Old ESPN Stars Sign On With Gambling Ventures in New Media Push – Yahoo Finance

December 18, 2021 by No Comments

(Bloomberg) — For the past several years, sports-betting companies have been gobbling up commercial time during the breaks in all manner of sports programming. Now the sportsbooks are trying a new tactic — taking over the programming too.

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“Rather than buy media or rent media, they’re saying, ‘Let’s create media,’” said Chris Grove, a partner at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, an independent research firm.

As a result, a growing wave of veteran sports media personalities are leaving behind traditional outlets — at a time when many are looking to cut costs — and creating video segments, streaming shows, radio programs and podcasts directly on behalf of sports-betting companies.

In August, Caesars Entertainment Inc. announced it was hiring Trey Wingo, a former, longtime on-air personality for ESPN, to serve in a newly created role as “the chief trends officer and brand ambassador” for the company’s sports betting operation. Wingo now anchors a series of web videos in which he analyzes the potential outcomes of upcoming NFL games, using the same rapid-fire cadence and stinging one-liners that once made him a longtime fixture on ESPN.

The concise, punchy segments, heavily branded with the Caesars name, are posted on YouTube and other social media networks. In the fine print at the bottom of the screen, there’s a number for a hotline that gambling addicts can call to get help.

“What’s that old line from Watergate? ‘Follow the money,’” Wingo said in an interview. “This is where everything is headed.”

Since 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban, some 30 states have legalized sports betting, touching off a fierce competition for customers among a crowded field of companies, which includes rivals DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel, a division of Flutter Entertainment Plc. According to research firm Kantar Media, DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook spent $236 million combined on TV ads from January through September of this year, compared with $119 million during the same period a year ago.

Amid the deluge of ads, the companies are also searching for additional strategies to mint loyal customers. Sharon Otterman, a former ESPN executive who is chief marketing officer of Caesars Sportsbook, said that hiring on-air personalities from popular TV networks helps people develop an “emotional connection” to the brand and better understand the complexities of placing bets.

“We’re trying to make it easier for people to begin,” Otterman said. “Sports betting is a new language and a new way of thinking about sports. When it’s all data and …….

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/old-espn-stars-sign-gambling-130013763.html

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