With a major roar, sports betting operator BetMGM has announced noted actor/musician Jamie Foxx as the face of the company’s new ‘The King of Sportsbooks’ marketing campaign. It follows a popular trend of matching up popular entertainers and especially sports stars to endorse and pitch major sportsbook brands in the US.
On Tuesday, BetMGM announced that Foxx agreed to star in their new advertising campaign, centered upon the invented claim that it’s the King of Sportsbooks. Possibly apladopting from Budweiser’s “King of Beers” or maybe borrowing from their lion symbol meaning king of the jungle. Whatever the case, having Jamie Foxx on board will certainly get people’s attention and command respect.
The new ad campaign composed by creative agency 72andSunny New York will feature “a variety of traditional and social media advertisements”, with a first example a video promo arriving within the next few weeks. As part of the scenario, Foxx will appear to levitate over the fountains of the MGM owned Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, showcasing “the excitement that comes with sports betting.”
BetMGM chief marketing officer Matt Prevost called the campaign “the next step in the evolution of the BetMGM brand,”. BetMGM is a joint venture of US casino operator MGM Resorts and UK-listed gambling giant GVC Holdings. Prevost also claimed that BetMGM “exists at the intersection of sports and entertainment and Jamie fits this positioning perfectly.”
Recently, Foxx won “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” at the NAACP Image Awards and received a SAG Award nomination for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role” for his performance in Just Mercy. His achievements are many and quite diversified. From hilarious comedy in televisions’ In Living Color to winning a Best Actor Academy Award Oscar for Ray in 2006. He is a recognized star worldwide.
BetMGM formally began in 2018 when the GVC/MGM joint venture Roar Digital was formed. Last July, the partners announced they would spend an additional $250M on top of their original $200M commitment, insuring they became a major player in the US sports betting and online gambling market. Certainly, hiring Foxx to promote their brand is a major part of their continuing commitment.
Currently, BetMGM is licensed to offer sports betting in seven US states but has business plans to be in four additional states by the end of 2020. Like Penn National Gaming, BetMGM started slowly in some markets but has been gaining ground in recent months. Their progress has been swift but still well behind current US market leaders DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel.
Foxx’s entry breaks new ground into the growing space of famous faces endorsing and promoting rapidly growing sportsbooks across the US. What makes it a bit different is utilizing a famous actor and musician, but not a specific known sports celebrity touting the brand.
Give rising force PointsBet credit for somewhat breaking ground. They began using the NBA 76ers charismatic “point guard” Allen Iverson to hawk the brand from almost their inception into the US online gaming market in 2018. Looks like ex-New York Jets Darelle Revis has also joined up to promote the company.
Just outside the sports wagering realm, Brazilian mega soccer star Neymar Jr. has a giant deal with PokerStars. His contract requires him to post on the online poker site’s Twitter and Facebook platforms. Neymar Jr. would also have to be at live events where PokerStars players are represented. Not confirmed but rumored that PokerStars is paying Neymar Jr. $2M for his services.
Jamie Foxx’s commercials will not only draw attention from the betting public but possibly other celebrities wanting to get directly involved. NBA legend Michael Jordan announced early in September he is taking an equity stake in DraftKings Sportsbook in exchange for becoming a special adviser to the sports betting and fantasy sports company. No formal announcement yet whether he will be involved in any advertising or promotion efforts.
Don’t rule it out to learn Sir Charles Barkley is involved pitching for a major sportsbook. Or who knows, “this is Pete Rose for….”
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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