If you’ve turned on your television, opened a web browser, listened to the radio, or been to a sporting event, you’ve no doubt been exposed to a barrage of DraftKings advertisements centered on the start of football season. In the ads, DFS players are shown at live events, nervously biting their nails, and erupting with pure joy when the final results seal their fate as winners. While DraftKings’ marketing has certainly been pervasive this year, some think that the Boston-based company is overdoing it, and see the constant deluge of commercials as an annoyance.
In a post on Reddit, user “Velvet_Thunder” complained about what he viewed as an endless cycle of ads. “I am TIRED of the DraftKings commercials on all the sports channels,” he said. “They’re on every commercial break. Please make it stop.”
While the post itself was nothing more than a simple rant, it resonated with readers of the site’s sports sub Reddit, garnering the comment 4,669 “upvotes” and propelling it onto the front page of the site. “They’ve taken over a lot of the commercials on my favorite podcasts as well, which are usually filled with weird niche products or monthly box services,” said one user. “Next thing you know they’ll be using DraftKings on The League.”
Others seemed to particularly dislike some of the characters featured in the commercials. Poster “goforce5” responded to several other negative comments:
“I don’t even follow sports, yet I came into this thread to reinforce my feelings towards this commercial. These [comments] all extremely descriptive of what goes through my head every time I have to sit through that 30 seconds of hell.”
DraftKings has been far and above the biggest advertiser in the DFS space over the past few months. In the past couple of weeks, the site has been at the top of the nationwide ad spending charts, and currently sits at number two, just under AT&T. FanDuel has been making it rain ad dollars as well, earning it spot number eight on the list.
Readers question skill factor in DFS
The comment section of the Reddit post also gives us a look into the average person’s view of the DFS industry. A significant portion of posters seem to view DFS as not a game of skill, but pure gambling.
“Are you a degenerate? Do you have an addictive personality? Well try this new form of gambling that probably won’t ruin your life,” said “52ndstreet.” The comment garnered 1,246 points along with a variety of responses echoing the sentiment that DFS is gambling.
Poker fans chimed in as well, and wondered how DFS could be legal, while online poker was not. The answer of course is in the carveout which the industry received in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, legislation that effectively put an end to iGaming in the US.
One user wasn’t buying the argument that DFS requires more skill than simply betting directly on the games. “The game of skill argument is crap regardless. There is no functional difference between betting on players to play well or betting on teams to play well,” he says. “Both require educated guesses and luck to win.”