Caesars Entertainment Rides Wave Of Sports Betting Ads

Last April, Caesars Entertainment closed on its acquisition of William Hill sportsbook brand and shortly after rolled out a flood of ads featuring J.B. Smoove of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

The ads, via 360i, came as rivals like DraftKings and FanDuel also spent millions of dollars on their own spots. This year Caesars also ran its first Super Bowl ad, which featured Smoove, Halle Berry and Eli, Peyton, Archie and Cooper Manning.

“What was interesting is that with the Rams and the Bengals, neither one of those states [California or Ohio] had legalized wagering yet,” said Brad Adgate, an independent media consultant.

The impetus for Caesars’ move was the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to strike down a 1992 decision that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states. After that, viewers began seeing a flood of sports betting ads.



“That’s one of the product categories that's really helped the league,” said Adgate, who noted that rights fees are going to go up about 80% in 2023. “This, crypto and streaming I think are three new product categories that are going to be advertising heavily on [football games], but legalized wagering will be the biggest because I think they have the deepest pockets.”

Still, after a run of the better part of a year, Caesars announced last month that it planned to curb its advertising.

“You are going to see us dramatically curtail our traditional media spend effective immediately,” Caesars Entertainment Inc. CEO Tom Reeg said  during February’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “We have accomplished what we set out to do. We set out to become a significant player, and it happened significantly quicker than we thought. And I think most of you know me as someone who’s not one to spend any money needlessly.”

Regardless, Caesars released a new ad featuring Berry that features Smoove jumping a motorcycle across the Las Vegas cityscape. It is apparently one of the last in the long line of ads.


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