Radio advertising could be a ticket for sports betting companies

Posted on: July 28, 2021, 1:32 a.m.

Last update on: July 28, 2021, 2:40 a.m.

As the football season approaches, sports betting companies are likely to step up their efforts and spending on television advertising. But a recent study says gaming operators should focus on radio.

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

Earlier this year, Cumulus Media / Westwood One commissioned a study from MARU / Matchbox looking at sports betting advertising opportunities in Michigan, one of the newer states in the live and legal category.

While being selfish, as most commissioned polls tend to be, AM / FM radio listeners are more passionate punters, more engaged in online betting, and more interested in various internet betting brands.

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

Interestingly, the larger version of the survey found that the coveted young demographic game companies are avid radio fans.

In the twelve states where sports betting is legalized, MARU / Matchbox has found more online sports betting engagements among AM / FM radio listeners. Demographics play a role here, ”notes Westwood One. “Online sports betting skews young people. Linear television is quite old, with the majority of the audience over 50 years old. AM / FM radio’s much younger age profile means it has a much higher concentration of people interested in online sports betting.

Note for game companies: 42% of AM / FM radio listeners surveyed are likely to have placed a sports bet, compared to 28% of viewers.

Good news for operators

The economy confirms why Cumulus Media / Westwood One data is relevant to game companies.

In these still early stages of iGaming and sports betting, 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 betting companies spent $ 154 million on local TV advertising, an increase of more than 14 times in just two years.

Some of the biggest names in the industry, including DraftKings and FanDuel, are known to run prime-time commercials at big-name events such as “Monday Night Football” or the Super Bowl. However, these expenses are expensive and may not be as efficient as operators hope.

“Almost twice as many AM / FM radio listeners (52%) say they are very / rather interested in online sports betting than viewers (28%)”, according to the study.

The survey also shows that 64% of radio listeners can name at least one sportsbook brand, compared to 53% of viewers.

Some operators get the memo

Some gaming companies don’t wait to capitalize on radio. Today, Wynn Resorts’ WynnBET, which will be released later this year, announced a multi-year, cross-platform partnership with Cumulus, whereby the games company will become one of the radio network’s largest advertisers.

This is a potential boon for WynnBET, as Cumulus Media has over 250 million monthly listeners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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