AM/FM Radio Better Bet for Sportsbook Advertisers, According to Study

Posted on: July 28, 2021, 01:32h. 

Last updated on: July 28, 2021, 02:40h.

With football season nearing, it’s likely sports betting companies will be kicking up television advertising efforts and spending. But a recent study indicates gaming operators ought to focus on radio.

sports betting radio
Wynn and Encore Las Vegas. The company signed an advertising deal with Cumulus, and that could be a smart move. (Image: Las Vegas Weekly)

Earlier this year, Cumulus Media/Westwood One commissioned a study by MARU/Matchbox focusing on sports wagering advertising opportunities in Michigan, one of the newer states in the live and legal category.

While admittedly self-serving, as most commissioned surveys tend to be, takeaways included AM/FM radio listeners being more avid bettors, more engaged with online wagering and more interested in various internet betting brands.

In April, the study expanded to cover nearly 720 gambling age adults in a dozen states where regulated sports wagering is operational — Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Interestingly, the broader version of the survey found that the younger demographics gaming companies so covet are avid radio fans.

Across the twelve states with legalized sports betting, MARU/Matchbox found more online sports betting engagement among AM/FM radio listeners. Demography plays a role here,” notes Westwood One. “Online sports betting skews young. Linear TV leans quite old, with the majority of the audience over the age of 50. AM/FM radio’s much younger age profile means it has a much larger concentration of those interested in online sports betting.”

Of note to gaming companies is the following: 42 percent of AM/FM radio listeners surveyed are likely to have placed a sports wager, compared to 28 percent of TV viewers.

Good News for Operators

Economics confirm why the Cumulus Media/Westwood One data are relevant to gaming companies.

In these still early stages of iGaming and sports wagering, customer acquisition and retention is vital, and operators are willing to spend on advertising, often at the expense of profitability. In the first quarter, sports wagering companies spent $154 million on local TV advertising – a more than 14-fold increase in just two years.

Some of the bigger names in the industry, including DraftKings and FanDuel, have been known to spend on prime time ads during marquee events such as “Monday Night Football” or the Super Bowl. However, those expenditures are costly and may not be as effective as operators are hoping for.

“Nearly twice as many AM/FM radio listeners (52 percent) say they are very/somewhat interested in online sports betting versus TV viewers (28 percent),” according to the study.

The survey also indicates 64 percent of radio listeners can name at least one sports betting brand, compared to 53 percent of TV viewers.

Some Operators Are Getting the Memo

Some gaming companies aren’t waiting around to capitalize on radio. Today, Wynn Resorts’ WynnBET, which is going public later this year, announced a multi-year, multi-platform partnership with Cumulus, whereby the gaming company will become one of the radio network’s biggest advertisers.

It’s a potential boon for WynnBET, because Cumulus Media has more than 250 million monthly listeners. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.