SBD/August 15, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

The Doctor Will See You: DraftKings Unveils New Ad Campaign For NFL Season

DraftKings has developed a new ad campaign for the upcoming NFL season in collaboration with Deutsch, N.Y. Two different strategies debuted yesterday during ESPN’s Fantasy Football Marathon -- an aspirational “Play” that suggests “you don’t just want to watch; you want to play,” and a more humorous “Dr. Aftkings” that features a fantasy football-focused doctor diagnosing patients for their “earnings dysfunction.” Both themes will be supported by additional executions during the course of the NFL season. Other patients of “Dr. Aftkings” will suffer from “draft-itis” and “lose-onic plague.” The ad campaign represents the first major piece of marketing for DraftKings since its failed bid to merge with rival daily fantasy player FanDuel, and the tone of the ads is less overtly about financial winnings than its full-throttled advertising in ’15. Television spots will be joined by online videos, as well as other social and outdoor executions. “This is a big opportunity to educate the fan base about daily fantasy and evolve from some of the one-dimensional messages that were out there before,” said DraftKings Senior VP/Brand & Creative Don Lane. The company’s planned financial spend behind the campaign was not disclosed, but CMO Janet Holian said the effort will be “much more right-sized for us” compared to ’15. Despite the shifted marketing focus away from prizes, DraftKings still has developed a new $1B contest for Week 1 in which it will award the prize for picking a perfect fantasy lineup under the company’s normal salary cap restrictions. The insurance-backed prize is available in any U.S. state (it does not require any entry fees), Germany, the U.K. and most Canadian provinces. The payout would require receiving $5M per year for 50 years and then receiving $750M in '68. There also is the opting of a $300M lump sum.
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