Even before retail sports betting in Massachusetts launched last month, former New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski was among the celebrity athletes participating in ads promoting placing bets on the Super Bowl. He is the centerpiece of FanDuel Sportsbook’s groundbreaking marketing campaign that will conclude with a live TV ad during the third quarter of Super Bowl 57 on Feb. 12.
With 30-second TV spots that cost $7 million a pop during the game, the online sportsbook is betting big that the campaign will entice new customers.
Gronk’s “Kick of Destiny”
FanDuel launched its “Kick of Destiny” campaign in early January with a video of Gronk receiving a frantic pitch from his agent to participate in a live ad in which he will attempt to kick a field goal. The two-time retired tight end, who played nine seasons for the Patriots, will have one shot to make a 25-yard field goal. Wagers must be placed by kickoff on game day.
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) January 9, 2023
While FanDuel can’t accept wagers on the kick, customers who place at least a $5 bet on the game via the operator will win a share of $10 million in FanDuel bonus bets.
The ad is a gutsy move by FanDuel, the industry leader in online sports betting, with 42% of the market in its pocket. The company wants to increase its reach and leave competitors far in the rearview mirror.
“We decided we wanted a big, bold brand act that actually connected with all sports fans instead of running a traditional ad,” the company’s executive vice president Andrew Sneyd said to Marketing Brew. “We’re playing our role in putting something on the line.”
With a career spent as a tight end, kicking was not among Gronkowski’s prized skill set. The four-time Super Bowl champion became a fan favorite during his nine seasons with New England before his first retirement. He revived his career for two years, reuniting with former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before announcing a permanent retirement in June 2022.
Die-hard Patriots fans should get a kick out of seeing Gronk on the field again, even if it is part of a paid promotion. After all, Super Bowl ads are the crème of the crop of TV ads and have the potential to become viral sensations.
The Future of FanDuel in Massachusetts
Massachusetts online sports betting is expected to go live sometime in March. During a public hearing in early January, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) gave FanDuel the green light to obtain a mobile betting license in the Commonwealth. The company expects to generate over $200 million in revenue during its first five years of operation in the state. Additionally, FanDuel indicated that it would spend $50 million on advertising in Massachusetts to attract customers.
FanDuel’s competition includes five other standalone mobile betting operators and five online sportsbooks partnered with the state’s three land-based casinos.
The MGC continues its public hearings throughout February to determine temporary licensing procedures and other conditions that online sportsbooks must meet before the operators can accept wagers on approved sporting events in March.
Related news: How to Bet on the Super Bowl at Massachusetts Casinos