It’s the Monday after Super Bowl LVII. America is waking up to mainstream media summaries of the game, the halftime show, and of course the commercials. It’s the latter that we want to draw your attention to. But instead of breaking down which ones were funny and which ones flopped, Kindbridge is taking a look at one consistent theme – the prevalence of sports betting advertising.
Of course, we knew it was coming. Prior to the big event we released a guide for how at-risk gamblers can prepare for the onslaught of Super Bowl sports betting promotions. Still, it’s important to review how it all played out. While we’re not going to explore the specifics of these high-profile ads (which are triggers to problem gamblers) we do want to address the implications. Let’s review.
4 Notable Themes Regarding Sports Betting Advertising During Super Bowl LVII and What it Means for At-Risk Gamblers
Sportsbooks Skirt “Risk Free” Rules with Semantics
In response to regulatory pressure, online sportsbook operators in the U.S. have moved away from saying “risk-free” in marketing materials. While operators in some states have been able to get away with it, there is a fairly strict ban using “risk free” in the context of sports betting. But is this enough to keep at-risk gamblers from registering to make wagers with an operator? No, because there are semantic loopholes, and these loopholes were prevalent throughout Super Bowl LVII.
Examples of semantically related terms (to “risk free”) were everywhere. Heading into the game, FanDuel offered a “No Sweat First Bet” to wager on National Anthem props, as a means to garner further interest in their Rob Gronkowski Kick of Destiny stunt. You don’t need to be an English professor to draw the association between “No Sweat First Bet” and “Risk Free First Bet”. Meanwhile, DraftKings‘ ad simply called their new sign-up offer a “Free Bet“.
Attracting Young Bettors with Influencers
Young sports bettors faced an unprecedented risk for problematic gambling heading into Super Bowl LVII. One of the stated reasons for this inflated risk – is the prevalence of influencers in gambling advertising. American consumers between 18 to 34 years of age are more likely to be swayed by influencer driven gambling marketing than any other age group.
Operators spared no expense in securing talent to accomplish their goal of attracting the next generation of sports bettors during Super Bowl LVII. FanDuel leveraged Rob Gronkowski (4.8 M Instagram Followers / 2.6 M TikTok Followers) while DraftKings drafted Kevin Hart (165 M Instagram Followers / 33.5 M TikTok Followers), Ludacris (165 M Instagram Followers / 14.1 M TikTok Followers), and Tony Hawk (7.6 M Instagram Followers / 2.4 M TikTok Followers) among other stars to promote their products to more easily influenced consumers.
Sports Betting Ads Paired with Alcohol
“Another trend also stuck out: a rise in ads for products normally considered adult vices, including liquor, sports betting and a wider variety of beers.”Super Bowl Commercials 2023: NPR
Beer and hard alcohol shared the stage with sports betting advertising during Super Bowl LVII. It wasn’t just about alcohol and betting ads being played during the same broadcast, as they were actually integrated. Molson-Coors created a bettable ad for Super Bowl LVII.
“The extreme secrecy –and major surprise—is a result of the brand’s first-of-its-kind collaboration with sports-betting platform DraftKings, which offered a $500,000 pool to fans who correctly predicted details of the “high stakes beer ad.”FORBES
This is a dangerous pairing, as a number of studies have found that individuals with gambling disorder who also report alcohol abuse have an increased probability of experiencing problematic gambling and gambling relapses.
Sobriety Gets a Share of the Ad Space
“Super Bowl Commercials 2023 Deliver On Humor But Tackle New Topics: Sobriety, Menopause, And Christianity”FORBES
There was an interesting accompaniment to the alcohol ads shown during Super Bowl LVII. One brand opted to feature a marketing message for the non-alcoholic (NA) product:
Admittedly, FORBES’ quote (above) about Super Bowl commercials tackling sobriety may have been a reach. That being said, it is refreshing to find that viewers struggling alcohol abuse are being presented with another option.
There are implications to be found for problem gambling support services. As a supplement to “fine print” disclaimers about Responsible Gambling (RG) that often accompany sports betting advertising, it would be good to see networks allocate dedicated space to gambling disorder support services, sans the $7 million buy-in.
Super Bowl LVII may be in the books, but the sports betting season is now a year-round affair in the USA. NCAA March Madness, the NBA/NHL Playoffs, MLS, UFC, and the MLB (etc.) carry operators through the annum until the return of football. As a result, at-risk gamblers in America need greater access to mental health support, with a focus on problem gambling. This is where Kindbridge Behavioral Health comes in in. We offer dedicated therapy for problem gambling at individual, family, group, and organizational levels.
CALL +1 (877) 426-4258