Ontario opens its sports betting market on April 4


When the state of New York opened its online sports betting industry in January, an unprecedented $1.6 billion in wagers were placed to smash the previous record established by Arizona for the most opulent opening in U.S. sports betting.

In the race to attract new bettors, sportsbooks spent lavishly on advertising and marketing campaigns to promote generous inducements. Caesars, for example, offered $3,000 (U.S.) in “free bets” to sign up for its sportsbook app.

When Ontario opens its sports betting market on April 4, sportsbooks will be prohibited from promoting big bonus offers on TV and radio commercials, digital media ads and billboards. And that suits Aubrey Levy just fine.

“There’s been a crazy amount of extravagant spending in the U.S., so we’ve stayed above the fray,” Levy, the senior vice-president of content and marketing for theScore, said Tuesday. “(Sportsbooks) are hammering users over the heads with promos, and there’s no loyalty being built. That’s not great for the consumer or the sportsbook.”

Until now, other than a couple of billboards heralding legal betting in Ontario, theScore has kept its powder dry when it comes to advertising on television and other media platforms. That changed Wednesday, however, as theScore launched its “Bet Mode” campaign to coincide with this week’s announcement that theScore Bet app is ready for registration by bettors in anticipation of the April 4 market launch.

The campaign is highlighted by a video that features Canadian television star and comedian Gerry Dee — whose “Gerry Dee, Sports Reporter” spots on Headline Sports/The Score helped launched his comedy career — “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Susie Essman and actor Rex Lee, who plays Ari Gold’s punching-bag assistant Lloyd Lee in the HBO series “Entourage.”

In the video, a foul-mouthed Essman, a facilitating Lee and Dee, who’s on a betting losing streak, appear at a bar to help three friends place their bets before watching a game together. The video, a collaboration between theScore, the Diamond agency in Toronto, and comedy veterans Ryan McNeely and Josh Martin of The Director Brothers, will be used in advertising spots on television, radio, along with social and digital media channels. The characters played by the three actors will also appear on billboards.

“ ‘Bet Mode’ is about helping sports fans relieve those pain points when it comes to betting. It’s not about the association between us and plugging in a famous celebrity,” Levy said. “Gerry fits his character beautifully. Everybody has a best friend who thinks they know everything and Gerry is that best friend you want to fade (bet the opposite way). Rex and Susie are taking care of your problems so you can place a bet and enjoy the game.”



Source: The Star

Author: Ken Sutton