Does Doubling-Down On Marketing Really Work For Sportsbooks?
Does investment in marketing really equal soaring profits for sportsbook operators? We take an investigative look.
William Hill. SportsBet. Bet365. What do all of these sportsbook companies have in common other than being high performing in their industry? A big marketing spend.
Marketing in business is a way to attract customers, a way to seal the deal, and get people to spend their money, talk about a business, or at least have that business top of mind in a purchasing decision. And you may have noticed recently that there is more sportsbook marketing than ever before.
Thanks to new sector guidelines, increasing profits, and mobile gambling taking off, there is now a large sports betting presence in the media. You’ll see ads running on the TV during games, deals going around for free money for new customers, celebrities spruiking for sports betting brands, and even spots on social media dedicated to the industry.
In 2021, it was reported that sports gambling brands had increased their advertising spending by a staggering82% year on year
. While much of this had to do with the ongoing effects of the pandemic, that industry growth has stuck around: gambling appears to be sexy again.
A Profitable Industry
Being part of a lucrative sector is of course a plus within itself. But this by no means negates the fact that investment in marketing is important. Senior Editor and sports pundit at NoDeposit.Guide,Ian Harper
gave us his own point of view on this:
‘The way I see it, with a product as fruitful as sports betting, it’s hard to be unsuccessful. Some might even argue marketing is unnecessary - superfluous even. However, this has proven to be entirely false, because if it were the case, why would there be celebrity endorsements of big industry brands, particularly from high net worth athletes themselves?’
For an industry that is so lucrative, and with a crowded market, it’s important to stand out. In a recent study of New Yorkers, of those who used sports betting apps, people used anaverage of 3.3 apps
to place their bets. To vie for attention, sportsbooks need to capture not only the eye of new players but returning players too.
The Marketing Campaigns Go Hard
2022’s Superbowl was the first time that many Americans could bet legally within the country outside of their simple office pool. The result? The NFL has partnered with no less than seven different sportsbook operators in a bid to raise the profile of both. Thanks to these deals, DraftKings and Caesars are now both allowed to run advertising spots within televised games, plus FanDuel was allowed for in-game and pre-game ads locally.
US sportsbooks are also snapping up fan favorite players to feature in advertising as ambassadors. Examples such as Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League for Caesars and industry great Wayne Gretzky for BetMGM are prime examples. With sports betting now open for one of the largest markets in the world, the marketing spend is similarly large to capture this new audience and keep them hooked.
Rapid Growth Globally in Sports Betting
In the latest market research, the global sports betting market isset to reach US$664B by 2031
, with a CAGR of 9.1% over the period. This is thanks to the rise globally of mobile devices and the ever-present love of both sports and the thrill of a win. Thanks to the US’s sports betting ruling, other countries are now looking to legalize the practice too, as the effects are seen in taxation of the industry returning to the country itself. Not only this, as technology advances, so too can the types of bets that people can place, making betting far more interesting than a straight win or loss punt. The report points to large growth, particularly in the Asia Pacific region as well as Japan.
As sportsbooks expand to new markets and new entrants arise to tackle the incumbents, marketing spend is required to grab a foothold. Simply having a great product is not enough to win in these circumstances; it requires greater thought put into the task, localized strategies, and a diverse set of marketing campaigns that are tracked for impact.
Marketing Operations is Critical
A great marketing campaign is nothing without realizing what was done right to help it achieve its high heights. That is why Marketing Operations, dedicated to tracking and optimizing marketing efforts, is critical to the success of sportsbook operators. As with any business unit, learning from business data will ensure a greater chance of success while at the same tie decreasing risk.
Sportsbook operators will benefit from sprinkling in machine learning and AI into their marketing efforts to uncover patterns in engagement, sales, and media mentions that help take their marketing further.
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