If you have watched a sporting event in Massachusetts over the past few weeks, odds are you saw sportsbook ads at some point during the broadcast.
Earlier this month, I watched a Boston Celtics game and a Boston Bruins game to see what sports betting ads were featured. My main takeaway was that sportsbook commercials help new bettors, while in-game graphics benefit users who already have accounts.
Sports betting ads aren’t going anywhere now that sports betting in Massachusetts is live, so here’s a deeper dive into my experience being inundated with sportsbook ads left and right, just like all of you.
Commercials aimed at new bettors
In my experience, the commercials from each sportsbook most benefitted new bettors looking to sign up. They focused on how to get started with the sign-up process, as well as how to start claiming welcome bonuses.
For example, during the Celtics broadcast on NBC Sports Boston, three Massachusetts sportsbooks aired commercials throughout the course of the broadcast: DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. All of these platforms centered their commercials around three main things:
- Celebrity endorsements
- Instructions on how to download the app and start betting in MA
- Showcasing their MA sports betting welcome bonuses and promo codes
It was evident that these commercials were targeted at new bettors who did not have sportsbook accounts yet.
The ads didn’t go into great detail about the sign-up process, but they presented viewers with the basic info needed to get the process started.
The Bruins broadcast on NESN featured similar commercials from the same sportsbooks. Sometimes, the commercials were the same, too.
In total, the Celtics broadcast featured nine sportsbook commercials, while the Bruins broadcast featured five.
In-game graphics help users with accounts
Viewers who already have sportsbook accounts most likely benefitted more from the in-game graphics. These focused on bets for the game, as well as live updated odds.
When watching the Celtics broadcast, graphics were also shown before the game even started. During the pregame show, a full-screen graphic of the pregame betting odds on DraftKings Massachusetts popped up on the screen.
The graphic showed the spread, moneyline and total for the game.
Then, throughout the course of the game, DraftKings graphics popped up at the bottom of the screen while the game was going on. These graphics showed updated live odds for the game, as well as betting results from the action that had already taken place.
For example, one graphic showed a bet titled DraftKings 3 in first 3. This refers to a bet in which users can bet on whether there will be over or under three made 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the game.
Only one 3-pointer was made during this time, so the graphic showed that the under had hit. This is advantageous for bettors who have a DraftKings MA account and placed that specific wager before the game.
Overall, in-game graphics in both the Celtics and Bruins broadcasts were clearly geared toward users who already have sports betting accounts.
MA bettors backing home teams in big way
Six sportsbook apps are now live in Massachusetts. They are DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET, FanDuel and Barstool Sportsbook.
More apps are on the way. Betr plans to go live in April, while Bally Bet and Fanatics Sportsbook will launch in May. Betway will launch in January 2024.
Massachusetts bettors have already started backing their teams when placing their wagers. During the opening weekend of MA online sports betting, the Bruins were the most bet-on team on DraftKings in Massachusetts.
In addition, the Red Sox are receiving 42% of the MLB World Series winner futures bets at BetMGM in Massachusetts, as well as 41% of World Series futures handle in the state.
At full capacity, Massachusetts could feature up to as many as 15 online betting apps.
If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7