When it comes to brand awareness on the radio dial, Caesars is making a massive push and is now dueling with the kings to become emperor of the airwaves.
In short: Over the six-month period ending in October, Caesars’ brand awareness among radio listeners in markets where sports betting is legal grew by over 113%, which was leaps and bounds ahead of second place WynnBET, which saw its awareness rise by 40%.
This information comes from a study conducted by MARU/Matchbox and commissioned by the Cumulus/Westwood One Audio Active Group looking at 21 national sportsbook operators and how far they have penetrated the national consciousness.
BetMGM has a total brand awareness of 49%, and big mover Caesars jumped 25 full points to 47%.
Fifth place may come as a surprise — Golden Nugget, with 40% — and after that things get a little thin, with Bally Sports at 31% and BetRivers and Barstool both at 30%. Everyone else is under that number, including WynnBET, at 28%.
Another notable nugget from the study: In states where sports betting is not yet legalized, the same five sportsbooks maintain their stranglehold on the top five spots, though the numbers are predictably lower, with DraftKings at 55%, FanDuel at 47%, Caesars at 29%, Golden Nugget at 28%, and Bally Sports at 26%.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the non-legal states is how much growth is to be expected in brand awareness among sportsbooks once a state flips the switch.
Another way to look at that: Advertising money is almost certainly going to continue to flow into the space.
Sportsbook Advertising Is A Total Game-Changer For Radio Stationshttps://t.co/iUjqV5KGG0
— Alfonso Straffon 🇨🇷🇺🇸🇲🇽 (@astraffon) May 13, 2021
“I used to have a college roommate that would tell me he was going to kick my ass one day whenever I would ‘borrow’ food and my answer was always ‘well, until that day,’” said Demetri Ravanos, the assistant content director and editor for Barrett Media, which closely tracks the news and sports radio and television industries. “I feel like that is the answer here [for how much growth there is]. Sports radio is riding high on gambling money right now. Will that money cannon run out of ammunition at some point? Yeah, but until that day, we’re living like Caligula. Honestly, I could see this leading to new stations launching to take advantage of all the money out there before I could see sportsbooks stop spending.”
Michael Harrison, the publisher of Talkers magazine, agrees.
“Radio is a powerful advertising medium to establish brand awareness of competing betting platforms,” Harrison said. “The radio listener who bets on the games is as interested in learning about the sportsbooks as stock market investors are in knowing about competing brokerage firms. Sportsbook advertising will continue to grow as an advertising bonanza for radio.”
Beyond the obvious benefits of advertising, Ravanos believes the “live read” format of many sportsbook advertisements particularly lends itself to establishing strong brand awareness with listeners.
“If a listener has a devotion to a particular show or host, they are going to value anything they have to say, including what they have to say about the companies paying those hosts to get their message out,” he said. “On top of that, if you really love a show or host, chances are you want to support the brands that make their show possible.”
The study by Cumulus/Westwood One had quite a few additional interesting takeaways. Some notable ones:
- Flying in the face of the probable stereotype of sports bettors being single dudes with backward baseball caps, the study found high numbers of sports bettors are employed (85% of those who described themselves as interested in sports betting, compared to 58% of all those polled), college graduates (73% to 50%), have children in the household (66% to 29%), and have household income between $75K and $100K (42% to 21%).
- When it comes to radio demographics, 22% of people who say they’re at least “somewhat interested” in placing a sports bet list “rock” as their preferred radio listening genre, with “classic rock” next at 11%. Sports talk comes in at 10%. “This tells me two things,” Ravanos said. “One, it is an overwhelmingly male audience, and two, sports betting isn’t limited to the sports-obsessed.”
- Among those at least somewhat interested in sports betting, 40% come from the 21-34 age group, and 47% are ages 35-54, but only 13% are 55-plus — even though that older group made up 45% of the survey.