October 13, 2023

Why celebrities keep getting casino sponsorships

In the Cambridge Dictionary, a celebrity is defined as someone famous, especially in the entertainment, music and sports industry. Embodying a lifestyle or image based on talent, wealth, beauty, and success is what most people aspire towards. Celebrities are always in the media, and the combination of their talent, and media attention, draws people in like an aphrodisiac. In recent years, social media has made it easier for celebrities to interact with their fans, creating more popularity than ever before.

Online sportsbooks and casinos regularly include celebrity sponsorships in their marketing campaigns to increase brand visibility and attract more customers. By associating an online casino and sportsbook with a well-known celebrity, credibility and trust are gained by players that admire the celebrity. Online gambling companies battle daily with safety, security and fair play, so having a celebrity as their Ambassador enhances their creditability and helps them build trust with their players.

When you consider the benefits, it makes all the sense in the world why gambling operators use celebrities for endorsements for sports and casino games. Some of the world’s most popular gambling companies offer celebrities sponsorship deals worth millions. One such example is Poker Stars, one of the most popular online poker rooms globally, which signs up celebrities as brand ambassadors to build their brand image. In 2015, Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo was signed up by Poker Stars, and in 2017 eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt became the Ambassador for Poker Stars.

Online Sportsbook Sponsorships

Elite football clubs operate massive yearly budgets to promote their brands. The global sports betting market is worth millions if not trillions, and with the proliferation of celebrity sponsorships, this figure increases every year. With bookmakers vying for attention, this has led to more novel marketing strategies. By aligning themselves with well-known celebrities, online sports betting companies, can position themselves as reputable and trustworthy brands.

Take for example Jose Mourinho, a Portuguese professional football manager and former player, who the British media called “The Special One.” One of the most decorated football managers of all time, Mourinho has been used by several online sportsbooks to promote their brands.

In 2019, Mourinho was hired by Paddy Power to be a special guest pundit for the UEFA Champions League final. He also appeared in several Paddy Power promotional videos, including one in which he cheekily tried to sneak onto the pitch during a match. In 2021, Mourinho was hired by BetMGM to be a brand ambassador for its USA sports betting platform. Also in 2021, Mourinho became William Hill’s brand Ambassador for its UK and international sports betting products. Jose Mourinho’s status and high profile have made him a valuable asset for online bookies. By tapping into his credibility with football fans, these online gambling companies have increased their brand awareness and attracted new clients.

Online Casino Sponsorships

Gambling has always been seen in a negative light and many articles have been written about the dangers of gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is a serious issue, and regulatory companies such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority have worked long and hard to enforce strong responsible gambling tools. Players can limit how much they spend, and if the situation gets out of hand, players can also self-exclude temporarily or permanently.

While online casinos have an important role to promote responsible gambling, celebrity sponsorships can also help promote safer online gambling. They can raise awareness and promote a culture of responsible gambling. Celebrities can use their platforms to speak openly about the risks associated with gambling and reduce the stigma around gambling addiction. Besides being the reason online casinos rake in profits, celebrity sponsorships have the potential to positively impact the industry.

One such example is former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney who appeared in several responsible gambling campaigns. In 2020 he was featured in a video, in which he spoke candidly about his gambling issues. He looked into the camera and asked, Do you gamble responsibly? This was followed by Rooney encouraging online casino players to set limits on their online gambling.

We have seen how online casinos and sportsbooks pay millions to celebrities to increase brand visibility, attract more customers, gain trust and promote responsible gambling practices, but there are other reasons for signing up celebrities to endorse an online gambling product.

To encourage women to play online slots and table games like poker, blackjack and roulette, in 2016, the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, founder of the global Hilton Hotels, was signed up to be the spokesperson and brand ambassador for online casinos. By the early 2000s, Paris Hilton was at the peak of her career as a fashion icon and trendsetter. By making her an online casino ambassador, a buzz was generated, and more females were attracted to the industry. However, it has to be said that using celebrities to promote online gambling can also be seen as promoting addictive gambling. This is why these days, online casinos focus more on using celebrities to promote responsible gambling practices.

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