Prepare to see some familiar faces in gambling commercials like Gerry Dee

When New York State opened its online sports betting industry in January, an unprecedented $1.6 billion bet was placed to smash the previous record set by Arizona for the most opulent open sports betting in the United States.

In the race to attract new punters, sportsbooks have spent lavishly on advertising and marketing campaigns to promote generous incentives. Caesars, for example, offered $3,000 (US) in “free bets” for signing up to its sports betting app.

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

“There’s been a crazy amount of extravagant spending in the US, so we’ve stayed above the fray,” Levy, senior vice president of content and marketing for theScore, said Tuesday. “(Sportsbooks) hammers users with promotions, and there’s no loyalty being built. It’s not great for the consumer or the bookmaker.

So far, aside from a few billboards advertising legal bets in Ontario, theScore has kept its powder dry when it comes to advertising on TV and other media platforms. That changed on Wednesday, however, when theScore launched its “Bet Mode” campaign to coincide with this week’s announcement that theScore Bet app is ready for punters to register ahead of market launch on April 4. .

The campaign is highlighted by a video featuring Canadian TV star and comedian Gerry Dee – whose “Gerry Dee, Sports Reporter” spots on Headline Sports/The Score helped launch his acting career – the star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Susie Essman and actor Rex Lee, who plays Lloyd Lee, Ari Gold’s punching bag assistant, in the HBO series “Entourage.

In the video, a rude Essman, a facilitator Lee and Dee, who is on a losing betting streak, show up at a bar to help three friends place their bets before watching a game together. The video, a collaboration between theScore, Toronto’s Diamond agency, and comedy veterans Ryan McNeely and Josh Martin of The Director Brothers, will be used in TV, radio and network commercials. social and digital. The characters played by the three actors will also appear on billboards.

“The ‘bet mode’ aims to help sports fans relieve those pain points when it comes to betting. It’s not about the association between us and hooking up with a famous celebrity,” Levy said. “Gerry is a perfect fit for his character. Everyone has a best friend who thinks they know it all and Gerry is that best friend you want to take away (bet the other way around). Rex and Susie take care of your problems so you can place a bet and enjoy the game.”

With approximately $4 billion dollars wagered annually by Canadians through gray market sports betting, a regulated industry in Ontario is expected to attract new bettors who will participate in the most competitive betting industry in North America. next month. NorthStar Bets, the sports betting and casino brand of NorthStar Gaming, a subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, will be one of more than 30 iGaming operators to be licensed by the province this spring.

PointsBet Canada, which, along with theScore, was among the first sportsbooks to be registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, has already launched its own advertising campaign with the Trailer Park Boys while securing sponsorship deals. sponsorship with Curling Canada, Alpine Canada and the NHL. Alumni Association.

OLG, which currently operates the only licensed bookmaker in the province with ProLine+, earlier this month became the first NHL betting partner in Canada and last month launched a digital betting show co-hosted by the Bachelor Canada alum Brad Smith and former Fan590 personality Ashley Docking.

Rush Street Interactive, whose BetRivers product is now registered with the AGCO, sponsors a podcast featuring former TSN personality Dan O’Toole and was a key announcer for CBC during its coverage of the Games Beijing Olympics in February. BetMGM recently announced that the Edmonton Oilers superstar will be joining Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Garnett, Jamie Foxx and other celebrities as a brand ambassador.

Last year, theScore announced partnerships with Golf Canada for the CP Women’s Open and RBC Canadian Open, and also became an official betting partner of the PGA Tour in Canada and the United States. TheScore will also leverage its relationship with Penn National Gaming, which bought parent company Score Media and Gaming for $2 billion in stock and cash last October, and Penn-owned Barstool Sports to help launch it in Ontario. The popular Spittin Chiclets podcast, featuring former NHL players Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette, “will push the Score Bet brand hard,” Levy added.

Commenting on the controversy surrounding Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, who has denied allegations of sexual misconduct, Levy said: “Barstool is their own brand and their own operation. (TheScore) is our own culture and our own identity.


Steve McAllister is the editor of sports betting newsletter The Parleh, partner of NorthStar Bets. NorthStar Bets is owned by NordStar Capital, which also owns Torstar, Star’s parent company. Follow him on Twitter: @StevieMacSports


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