Influx Of Sports Betting Ads During NY Broadcasts Has Us Wondering: How Much Is Too Much?

Written By Mike Mazzeo on January 20, 2022

How much is too much? And have we already reached that point?

That’s pretty much all you could think about watching the wave of sportsbook advertising since legal online sports betting began in New York on Jan. 8.

On Monday, PlayNY decided to track the amount of advertising a viewer sees during a local professional sports broadcast.

Mixing in some Knicks action with NY sports betting advertising

Here’s our unofficial breakdown of a New York Knicks blowout loss to the Charlotte Hornets at Madison Square Garden, as streamed on MSGGo. It actually all started with back-to-back BetRivers and FanDuel ads just prior to tipoff and ended with Caesars Sportsbook signage on the revolving videoboard at the scorer’s table.

(*Note: The stream did freeze twice during the 2-hour, 10-minute broadcast so apologies for anything we may have missed)

FanDuel Sportsbook

An official sports betting partner of the NBA, FanDuel Sportsbook NY made nine appearances during the broadcast. Viewers may have seen FanDuel in the following spots:

  • FanDuel’s signature bowling ad
  • FanDuel’s other ad featuring its phone app
  • FanDuel wraparound ad of the game coming out of a commercial break
  • FanDuel ad in the lower third of the screen
  • Tease of FanDuel’s “Line to Line” segment at halftime
  • Second tease during the halftime show
  • FanDuel’s signature bowling ad returns
  • FanDuel’s “Line to Line” segment featuring second-half live bets
  • FanDuel splitscreen ad

BetMGM Sportsbook

The latest NY online sports betting entrant, BetMGM New York wasted little time getting its name out. It helps that the sportsbook has a partnership with the Knicks and MSG, allowing BetMGM to appear in six spots:

  • BetMGM’s signature ad featuring Jamie Foxx
  • BetMGM ad along the scorer’s table
  • BetMGM ad on the basket stanchion
  • Jamie Foxx ad returns
  • Scorer’s table ad features BetMGM again
  • Jamie Foxx ad Part III

Caesars Sportsbook

Another official sports betting partner of the Knicks and MSG, Caesars Sportsbook NY made five appearances during the broadcast:

  • Caesars’ ad on the basket stanchion
  • Caesars’ ad in the lower third
  • Caesars’ wraparound ad featuring JB Smoove out of a break
  • Caesars’ ad along the scorer’s table
  • Caesars’ ad returns along the scorer’s table as the game ends

BetRivers Sportsbook

Just a few appearances were necessary for BetRivers NY. They say less is more, right?

  • BetRivers’ fan ad
  • BetRivers’ fan ad returns
  • Bet Rivers’ fan ad Part III

Conclusions of NY sports betting advertising

The BetMGM and Caesars’ ads on the stanchions were shown fairly often, though they weren’t exactly in your face all the time unless you wanted to notice them. (Feel free to argue whether we could’ve upped both ad totals amongst yourselves). Both, of course, have signed partnerships with MSG, the Knicks and Rangers.

FanDuel seemed to have the most diverse offering of ads, and certainly benefited from its halftime show segment. It has been an MSG partner since 2019, and is an NBA partner as well.

BetRivers’ advertising budget reflected a basic commercial that was far less glamorous than its larger competitors, with no celebrity pitchman.

Bet365, which didn’t receive a license in NY, had a pair of commercials featuring Logan Paul during the broadcast. So, for our purposes, that makes 25 instances of sports betting ads.

On top of it all, MSG advertised its betting programming — specifically “The Bettor Half Hour” weekly show.

So to bring it full circle, let’s get back to our original question.

How much is too much? And have we already reached that point?

It certainly seems like overkill if you’ve been paying attention. Sure, NY sportsbooks are in customer acquisition mode. So it makes sense they’d be out in full force. But do they really need this much volume?

Ads in New York are all over the place. FanDuel has massive ads on rotating video boards throughout the city — including across the street from Penn Station. JB Smoove can be found on several Caesars’ ads attached to subway entrances. Then there is the social media advertising craze on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

Scott Kaufman-Ross, NBA SVP and head of gaming, warned of repeating mistakes made overseas in terms of over-saturation in October.

“While there are things that might be legal or fans may want, we have to be careful not to go too far, far too fast and risk the overregulation we have seen in other markets,” Kaufman-Ross said.

“A healthy, legal sports betting industry is what we all want and we have to be prudent.”

Can a better balance ultimately be struck?

Photo by PlayNY / Mike Mazzeo
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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