As the NFL season closes in, DraftKings is unveiling its new ad campaign. According to a press release, the launch will begin during Sunday’s preseason games “when a series of broadcast ads specific to football will air on FOX, ESPN, NBC and CBS.
The ad revealed Friday features a voiceover from actor Edward Norton and looks considerably more polished than previous DraftKings ads.
Adweek reported in July that the company was seeking a new agency to help ditch an image termed as “a little bit sophomoric, a little bit frat boyish.”
The new campaign, DraftKings’ first with Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, includes five new ads voiced by Norton, with more to come at the end of September, followed by another batch midway through the NFL season, according to the Wall Street Journal.
DraftKings has been ramping up its television presence noticeably in recent weeks. On the heels of a $300 million fundraising round, the company is pouring staggering funds into customer acquisition.
DraftKings is committed to spending $250 million with both ESPN (over two years) and Fox Sports (over three years), and recent estimates show it is one of the country’s biggest spenders in the world of advertising. As of Friday, DraftKings is estimated to have spent $12 million on television advertising in the last seven days, making it the fourth biggest advertiser in the United States over that span.
For perspective, DraftKings spent $3.5 million more and aired nearly three times as many ads as McDonald’s, according to estimates. Citing Kantar Media, the Wall Street Journal reported that DraftKings spent $20.9 million on television ads all of last year and $7.5 million in 2013.
The reason for the astronomical escalation: DraftKings is widely believed to be headed toward a 2016 IPO, and establishing market leadership prior to that time could be very valuable. FanDuel was the clear industry leader in 4Q 2014, but there is evidence DraftKings has made up significant ground since that time.
The final four months of the year are the industry’s busiest, and if 2015 comes close to replicating 2014’s late-year growth, there will be ample opportunity for one of the companies to stake a claim to the top spot in daily fantasy.