TheScore brings character to its sports betting platform

Celebrities help players lock in their bets using the sports info the app is known for, something the company hopes sets it apart from the pack on April 4.

TheScore is bringing a healthy dose of personality to its new “Bet Mode” functionality in a new campaign launching just ahead of its mobile sportsbook and casino app’s Ontario debut.

The campaign, “Get Into Bet Mode,” personifies the new tool with the help of comedian Susie Essman, actor Rex Lee and TV personality Gerry Dee, formerly featured on TheScore TV. By personifying the service as a trio of individuals who help a group of friend overcome obstacles in their way to locking in their bets, the campaign aims to demonstrate the ease with which they will be able to access the information they need to place bets using the new service.

TheScore is already one of the most popular sports apps in North America, with approximately 3.75 million users in Canada each year, 1.43 million of which are in Ontario. In the U.S. states where TheScore Bet has previously been allowed to operate, over half of its users were previously using its app or other media properties. Being able to integrate betting with its wider media properties means TheScore can position its platform around something the other can’t offer: being a one-stop shop for all the stats, info and news needed to make the most informed betting decisions.

“‘Get Into Bet Mode’ is a brand platform that brings to life one of our core product differentiators, the deep integration between media and betting, and how that makes betting simpler, seamless and more intuitive,” says Aubrey Levy, SVP of marketing and content with TheScore. “These video spots are an extension of how we serve the fans, eliminating all of the friction points for a streamlined betting experience.”

“The celebrities in the campaign deliver comedy and also serve to unblock distractions, which we use as an expression of the product,” adds Jordan Cohen, CD at Diamond, which developed the campaign with TheScore after picking up the AOR assignment for the platform. “Much like TheScore Bet, they help friends lock in their bets and enjoy the game.”

The trio appear in a 2:30 feature video, as well as social ads, radio, digital and OOH. The campaign also includes a 30-second cutdown featuring only Essman, as well as shorter 15- and 6-second spots.

The campaign launched on Wednesday in Ontario, ahead of the debut of the app in the market on April 4, when new provincial regulations allow online sportsbooks to launch their services. Pre-registration for the app is already available via the iOS app store. Initiative handled media for the campaign.

Nearly $1 billion is already spent on sports betting in Ontario annually, 70% of which is done on “grey market” websites. But The Score is not just competing with those sites, but a flood of other offerings looking to take advantage of the newly legalized market. Those competitors include OLG’s Proline+ – which has been making its own efforts to attract players by trading on the trust it has built by being one of the few legal sports betting options available to Ontarians since the 90s – as well as platforms that have established themselves in other markets, like DraftKings and Pointsbet.