NFL Sportsbook Ad Spending on the Decline

draftkingsmobileappicon-115x115Sportsbook advertising hasn’t just become a part of sports media, it’s a major factor. Whether you’re catching an MLB playoff game, a regular season NFL game, or even just a special report from a sports network, you should expect to see a few ads for DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. This has made sense in the past month, as September is without a doubt one of the most popular times to bet on sports. However, while these ads hit a fever pitch last month, we’re starting to see a reduction in sportsbook ads. Here’s a look at some of the decreased numbers on NFL betting ads as well as a deeper look at why these advertisements are becoming less prevalent.

NFL Sports Betting Ads on the Decline

nfl logo 100The start of the football season saw no shortage of sports betting ads, which coincided perfectly with the opening of fully new wagering markets such as Arizona. However, the wave of ads has slowly started to stagnate over the weeks. DraftKings and FanDuel spent $21 million in advertisements during pro football games as the season began. Those numbers are looking to be significantly lower as we head into Week 7 of the season.

For the first month of the NFL season, DraftKings spent a total of $15.33 million, a number that dropped significantly to $460,000 this past week. In Week 1 alone, the sportsbook spent a total of $7.29 million. Not be outdone, FanDuel was purchasing 41 ad units per week throughout the first month of the pro football season, a number that has now dropped to 10. The sportsbook has spent an overall $28 million since the start of the season and is currently responsible for 45% of sportsbook ad spending.

Why The Lower Numbers?

With all the competition out there, you’d think the major sportsbooks would keep their foot on the gas as the NFL season continues. Well, for one, the financial viability of such ads is likely a concern, as the sportsbooks can only get so much return on investment. Additionally, there’s a strategic element at play here. The major platforms don’t want to turn off any potential bettors through overexposure. DraftKings and FanDuel have experience in this when the explosion of daily fantasy sports ads eventually started annoying sports fans years ago. With some other countries discussing the introduction of legislation to limit sports betting ads, the books want to be judicious in their ad strategies.

Sportsbooks Look for Other Promotion Avenues

Because standard TV ads can only take you so far, sportsbooks have to find other ways to get the word out. Keeping up with enticing promotions, both for new users and existing bettors, is one way different platforms have been attempting to be seen by the sports wagering public. Another alternative is through competitive media, something Caesars Sportsbook has been aggressive about. The sportsbook hired ESPN’s Trey Wingo to produce exclusive content, and are reportedly looking to hire another ESPN alum, Adam Schefter, in the next year. Only time will tell how these promotional tactics will work in the coming years as sports betting culture continues to grow.

Anthony Elio is a CU Boulder graduate with a degree in creative writing and advertising. He is the lead Industry Betting Writer at, where he has spent over a year covering industry news in sports betting, casino, and poker.

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