As the online gaming industry continues to grow in the United States, several iGaming and sports wagering platforms are forming partnerships with celebrities. Athletes, musicians, and actors are becoming the face of different online gaming platforms. These partnerships are improving brand awareness, while also helping the company with strategic decision making.
In 2020, BetMGM announced that Academy and GRAMMY Award winner Jamie Foxx will be a part of its new brand campaign called “The King of Sportsbooks.” For the campaign, Foxx would star in “a variety of traditional and social media advertisements for BetMGM.” BetMGM’s Chief Marketing Officer, Matt Prevost, said “BetMGM exists at the intersection of sports and entertainment and Jamie fits this positioning perfectly; we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the BetMGM family.” Foxx’s versatility and prominence in music and films helped in creating buzz around BetMGM’s brand. The ad campaign has been viewed and liked by multiple users on a variety of social media platforms. On YouTube alone, one BetMGM campaign ad featuring Foxx has hit 13 million views—showcasing the benefits of partnering with a celebrity.
Apart from brand awareness, celebrities are also providing important consultancy to sportsbooks and online casinos. Recently, NBA legend, Michael Jordan, joined the DraftKings team as a special advisor to the company’s board of directors. Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder and CEO said, “The strategic counsel and business acumen Michael brings to our board is invaluable, and I am excited to have him join our team.” In his role as a special advisor, Jordan “will provide strategic and creative input to the board of directors on company strategy, product development, inclusion, equity and belonging, marketing activities and other key initiatives.” Jordan’s advisory could strengthen the platform with a variety of offerings for players, and important initiatives such as responsible gaming.
Fintech companies associated with the online gaming industry have also begun teaming up with celebrities for brand growth. Earlier this year musician ASAP Rocky served as the one-day CEO for the Swedish fintech company Klarna. Rocky curated “exclusive content within the Klarna app focused on fashion, specifically upcycling and vintage clothing.” Rocky’s association with Klarna resulted in multiple news stories, which resulted in brand awareness and product development. Klarna would also become available on multiple online casinos due to its popular deposit method amongst players.
Celebrities have played an important role in the growth of online gaming in the United States. The partnership between online gaming platforms and celebrities has not only resulted in product advancement but has also helped in brand recognition.