FanDuel Super Bowl Commercial ‘Kick of Destiny’ a Success Despite Criticism
FanDuel’s Super Bowl commercial that aired during the third quarter of last Sunday’s big game caused a stir on social media. Critics slammed it for being heavily produced, and possibly not as advertised. But the 30-second “live” spot was apparently a riveting success, market observers say.
Before the game, FanDuel advertised that former tight end Rob Gronkowski would be attempting a “Kick of Destiny,” a 25-yard field goal “live” from a remote location during the Super Bowl. If the kick was good, FanDuel pledged to hand out $10 million in free wagering credits to its active customers.
GeoComply, the leading geolocation technology provider for the legal sports betting industry in the US, monitored betting activity throughout the Super Bowl LVII weekend and during the Kansas City Chiefs’ 38-35 upset of the Philadelphia Eagles. The company told Casino.org Wednesday that despite much criticism of the FanDuel spot starring Gronk, the commercial resulted in FanDuel seeing a flurry of new account registrations.
The tech firm pinpoints the physical location of an online sportsbook user before allowing them to place a wager. If GeoComply determines the person isn’t where they say they are and instead are in a location where the sportsbook isn’t permitted to operate, the company blocks the user’s access.
FanDuel Dominates Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is annually the most-bet single game in the US. As such, the NFL championship is the most important day of the year for sportsbooks and the advertising industry.
DraftKings and FanDuel sought to use the Super Bowl as a marketing tool to sign up new customers. GeoComply says FanDuel won the battle against its longtime rival, which dates back to their daily fantasy sports days.
GeoComply said before the FanDuel commercial that the sportsbook was accounting for about 40% of the new user sign-ups. But after Gronk’s “Kick of Destiny,” FanDuel’s market share of new account creations across all regulated US states neared 70%. Gronk’s kick missed wide left, prompting some to call it the “Shank of Infamy.” Despite the miss, FanDuel said it would still pay out the $10 million in free bets.
FanDuel’s Super Bowl ‘Shank of Infamy’ … actually drove 70% of all new sign-ups to FanDuel nationally for an extended period after it aired,” said GeoComply cofounder David Briggs. “Obviously with an $8 million budget for the spot on Fox (plus the production costs), expectations were here (sic). But even still, the team behind the campaign must be pretty pleased.”
FanDuel bettors reported receiving a $20 free credit for participating in the marketing stunt. Any FanDuel bettor who risked at least $5 on the platform from when the commercial was announced on January 9 until the Super Bowl qualified for a sliver of the prize pool.
Casino.org asked GeoComply for data on how DraftKings’ Super Bowl commercial fared regarding new account sign-ups, but was told that information was not immediately available.
The FanDuel Super Bowl commercial might have accomplished what the sportsbook set out to achieve — lure in new bettors — but its social media followers said the questionable kick and advertising spot weren’t good.
The commercial aired during the Super Bowl seemed to show that Gronk’s kick went through the uprights. But on its social media channels, a different angle showed that the kick missed to the left. To date, no explanation has been given for the contrasting results.
Many of FanDuel’s Twitter followers panned the spot and questioned whether it was live. Responding to the criticism, Gronkowski appeared on “Up & Adams,” a social media show on FanDuel TV.
I really kicked it,” Gronkowski answered host Kay Adams when asked if he actually kicked the field goal and whether the whole thing was fake. “The commercial was 100% live.”
Gronk said there was a five-second television delay, but the event was otherwise live.
“I had one attempt, it was a 30-second spot,” he continued. “It was one of the coolest creatives of all time.”