NorthStar is betting on a tongue-in-cheek approach

The made-in-Ontario sportsbook says its real-time analytics are a major differentiator among a sea of options.


NorthStar Gaming is going cheeky and aspirational as it tries to stand out from a booming list of options for sports betters.

The Ontario-based casino and sportsbook gaming platform has creative featuring a man “spoiled with spoils” who’s been knighted three times, topped the music charts and climbed Everest, barefoot.

“Sports wagering and casino games are meant to be fun and entertaining, so it was important for our launch campaign to embody that tone,” says Dante Anderson, VP of marketing at NorthStar Gaming. “There’s an intrinsic sense of ambition, competition and destiny that comes with the territory and we wanted to ensure it resonated with consumers.”

Since the sports betting market in Ontario was opened to third parties last month, the market has been flooded with options, with platforms already established in other countries vastly outnumbering those based in Canada.

Anderson tells strategy the “That’s a Win” campaign introduces and educates consumers on the many features and benefits of the NorthStar Bets gaming platform. Its differentiator, Anderson says, is a unique customer experience that brings together an immersive online casino alongside a sportsbook that is packed with real-time sports insights and analysis, all in a single platform.

“Many sports bettors rely on various different sources of information to inform their bets, our goal was to streamline that experience,” he says.

North-star-appSince NorthStar Bets has been live, he says it’s seen strong interest in local hometown teams including the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs (before their recent elimination), but also the other teams in the NHL playoffs and MLB.

“That’s a Win” is coming to life through variety of channels including digital, social, TV, print, podcasts and digital OOH to reach Ontarians.

“We’re excited to build on the momentum of the launch campaign in the fall, a busy time of year for sports wagering with the return to NHL, NBA and NFL,” Anderson adds.

Creative agency Leo Burnett was engaged in late 2021 following a competitive review process, and according to Anderson, it became clear that Leo Burnett and Publicis Groupe would be the best partners, thanks to the breadth of their market research and due diligence.

NorthStar also has an omnichannel advertising and marketing services arrangement with Torstar Corporation the allows readers of the Toronto Star to have the opportunity to enjoy sports betting and wagering content created by the NorthStar Bets content team. Campaign creative can be seen on TorStar digital and print properties as well.