In the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, Pennsylvania endured a wintry mix of weather. But cold temps and snow weren’t the only things in the daily forecast. Pennsylvania sports fans were flooded with images of Tom Brady‘s dimpled chin, Carson Wentz trade rumors and sports betting ads.
Super Bowl LV was the second Super Bowl that Pennsylvanians could bet using a sports betting app. During last year’s Super Bowl, there were eight online sportsbooks. Now there are 12. It didn’t take an advertising wiz to guess what would inevitably follow.
Sportsbook ads during Sixers broadcast
Some texts I received:
- “What’s up with all the casino ads?”
- “There are SO MANY sportsbook ads during Flyers and Sixers games.”
- “Why can’t I log in to FanDuel?” (sent in the hour before the Super Bowl)
I don’t work for NBC Sports Philadelphia or FanDuel, but when your title is “Pennsylvania gambling writer,” it represents a catchall to your friends.
As a multiple-screen viewer, my attention during Sixers and Flyers games is divided. So I set out to watch the first Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers games post-Super Bowl 55 to see how ubiquitous the ads were.
My plan was to watch the Washington Capitals vs. Flyers game on Tuesday, but it was postponed due to COVID-19. Instead, I watched a late night Sixers vs. Sacramento Kings game.
At 9:30 p.m., I turned on Sixers Pregame Live with Amy Fadool and former 76ers player Marc Jackson, on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Sports betting and casino commercials during Sixers Pregame Live
- DraftKings: UFC 258, “A fight three tries in the making.” Bet $1 get $100 if someone lands a punch … new customers only.
- Bet365: The one with football players in white jerseys playing on a field outlined in neon LED lights.
- Pennsylvania Lottery: Not technically a sportsbook or casino but going to include it. Gus the Groundhog FaceTimes a woman, and they play with phone filters and make taco puns.
- PointsBet Sportsbook: Former Sixers great Allen Iverson walks into a restaurant that looks very similar to his old TGI Friday’s stomping grounds on City Avenue with some friends. Ad ends with AI doing the “Tyron Lue step-over” on a laughing guy who looks like a less buff Christian McCaffrey.
Fadool tosses it to play-by-play announcer Marc Zumoff and color analyst Alaa Abdelnaby, who give their insights before the start of the game.
One more block of commercials before the Sixers get started on their four-game road swing.
- BetMGM: Bellagio Fountain display. No Jamie Foxx. Football season is over so perhaps he is off the clock.
We are almost ready for tipoff at the Golden 1 Center. No graphics about the point spread/moneyline/total points in the half-hour preview leading up to the tip. I log into DraftKings, and the Sixers are 5-point favorites/-195 on the moneyline and the over/under is 231.
Sports betting and casino commercials during first half
- FanDuel: “The PGA Tour and FanDuel have teamed up …” Less blunt than “Football is over. Forget it. Think spring.”
- DraftKings: Play resumes after a set of commercials to a split screen with Joel Embiid toweling off sweat and a DraftKings ad. “At DraftKings, getting skin in the game doesn’t have to stop at tipoff … Live betting adds a whole new dimension to your Sixers sweat.”
It’s actually a pretty brilliant spot.
- PointsBet: Iverson again. I cue up a YouTube clip of him stepping over Lue. Sweet memories.
- PointsBet: With 5:40 left in the second quarter, a PointsBet ad pops up at the bottom of the screen.
Sports betting and casino commercials during halftime
- PA Lottery: He might be the second-most famous but he’s the first who has used FaceTime.
- BetMGM: Same one … “Place your bet on any basketball game … Every shot counts.”
- Jerome Bettis for BetRivers.com: The Bus makes an appearance. “BetRivers is the trusted local team that cares about your satisfaction.”
- PointsBet: “Add a little extra excitement to your second half,” says Fadool, welcoming viewers to Sixers Halftime Live. A graphic for “Live Lines Powered by PointsBet” appears on the screen:
- FanDuel: “Another Pretty Good Tweet presented Same Game Parlay only at FanDuel.”
- DraftKings: Zumoff voiceover before the start of the second half: “76ers basketball is being brought to you by your Philadelphia-area Chevy dealers and DraftKings. Download the DraftKings sportsbook app and bet with the only top-rated sportsbook app that matters.”
Whoa, Marc. I hope PointsBet isn’t listening … or FanDuel …
Sports betting and casino commercials during the third quarter
- Live! Casino Philadelphia: The recently opened Live! Casino Philadelphia takes to TV to tout its venue.
- Live! Casino Philadelphia: Date night by Live! Live cuts right to the chase with this ad as a woman pushes a man onto a bed.
- DraftKings: UFC 258
- In-game ad: Parx Casino Win for All.
- Bet 365: The one with Aaron Paul.
- BetMGM: Repeat of fountains.
- BetRivers: No Bettis. “Place your legal sports bets at BetRivers.com, your new home for sports betting.”
- FanDuel: @paranormalbass was the best fake Twitter handle you could come up with, FanDuel?
Final score in Sacramento: Sixers 119-Kings 111. Sixers cover the spread, but it’s a rough loss for over bettors (231)
- PointsBet: What’s a Sixers win without Iverson celebrating at “TGI Friday’s”?
Final tally of ads:
- PointsBet: 5
- DraftKings: 4
- FanDuel: 3
- BetMGM: 3
- Bet365: 2
- BetRivers: 2
- Live! Casino Philadelphia: 2
- Pennsylvania Lottery: 2
- Parx: 1
Sixers and NBC partnerships with sportsbooks
NBCUniversal and PointsBet announced a multiyear partnership in August 2020 that made PointsBet the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports.
Since online sportsbooks started arriving in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2019, the Sixers, Flyers and Philadelphia Eagles have all created partnerships with various operators.
Here is a look at the Sixers partnerships:
|Team||Partner||What's it for?||When|
|Philadelphia 76ers||BetMGM||Official sports betting partner||Dec. 2020|
|Philadelphia 76ers||DraftKings||Exclusive daily fantasy, sportsbook and online casino partner||Feb. 2020|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Fox Bet||Official partner||Nov. 2019|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Parx||Official winning partner||Oct. 2019|
|Wells Fargo Center (home of the Flyers and 76ers)||BetRivers||Two sportsbook lounges (no betting kiosks or tellers)||Oct. 2019|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Caesars||Advertising placements; Caesars will promote Harrah's Philadelphia through "playful online and in-game contests."||Oct. 2018|