This Isn't Fantasy: DraftKings, Etc., Double Down On Ad Spend

Hey, DraftKings, how much fantasizing do you think I do anyway?

You’ve been bombarding me with the same commercials for months. Yeah, you know, mostly variations on the same guy holding his head in his hands, and/or his fingers in his mouth, worrying about whether he might win that day.

At the end of the commercial, he holds up a giant check. Yes, who doesn’t want the hold up a giant check and take it home from a sports bar, a big piece of cardboard flapping out the window of your Honda Civic.

When you’re watching sports, you really can’t skip the ad, a la YouTube, or fast-forward through it. So viewers get the full brunt of the messages live, good and bad. Those that don’t fantasize about (or maybe gamble on) sports? Collateral damage.

DraftKings, which runs daily fantasy sports games, also went from 750 national airings of commercials to nearly 1,000 per day from Aug. 26 through Sept. 10, according to All that amounted to $30.5 million spent in two weeks.



Big spending during that period: ESPN, $5.1 million; NBC, $2.5 million; Comedy Central, $1.9 million; Fox, $1.9 million; TBS, $1.5 million. DraftKings has an exclusive partnership with ESPN -- the network’s “official daily fantasy platform.”

Looking at specific shows, DraftKings was big on college football programming, $3.9 million in advertising; NFL preseason football, $2.7 million; NFL regular season football, $1.5 million; and ESPN’s “SportsCenter”, $1.4 million.

All this is another boost to the NFL -- not that the biggest TV programming franchise in the U.S. needed it.

To a lesser extent, there is also and NFL Fantasy Football. FanDuel has been running around 280 national airings a day to nearly 400 in the week leading up to the NFL opening weeks, around $10.8 million in media spend. NFL Fantasy Football was at 30 to 50 airings a day -- $3.6 million.

And that’s not all. For the most recent week -- through the start of the NFL season’s first weekend -- some $27 million was spent overall in the fantasy league category.

Traditional TV still gives you scale -- and spillage. Digital media? You need to work harder -- to do both.

3 comments about "This Isn't Fantasy: DraftKings, Etc., Double Down On Ad Spend".
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  1. Joe Kaplan from WonkaVision, September 17, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

    What's the ROI? How are these leagues doing? That's an awful lot of cheese to spread around. Most people who do these already knew about them. 

  2. Jon Currie from Currie Communications, Inc., September 17, 2015 at 5:48 p.m.

    How is this not gambling? And how is it legal?

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, October 9, 2015 at 12:11 p.m.

    Retirement funds. What retirement funds ? Who pays when people who throw their money away get in trouble ?

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