DraftKings clawed its way to the top of the multi-million-dollar daily fantasy sports industry by maximizing the most visceral appeal of its product — the chance to win large sums of money in a single day. That potentially making any sporting event, regardless of its participants, one of keen interest.
That seductive quality has enticed plenty of sports fans — approximately 10 million of them according to co-founder Matt Kalish — to at least give DK’s DFS offerings a try at one point or another.
The company has now officially kickstarted a new era, with its DraftKings Sportsbook officially going live on Aug. 6. Being the new kid on the block brings plenty of challenges; managing to capture the same level of engagement in the sports betting customer that they do with those on the DFS side is one of the bigger ones.
Spicing up conventional sports betting
Traditional sports betting can be a notably more “static” product than DFS on the surface. Many traditional wagers hinge on end-of-game outcomes. And many bettors may only have action on a handful of contests on, say, a typical NFL Sunday. Conversely, the DFS player could potentially have a stake to some degree in every game being played if they’ve created enough lineups.
Not averse to thinking outside the box, DraftKings Sportsbook has multiple features that allow bettors to have many skins in the game during the game. These are in addition to the conventional array of tried-and-true sports betting options, including:
- Spread/run line wagers
- Money line wagers
- Over/under wagers
- Parlay betting
- Prop betting
However, they’ve also literally made every “event within the event” potentially mean something by making all of them wagerable.
That’s right. Every point in tennis. Every play in a football game. Shoot, every pitch in a baseball game. They all have odds assigned within DraftKings Sportsbook, allowing you to plunk some money down on, say, whether Tom Brady’s next pass successfully finds its target or falls incomplete.
This week, for example, DraftKings Sportsbook is offering in-play golf bets on every hole for Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, who are included in the featured groups in the PGA Championship. Bettors can watch live action of those featured players on the PGA Championship app and bet on every shot on the DK Sportsbook app, with the odds changing on the fly.
Having that kind of in-play action certainly helps glue a fair share of eyeballs to a game, not to mention the DraftKings Sportsbook app. And while, admittedly, DK is far from the only operator offering in-game betting (it’s already big in Europe), there’s another innovative feature they can actually claim all their own for the moment – a revolutionary “live ticket” system.
Think sports betting meets day trading, in the purest sense. Except, in this case, you won’t hear a chaotic cacophony of “buy!” and “sell!” — the action all takes place over a matter of seconds within the serenity of a bettor’s smartphone or mobile device.
Simply put, any open bet on DraftKings Sportsbook – even those that fully hinge on end results – can be assigned a value based on what’s happening as the contest unfolds.
In DraftKings Sportsbook, you can monitor that potential value of your wager — which fluctuates as lines adjust for in-game events — and jump off at any point in time you feel is particularly advantageous. A click on the “Cash Out” button that appears on every open betting ticket is all it takes.
The live ticketing system even applies if you have suddenly second thoughts about taking a stake in multiple games. In other words, you can jump off a parlay just as easily as you can a single-game ticket.
DraftKings Sportsbook becomes the first to offer the live ticket system in the United States, and it’s a feature that could certainly help it carve out a niche in what will soon be a crowded online sports betting market in New Jersey. The fact that bettors can take advantage of the price they locked in when they opened their betting ticket – particularly when there’s a drastic change in circumstances, such as injury to a key player – is likely to appeal to a sizable segment of the customer base.
DraftKings‘s latest partner is none other than NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley. The Round Mound of Rebound now appears in one of DK’s new advertisements.
The ad itself is a fairly standard comedic spot. Barkley visits Dr. Aftkings (get it?), who diagnoses him with acute win deficiency and prescribes playing on the DraftKings Sportsbook app to cure the condition.
The ad is the first of two to feature Barkley. The other ad shows Barkley bumping into Dr. Aftkings on an airplane.
The campaign launches nationally on Aug. 13. Here they are:
Charles Barkley is not the first athlete to appear for DraftKings
The appearance of Sir Charles in DraftKings advertising is not the most unusual thing. Several high-profile athletes have appeared on behalf of the company, in one form or another.
Some of the athletes include:
- Marshawn Lynch
- Rob Gronkowski
- LaGarrette Blount
- Malcolm Butler
- Odell Beckham, Jr.
- Joel Embiid
- Devin Booker
- Demarcus Cousins
- Travis Kelce
- Josh Norman
- Isaiah Thomas
- Jameis Winston
- Leonard Fournette
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Deshaun Watson
- Le’Veon Bell
- Brandon Ingram
- Mark Sanchez
Before the spots with Barkley, most of the athletes appeared in longer form videos. They tended to feature the athletes in unusual situations.
For instance, Marshawn Lynch’s video depicted him and the DraftKings interviewer receiving a pedicure in a fancy spa. Deshaun Watson strolled around Philadelphia right before the 2017 NFL Draft to ask people what they thought about Deshaun Watson.
Other spots included Rob Gronkowski disguising himself as an ice cream man and Mark Sanchez busking with a guitar. Most of the videos contained an element of pranking or subterfuge on the part of the athletes, which is mildly impressive given the challenge of hiding their notable physiques.
DraftKings advertising will become more prevalent as more states legalize sports betting
So, the new advertising with the “Chuck Wagon” is unique to DraftKings in the sense that it is actively promoting a DraftKings product. DraftKings launched its sportsbook app to the general public in New Jersey on Aug. 6.
However, as sports betting spreads across the United States, these sorts of commercials will become more frequent. Last week, sports betting went live in Mississippi. However, online sports betting is not permitted in the Magnolia State at this time.
Mississippi legislators are already rumbling about a new law or amending the old law. Most new sports betting laws include a provision for online gaming, however. So…expect to see more black and green advertising on a television near you very soon.