The issue of responsible gambling is all the rage in 2021, with the prevalence of sponsored ads through mass media channels such as television central to this ongoing debate.
Of course, television wagering has become less popular amongst operators in the digital age, but this remains a viable and effective fulcrum of any successful ad campaign. This is certainly true stateside, where the burgeoning sports betting market has spawned a host of brands who continue to compete for a viable share of the space.
You can learn about US online gambling and sports betting in more detail here, but in this article, we’ll ask just how effective online brand ads are in North America.
The Size and Scope of Sports Betting in the US
The rise of sports betting has been pronounced in the US, ever since the Supreme Court struck down the federal PAPSA legislation that had previously prohibited this practice in May 2018.
Even in Illinois, which only recently legalized sports betting, the state recently reported a monthly “handle” (the total amount wagered on sports) of $483.5 million. They also banked $42.2 million in gross revenue from sportsbook operators, making it the fourth-largest betting market behind Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nevada.
All told, American punters placed nearly $35 billion on sports bets in 2020, with this number to increase incrementally through 2021.
Unsurprisingly, this has triggered a huge spike in the iGaming advertising spend, with even the local spot space market now worth a staggering $154 million (it was valued at just $10.7 million at the beginning of 2019).
According to the BIA Advisory Services, iGaming has the potential to drive more than $587 million in the local spot TV market by 2024, with this type of ad channel currently accounting for a little under 80% of all online gambling messages.
How Big Brands Continue to Dominate the Sports Betting Market
While television and local spot channels are amongst the best marketing tools for building brand awareness in the iGaming space, securing one or more viable timeslots can prove to be expensive.
This at least partially explains why exponential growth in the local spot space market has coincided with the expansion of the market-leading brands, as these entities are able to advertise prolifically on television and target huge target audiences at key times.
FanDuel remains the single biggest US sports betting brand, with its parent company Flutter estimating that the operator owns approximately 31% of the total US market.
To this end, FanDuel generated an estimated $800 million in revenue through 2020, with this sizable yield only slightly inflated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
Interestingly, the BetMGM brand currently lays claim to being the market leader for iGaming and online casino wagering, with an estimated 23% market share. What’s more, an announcement on April 21st revealed that the brand also expects to become the second-largest in the US for iGaming and sports betting combined, providing a direct challenge to FanDuel’s market dominance.
This confidence has been inspired by a superb February, during which BetMGM evolved to claim a quarter of the iGaming market, 17% of the remote sports betting sector, and 22% of these two entities combined.
This all contributed to the brand’s record-breaking revenue of $163 million during Q1 2021, with this up by a whopping 114% on the previous quarter.
What’s more, this figure totaled nearly 90% of the full year 2020 turnover, with further investment and ad spending expected through the remainder of 2021.
The Last Word – Are Online Gambling Ads Successful?
It can be hard to quantify the true success of branded sports betting and iGaming ads, but it’s telling that the wider ad spend (particularly through local TV messaging) has increased in line with record-breaking growth for online operators.
The popularity of the ads utilized by brands such as FanDuel and DraftKings also hint at the success of branded messaging, especially amongst larger and more established brands.
In the case of FanDuel, for example, there’s a clear understanding of the brand’s target market and youthful demographics. Remember, younger customers are increasingly likely to use online and mobile ad blockers on one or more of their devices, making television one of the best and most effective ways to reach as many consumers as possible.
FanDuel’s ads also combine fun themes with a host of persuasion principles, which help to keep existing customers engaged and encourage new consumers to register for an account.