Brand ambassadors are great ways for sportsbooks to humanize themselves and attract new bettors. However, there’s a lot that goes into choosing the right brand ambassador for a sportsbook. The brand ambassador and the sportsbook’s brand must match. For example, a sportsbook that sold itself as a cold and serious business wouldn’t recruit influencer Paige Spiranac as a brand ambassador. Similarly, a sportsbook that wanted to brand itself as a sportsbook for gamblers instead of sports fans wouldn’t feature a sports legend like Peyton Manning in its advertising. (Although, it probably wouldn’t be a successful sportsbook.)
The point is brand ambassadors and sportsbooks must make sense together. The brand ambassadors say as much about what a sportsbook is trying to be as it does about what the brand ambassador represents. Here’s how that plays out with two prominent examples.
Brand Ambassadors For PointsBet And BetMGM
PointsBet and BetMGM offer two strong case studies for how brand ambassadors fit with sportsbooks concretizing their brand images. Brand ambassadors aren’t the only way that sportsbooks do this. But they are easy ways to tell how sportsbooks are trying to position themselves. PointsBet is positioning itself as one of the “fun” sportsbooks. Bettors can tell by PointsBet’s partnership with former professional golfer and current influencer, Paige Spiranac.
However, BetMGM is going in a different direction. It’s trying to position itself as a “cool” sportsbook, making bettors feel like they’re using an elite product. They’ve used Jamie Foxx to establish that cool image in billboards, commercials, and the BetMGM app. Between Jamie Foxx and the MGM lion, it’s not hard to see how BetMGM is milking the elite status of its casino parent company.
There’s no right or wrong way for a sportsbook to position itself. As long as a sportsbook’s brand resonates with its bettors, this part of a sportsbook’s marketing strategy shouldn’t hold it back.
Different Types Of Brand Ambassadors
Not all brand ambassadors are the same. Some are mainstream celebrities in their own rights. Others are sports stars. Others still are influencers who command a legion of followers that sportsbooks would like to tap into. These aren’t discrete categories, either. There’s a lot of cross-over between these groups–especially with sportsbook brand ambassadors.
Celebrities are great tools for any business looking to boost its profile. But celebrities come with additional perks. Many of them have PR teams who’ve worked with them to cultivate their personal brands. All that PR work has made it easier for companies looking for celebrities to match to company brands. They don’t have to be sports celebrities to be recognized, either. That makes celebrities great tools for companies who want to expand their appeal. Jamie Foxx is an obvious cool celebrity that can bring that image to whichever company he partnered with. BetMGM has leveraged him for that purpose.
Sports stars are often celebrities, too. However, these are celebrities who gained their fame through sports achievements. These are good figures for sportsbooks to build partnerships with to emphasize their “sporty” sides. Sports betting thrives on sports fans, after all. Sports stars are often used in conjunction with celebrities to build a specific brand image. For example, PointsBet has a partnership with Drew Brees. The legendary quarterback will bolster PointsBet’s image as a sporty sportsbook while other partnerships can make PointsBet seem fun. That’s where the influencers can come in.
Influencers have earned a level of fame that allows them to fulfill the same function as celebrities. They have large followings and clear brands that may align with certain sportsbooks. Paige Spiranac is a former professional golfer who has amassed her own online following. She churns out golf and sports content with her own spin, giving her a distinct image that fits some sportsbooks. PointsBet is using her combined fun and sporty background to position itself as a casual and approachable sportsbook. The two brands have found synergy together.
How All Types Of Influencers Come Together
Sports stars form the core of brand ambassadorships for sportsbooks that leverage them. They show that sportsbooks are attractive places for serious sports fans. However, influencers and celebrities can augment a sportsbook’s image. They can make a sportsbook seem like an elite club or a laid-back hangout. By itself, one image isn’t better than another. What makes an image work or not work is a sportsbook’s customer base. If a sportsbook’s customers are attracted to an elite or casual image, then that’s the image a sportsbook should cultivate.
BetMGM and PointsBet show how two major sportsbook brands can differentiate themselves in a crowding industry. Sportsbooks often differentiate themselves by their odds or promotions. However, these superficial branding differences are important, too. They may turn some bettors off, but that’s not as important as the customers they do attract.
Brands aren’t supposed to appeal to everyone. They’re supposed to appeal strongly to a few segments of customers. Different influencers can help sportsbooks bridge the divide between customer segments. But each brand ambassador furthers the larger goal of creating a cohesive brand image. No matter what that image is, the only people who have to like it are the customers who are lured into that sportsbook by it.