Sportsbooks Compete for Dominance in the Market Leading up to NFL Kickoff

Posted on: August 14, 2023, 09:47h. 

Last updated on: August 14, 2023, 09:47h.

The 2023 NFL regular season kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 7, with the Detroit Lions visiting the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. The highly anticipated start of the NFL season, the sport that generates more bets and revenue for US sportsbooks than any other sport, has operators scrambling to finalize their marketing campaigns.

DraftKings sports betting commercial Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart continues to be the face of DraftKings. The actor and comedian headlines a new commercial campaign for the sportsbook featuring a new tagline, “The Crown is Yours.” (Image: DraftKings)

Caesars Sportsbook is maintaining its “Go Full Caesars” campaign starring actor-comedian JB Smoove who plays a fictional Caesars character. But this week DraftKings announced that its new upcoming sports betting campaign seeks to tell bettors that its app “rules” the industry.

Beginning Aug. 21, DraftKings will incorporate a new tagline — “The Crown is Yours” — into its commercial campaign. The sportsbook returns actor and comedian Kevin Hart in the marketing effort’s headlining role.

In one commercial provided early to, Hart teases DraftKings’ newest promotion, which credits new players with $200 in bonus bets after their first bet of at least $5.

Instantly? DraftKings, you spoil me now with these big payouts,” Hart tells viewers while seated at a bar drinking a cocktail.

Hart isn’t the only celebrity in the spot, as former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick helps explain the promotion to Hart.

“Just place your bet and the bonus bets instantly appear in your account,” Fitzpatrick says in the spot.

Market Consolidation

After the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in May 2018, many casinos and gaming industry interests jumped into the market. However, the sports betting industry has become less attractive due to small margins and high taxes on gross revenues.

Recently, WynnBet and Penn Entertainment have made decisions that reflect the challenging nature of the industry.

Despite Penn Entertainment’s partnership with ESPN, industry analysts believe that DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, and BetMGM will continue to dominate the market.

DraftKings, Caesars Savings

Insiders predict that only a few prominent operators will remain in the US sports betting industry. DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, and BetMGM are among the leading contenders.

While Penn was not initially ESPN’s top choice for a sportsbook partnership, the network ultimately reached an agreement with the company for a substantial sum. As a result, ESPN has terminated marketing agreements with other sportsbook rivals, which could benefit DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook.

However, DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook have not seen the expected returns from their ESPN commercials. Terminating the contracts will save each sportsbook firm $75 million per year in advertising costs.

While DraftKings’ new commercial campaign will not air on ESPN, it will be featured on other major sports networks such as Fox Sports, NBC Sports, FS1, the Big Ten Network, and SEC Network.


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