Major sports are back in a big way and following months of hankering sports fans have burst into life. This news has also come as a welcome relief to companies like FanDuel and DraftKings, who have been ready and waiting for things to kick back off again to dominate sports TV with ads.
If any evidence was needed of these two companies doubling down following the restart was needed, 10 minutes of TV watching will provide you with just that. Both companies have gone heavy with the ad dollars in an effort to ensure that they dominate sports TV.
There is certainly a sense here of history repeating itself, back in 2015 the two companies looked to dominate sports TV with $30 million of ad dollars invested by the two businesses. These unicorn startups were ready to hit the big time but it didn’t take long for lawmakers to take notice. Prior to the PASPA ruling in 2018, the gambling laws were tight and these two Fantasy Sports businesses were accused of breaching rules. It is clear the 2 companies now understand that their ads will not raise eyebrows, so they are going hard to dominate sports TV.
DraftKings & Fanduel Fast Acting to dominate sports TV
We have seen multiple times just how swiftly both businesses are prepared to move for profits. Once the Supreme Court removed the federal ban on sports betting, both DraftKings and FanDuel were some of the first to open up sportsbook betting operations. As it stands they have a presence in almost all of the states which have lifted the betting ban, and they are telling the world about it.
Both Fanduel and DraftKings Are Highly Performing Companies
Both of these companies really are success stories. DraftKings this year has gone public, and they are outperforming competitors in Q2 of 2020 by a long chalk. There were setbacks like DraftKings stock price tanking after the cancellation of MLB games, as reported here, but the company is really crushing it. Back in 2018 FanDuel made a shrewd move in selling to Irish bookmaker Paddy Power. The company is also heavily involved in the online poker industry. We covered here the meteoric rise of these two Unicorn startups, who now are really stamping their authority on this industry.
In their pursuit to dominate sports TV with their abundance of ads, the two companies have invested heavy in buy-it-now style advertising. This is a shift which we have seen in marketing over the last 6 months. It is clear that many companies are looking for the quick buck rather than a long term growth approach. Both FanDuel and DraftKings are offering welcome offers, bonus and a wealth of game-specific promotions for gamblers.
DraftKings commercials are featured on TNT and on ESPN, their new partners. These ads are simple and to the point, showcasing the app and the offers. FanDuel have looked to go creative with their ads which are being shown on ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, TNT, and the MLB Network.
The FanDuel campaign looks to win hearts and minds with real content from social media, showcasing people trying out their own sporting events at home. The ad closes with “You earned this season, fans.” The company says it has added a $10 credit to every existing user’s account, “no strings attached.”
DraftKings have also created NHL and MLB specific ads, featuring game footage and featuring the app, ending with “slide (swing) into your bets in no time.”
Both companies heavily feature their apps in the ads, which as we discussed last month, is the key to the success of this business model.
As annoying as many may be finding these ads, it is a clear statement of ambition from both companies. It is important to remember that despite mass investment, neither company are actually in profit yet. This of course does not suggest that they won’t be, but to invest so heavily when the balance sheet is glowing red. Speaking to Yahoo finance, FanDuel CEO Matt King spoke about the sports opening back up and the promotions on offer:
“Demand is off the charts. You know, we also had our biggest night ever on MLB opening day. We’re expecting probably the biggest NBA day we’ve ever had today. We’re running a huge promotion called Spread the Love which is effectively a crowdfunded– the more people that bet, frankly, the bigger the spread gets. It could become the biggest spread in NBA history.”
As these two companies dominate sports TV, one thing becomes clear. Whilst those ads may be relentless, so too is the ambition which both of these companies have to find success in the online gambling sphere.