TwinSpires, the Churchill Downs-owned online wagering platform for horse racing, sports and casino, was one of nine operators granted a license to launch its sportsbook in Michigan on the first day legal online sports betting was permitted within the state. The launch was also set to coincide with a TwinSpires re-brand, which included an expansion of its product offering from purely horse racing, to also include sports and casino. Unlike its competitors who had been pushing their daily fantasy sports or retail casino products for some time, TwinSpires Sports and Casino had little to no brand awareness within Michigan. BOC helped TwinSpires recruit NFL legend Brett Favre as its brand ambassador, and our challenge now was to spearhead an integrated marketing campaign and produce a new brand TVC, creative and public relations strategy.
WithTwinSpires being backed by Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby and nearly 150 years of wagering history in the U.S., our market analysis and workshops led us to spotlightthis rich heritage, and the Bet Dedicated campaign was born.
Step one was to create a new television commercial featuring Favre, and in partnership with Stept Studios, BOC applied the full-creative treatment, from ideation to post-production and everything in between, including casting, location scouting and set design. The humorous commercial put Favre through a series of betting-related bootcamp drills and was designed to disrupt and get cut through in a crowded market.
The Bet Dedicated commercial was the linchpin to the wider brand campaign, which included out-of-home and digital creative, a website re-design, and a carefully curated communications and social strategy.
We utilized Favre’s social channels to firstly tease his partnership with TwinSpires, and then to release the commercial prior to launch, helping build brand awareness. The videos on Favre’s Twitter account alone received nearly 300,000 views, 800 retweets and 6,000 likes. BOC also led the media outreach efforts, which resulted in Favre being on all of Detroit’s major broadcast outlets, including WDIV Local 4 and ABC7, along with all major online news outlets.
TwinSpires is now one of the top recognized brands for online sports and casino betting within Michigan. The brand’s recruitment of new players exceeded expectations within the first month of operation, helped by a cross-channel targeted focus on acquisitions around Super Bowl LV. The brand continues to make inroads in Michigan and acquire new customers at a strong rate.