Actor Jamie Foxx stars with a cast of sports icons in the first of a series of new TV commercials from BetMGM. The first ad for the betting and iGaming operator launches along with Thursday Night Football on Sept. 8. In it, Foxx, a brand ambassador for BetMGM since 2020, is seen roaming his Bellagio hotel suite, trying to crowdsource betting tips from his retired sports-star friends.
These friends include former pro basketballers Kevin Garnett and Jalen Rose, hockey great Wayne Gretzky, former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders and former Seattle Seahawks running back and recent DUI suspect Marshawn Lynch, all of whom are BetMGM brand ambassadors. The commercial also stars actress Vanessa Hudgens, the latest BetMGM brand ambassador.
Foxx’s famous friends all refuse to oblige, displaying various degrees of annoyance with the Oscar-winner.
Over the next year, new commercials will roll out from the campaign, called “It’s On,” to coincide with season-openers and playoffs for the NBA and NHL, as well as the NCAA tournaments. These commercials will depict Rose with his barber on a TV set, Gretzky practicing with current hockey star Connor McDavid, and Sanders playing pickleball on his palatial Malibu estate.
The campaign was created by 72andSunny New York and directed by Peter Berg, executive producer of Entourage and Ballers.
“We really wanted to show what makes sports betting so entertaining, and we looked to prestige ensemble TV for inspiration,” said Peter Hughes, 72andSunny’s creative director, in a press release. “’It’s On’ is about tapping into your competitive side and being part of sports betting culture. It’s something you can talk about with friends and engage with in a more meaningful way.”
Added Raymond Doyle, VP of brand for Bet MGM: “Entertainment is at the core of BetMGM and we want this campaign to keep viewers on the edge of their seats in a way that’s unexpected from the sports betting and gaming industry.”
BetMGM — a 50/50 joint venture between MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) and Entain Plc (OTC:GMVHY) — is one of the largest online sportsbook operators in the 23 markets in which it does business. According to the company, which consistently ranks in the top three among online sportsbook operators, it generated $850M in 2021 revenue and expects 2022 revenue of $1.3B.
Regarding states where sports wagering currently isn’t live or legal, MGM has access to the coveted California and Texas markets, as well as Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri and Ohio. In November, California voters will decide the fate of two sports wagering ballot propositions – one backed by tribal casino entities, another supported by commercial operators including BetMGM.
BetMGM is currently the official sports wagering partner of Major League Baseball and one of seven NFL sports wagering partners.
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