DraftKings Joins Ranks of Rookie Super Bowl Advertisers, Budweiser, Coke Sitting Out

Posted on: January 30, 2021, 12:58h. 

Last updated on: January 30, 2021, 07:15h.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) giant and internet sportsbook operator DraftKings is among a bumper crop of first-time Super Bowl advertisers, while some other familiar brands are sitting out the big game.

DraftKings Super Bowl
Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales won’t be around for Super Bowl LV. DraftKings is making its Super Bowl ad debut. (Image: USA Today)

Teams across the league have marketing deals with sports wagering companies, and the NFL even has a franchise in the US gambling capital — the Las Vegas Raiders — indicating the league is increasingly warm to regulated sports betting. However, the DraftKings spots won’t tout the company’s sportsbook offerings.

DraftKings will air two 15-second commercials in the second and third quarters of Super Bowl LV, offering viewers a chance to enter a free pool to make predictions on fourth-quarter action,” reports Jeannine Poggi for AdAge.

The idea is to get folks accustomed to the DraftKings platform and potentially keep them as long-term customers. DraftKings and rival FanDuel wrote the book on that tactic: Build a client base through DFS and free games and later convert those participants to sports bettors. The Super Bowl is the most wagered-on sporting event in the US.

For DraftKings Super Bowl Ads, Two Is Better Than One

Initially, the gaming company planned one ad for Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7. But when it became obvious the big game would feature the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the compelling Patrick Mahomes/Tom Brady quarterback battle, the firm opted for two spots, president and co-founder Matthew Kalish told AdAge.

The ads, which DraftKings is creating itself, will encourage viewers to participate in a free predictive game focusing on the fourth quarter. Situations will include something along the lines of scorer of the first touchdown in the final stanza of the game and length of the longest play.

All participants will get a prize. Cash payouts range from $3 to $25,000 with the top performer(s) winning or sharing $1 million.

Speaking of cash, a 30-second Super Bowl ad costs $5.6 million. That means DraftKings’ pair of 15-second spots won’t be cheap, potentially sparking renewed though fleeting concerns about the company’s cost of customer acquisition.

New Era for Super Bowl Ads

DraftKings is just one of a batch of companies making advertising debuts during this year’s Super Bowl.

Chipotle, DoorDash, Huggies, and WeatherTech join the sportsbook operator as first-time Super Bowl advertisers this year. Overall, 11 brands are making their Super Bowl debuts this year.

Conversely, some big names are sitting out the big game. Coca-Cola is taking this year off, while Hyundai is ending an 11-year run of Super Bowl spots. For the first time in years, Anheuser-Busch won’t run a spot for its Budweiser brand, but it will feature ads for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.

PepsiCo won’t have a spot for its marquee cola label, but it is sponsoring the halftime show and is running ads for Mountain Dew and Frito Lay snack products.