Inside Marketing In The New Era Of Legal US Sports Betting With FanDuel CMO
Read Part 1 of the LSR conversation with FanDuel Sportsbook CMO Mike Raffensperger from this summer.
Legal Sports Report spoke earlier this year with the man in charge of launching FanDuel Sportsbook in new states across the country.
Here’s the second part of that conversation, diving deeper into the strategy in marketing to customers in an entirely new US market (edited for length.)
Legal Sports Report: You mentioned omnichannel … with this industry in particular, as it evolves, how you decide on your spend on traditional versus digital?
Mike Raffensperger: I think both are important, right? We have a good set of data in our New Jersey, kind of first go-around the calendar on what’s the right level of investment is above the line, TV, radio.
I think our thesis there is we want to be consistent but measured in the way that we promote our services. We’re cognizant of being good partners with local sports broadcasters. We really look for places where we can add value into the broadcast, not just sort of inundate people with advertising.
Digitally, obviously, such an incredibly powerful way of targeting different sports fans who have different team affinity, different users who are in different parts of demographics, psychographics. It’s a part of their life cycle where we can talk about the different value propositions or the banking aspect of what we do.
It’s easy to get a deposit with things like PayPal or credit cards or debit cards, that your money is super-secure, and you can withdraw your winnings in 24 hours and not have to go through some convoluted process with Bitcoin or something like that.
All the way to some of the more innovative aspects of what we’re doing, where we’re live streaming, certain sporting events right from the sports betting application to cash-out where you can place a bet, and then cash it out midway through the game.
That was a roundabout way of answering your question. It’s a model based on commercial best practices.
LSR: How much of what you’re doing is education and how much of what you’re doing is persuasion?
MR: Yeah, it’s such an early date of the marketplace, a lot of what we’re doing is sort of very early-awareness education. And it’s, you know, legal sports betting is available …
And just talking about sort of the trust, that we have a 10-year-long (record in) real-money games … and getting all that education across is from a more of a commercial availability message, job one.
From there, it is educating the specifics of sports betting and what a moneyline is, what a spread is, coupled with the particulars of our online platform, and how you can track that in sort of more tutorial-esque stuff.
If you had to break it down, the majority of what we’re doing is certainly persuasion and awareness, just to get the word out, as it is truly a completely new inverted marketplace. But we take very seriously our responsibility on education.
LSR: Finally, in looking through your own bio and seeing the background you have with some of the larger brands globally, I’m curious what your experience has been like in terms of marketing, specifically to the legal sports betting consumer and how that compares and contrasts with the things you’ve done in the past?
MR: Yeah, I learned something new every day. As with any new marketplace that’s moving dynamically and quickly, things shift. And so our strategies shift to some extent, to move with it.
But broadly speaking, I worked at some of the biggest technology entertainment companies in the world. I did a stint at Amazon and DirecTV, and subsequently AT&T. And I think what’s important for us is the vibe around the office. And the way that we approach this is very similar to other technology and entertainment companies.
At the end of the day, that’s what we want to build. We want to build world-class technology, world-class entertainment experiences. So when I think about my brand, or how we put media into the marketplace, it’s not, frankly, that dissimilar than what I did.
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