The Impact of iGaming Selling Through Celebrity Endorsements

The Impact of iGaming Selling Through Celebrity Endorsements
Photo by Jonathan Greenaway

Marketing through celebrities is an old tactic that has helped brands boost their images, increase sales and build loyalty. So, it makes sense that online casinos want to capitalize on the effectiveness of celebrity marketing. The iGaming industry is one of the most active in advertising. Operators shell out millions of dollars for campaigns to appeal to players. The rich and famous are some of the tools gambling sites employ to market themselves. In New Zealand, you may have come across public figures endorsing gaming platforms. Even if the ads don’t target Kiwis specifically, they are still accessible on casino websites. Some big names you may see in casino ads include Drake, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Hilton.

You might wonder, though, if investing money in celebrity endorsements is worth the trouble for casino operators. Do they make a difference? The use of famous personalities for advertising goes back a long way. Gambling companies are only now playing catch-up because advertising in the industry was largely restricted. From alcohol to clothes to food, many sectors leveraged the star power of public figures to sway consumer decisions. The attention that celebrities command is what makes sponsorships so impactful. A celebrity can shine a spotlight on a brand, thus encouraging the target audience to stop and pay attention. Find out how else famous personalities influence casino advertising.

Forging Trust with Players

A common justification for having public figures endorse gambling websites is to leverage the positive feelings that the endorsers evoke, trust being the biggest one. Online casino sites in New Zealand with recognisable faces all over their platforms have a degree of credibility. Most people tend to view celebrities positively and, by extension, their recommendations. If an athlete you admire sells a particular casino as reputable, then you are highly likely to believe it. Operators use celebrity marketing to present themselves as trustworthy. iGaming is a sector riddled with shady companies looking to exploit unsuspecting gamblers. Finding genuine platforms takes work. A public figure with an impeccable reputation and a high trust factor with the audience makes things easier for an operator. The high regard that the public holds a certain celebrity to extends to their sponsorships, thereby enhancing trust between the brand and consumers.

Building Brand Image

A carefully crafted celebrity casino sponsorship goes a long way in promoting the brand. Given the increasing number of online casinos, operators are persistent in finding ways to stand out. Casinos that want to stand out invest in their brands. Celebrities can help elevate a brand by talking about it positively. A new online casino can achieve brand recognition by leveraging the image of a well-liked public figure. However, for branding to be effective, the personality chosen must align with the message being sent. As effectively as endorsements can build a casino’s image, they can tear it down. When an operator uses a public personality for advertising, the endorser represents the brand. Hence, if the individual image suffers, the entire brand does too. It’s the risk gambling websites take with celebrity marketing, and why they must be careful who they pick for partnerships.

Influencing Spending

The ultimate goal of casino marketing is to encourage players to open accounts, deposit funds and bet. Celebrity marketing proves effective in getting consumers to spend money. People who want to feel like they are part of the trend are quick to make purchasing decisions based on the recommendations of famous personalities. Therefore, online casinos use celebrities to get players to wager on games. They can attract new customers by catching the attention of their audiences and presenting them with an option. It’s not uncommon to see people who may otherwise not have tried a particular product spend money on it because they saw a public figure talking about it. For this reason, some online casinos incorporate celebrity deals in their marketing plans to capitalise on the power of famous figures to impact buying decisions.

The Criticism of Celebrity Marketing

Using public figures to advertise online gambling services is not without its criticism. In fact, some countries like Canada are actively campaigning to ban celebrity endorsements in the casino industry. The biggest argument against advertising gambling services and products through public figures is the influence on the youth and the vulnerable. Celebrity marketing is highly effective in many industries because consumers are driven by the urge to belong. So, when young people see individuals, they idolise promoting casino gaming and sports betting, they are quick to consider participating. 

The UK is another region that cracked down on celebrity endorsements in iGaming in a move to reduce cases of problem gambling. Some critics believe that using famous faces and voices to sell gambling products increases the risk of vulnerable players developing issues. Presently, New Zealand doesn’t exclusively prohibit celebrity endorsements in iGaming. However, offshore operators can’t advertise directly to Kiwis even though they can provide services and products.

Celebrity marketing produces excellent results, when done right, which is why the gambling and sports betting sectors are investing heavily in it. Big brands in iGaming tap into the star power of TV, film and sports personalities to advertise. Public figures tend to influence consumer decision-making, and operators capitalise on that to attract players. Although it’s not the only tool online casinos use, celebrity endorsements are becoming a huge part of the industry.