February 14, 2023 3 min read


FanDuel’s Super Bowl LVII Ad Not Nearly as Impactful

Sports betting companies have been cutting their marketing spend in order to rein in costs and propel expansion – FanDuel has bucked the trend

The sportsbook bought a 30-second spot for $7 million which it hoped it could turn into betting action. But patrons remained unfazed by the advertisement, whether they have become inured to the constant outflow of promotional inducements, or simply because they already had plans about betting. Or, rather – because of their incredulity that what they saw was actually “live.”

Is This the Real Thing?

The ad featured Rob Gronkowski, an NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer, who was attempting a 25-yard field- goal in real-time during one of the commercial breaks. FanDuel’s marketing plan was ingenuine.

The company said that if Gronk’s kick landed and succeeded, FanDuel would distribute $10 million in free bets across its customer base who have made a qualified wager. Gronk’s kick came – and it failed, but FanDuel said it would still award the bets.

But the ad, which was supposed to establish trust and stoke fans, was actually received with a sobering dose of scepticism. Many sports fans questioned the very nature of the spectacle they were shown – “was that really a live kick?” most seemed to be wondering. The ad itself was solid and professional, comingling spot-on voiceover with none of the uncouthness of live filming.

It was the good camera work, perhaps, that made FanDuel’s otherwise clever stratagem fall short of its intended target and earn its fair share of criticism.

The First Live Super Bowl Commercial – Questioned

(Un)expectedly, the commercial, original and well-executed as it was, triggered a torrent of social media outpouring. Some fans cheered and said that it looked good, but others were terse and flat in their assessment of the commercial “Taped, not live.”

“That was clearly not live,” another fan bemoaned, and more people kept piling on calling the commercial “fake” and an affront. Some fans were still happy to get the wagers, but they insisted that FanDuel should probably stick to their word when promising people a “live commercial.”

Make no mistake, the 30-second ad was indeed live and indeed shot during a live break. The good camera work, cinematology, and the somewhat staged public, though could have made it look like FanDuel was attempting to pull a fast one on its fans. It was not.

If anything, Gronkowski’s disappointment was genuine. Yahoo gave the commercial a C rating, with DraftKings faring only a bit better – getting a D rating for its own commercial. The question now is whether spending seven-figure sums on a Super Bowl commercial makes sense.


Stoyan holds over 8 years of esports and gambling writing experience under his belt and is specifically knowledgeable about developments within the online scene. He is a great asset to the GamblingNews.com team with his niche expertise and continual focus on providing our readers with articles that have a unique spin which differentiates us from the rest.

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