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MediaRadar: Gambling Advertisers Boosted Ad Spend 40% In 2022.


Thanks to popular sports betting apps like FanDuel and DraftKings, the U.S. set a gambling record of $55 billion in 2022, according to data from the American Gaming Association. In a race for awareness and market share, gambling advertisers followed suit, upping their media investments 40% year over year to $866 million last year, according to MediaRadar. The spending increases came in each quarter of 2022 with Q4 attracting the largest spend, due to the NFL season, which sees the most betting action by far.


The average monthly ad allocation in 2022 across the gambling industry, which includes everything from casinos to fantasy sports leagues, was $72 million, a 57% increase from $46 million in 2021. MediaRadar says the growth occurred despite the number of advertisers decreasing by 3% year over year to 475.


Gambling advertisers shelled out nearly $240 million in Q1 2022 for a 61% increase over the year-ago period in 2021, MediaRadar data shows. In the run-up to the Super Bowl, advertisers invested generously in January and February 2022, boosting their budgets by 134% and 109% year over year, respectively. TV received the lion’s share in both January 2022 and January 2023. In January 2023, TV booked three dollars for every one invested in digital. Two of the biggest investments came from Caesar’s and DraftKings.


While the Super Bowl is the largest football betting event of the year, sports betting is a year-round activity. Sure, gambling advertising decreased immediately after the Super Bowl, with March 2022 ad spend down 18% year over year. But the rest of 2022 saw a consistent flow of ad dollars.


Second quarter 2022 sports betting advertising jumped 39% year over year to $132.4 million, 32% to $200.5 million in Q3 and up 33% in Q4, “We’ll likely see the same spending pattern throughout the rest of 2023, although rising inflation and tightening consumer budgets could limit the amount that gambling advertisers spend.” MediaRadar says.


While sports betting apps have become known for their over the top TV ads, major players have been slowly shifting more dollars to digital. In January 2023, advertisers from 14 sports gambling companies spent $85.3 million on television ads, up 20% over the year before. Meanwhile, advertisers for nearly 50 companies spent 26% less on print, dialing back their investment to $2.3 million. That compares to digital ads, which rose 10% year over year to $27.3 million.


Sports gambling digital advertising went to a mix of display, online video, and social media ads, per MediaRadar. In fact, digital display adds shot up 71% compared to the year before. Online video registered an even larger bump, (+225% to $4.5 million) and mobile ad outlays jumped 45%.


“Despite the industry’s shift to digital and a growing audience that skews toward younger generations, gambling advertisers shunned social media platforms in January 2023,” MediaRadar says. In fact sports gambling advertisers cut their social media allocations by 35% year over year in January.


MediaRadar’s report doesn’t include radio figures. However, the trajectory of sports gambling advertising in fourth quarter 2022 at radio varied from company to company, according to their earnings reports. At Beasley Media Group the category helped make up for weak categories like auto. Beasley booked $3.3 million in sports betting revenue in Q4, amounting to 4.6% of total revenue. But after once holding great promise, sports betting was Cumulus Media’s weakest category in Q4.

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