the lockdown, digital marketing was a great strategy to encourage people to try out online casinos. However, even in the online sphere, many gamblers were hesitant to spend, given tough economic conditions. The key reason why spending on sports ads has increased is because the big leagues are back to playing.
The arrival of the NBA, MLB and now the NFL season has seen a huge rise in gambling in recent weeks. Given these current economic conditions, it is no surprise that companies are flocking to try and take a piece of it. As we covered in August, Fox News has partnered with Foxbet to offer a sportsbook, as they attempt to get in on the action. We covered the huge revenues of PA betting, which also had the big leagues to thank for their success.
How The Casinos Will Spend On Sports Ads
Here is a snapshot of how the leading casinos are planning their individual spending on sports ads. 888 casino has thrown much of their marketing budget at a sponsorship deal with the New York Jets. It is a risky move to get behind a single franchise, but it could perhaps pay off.
Caesar’s already has deals in place with the New Orleans Saints, the Oakland Raiders, the Chicago Bears and the Atlanta Falcons. These deals only allow casino related advertising. They also get the rights to use the NFL logo here and in the UK, where gambling is hugely popular. MGM Resorts International has signed big deals to become official partners of the NHL, NBA and MLB. This shrewd move will allow for giant marketing campaigns for the casino.
The next stop for these casino giants is to work on adding creativity and genuine appeal to their marketing campaigns. As we covered here, Aaron Paul’s Bet365 ad was proof that there is a fine line between getting ads right and wrong. Given that the goal is to convert sports fans to casino lovers, they will certainly have to ensure maximum creativity.