What do Keith Lemon, Peter Crouch, Olly Murs, Michael Owen, Ray Winstone and Paddy McGuiness have in common?
Need a little hint? You’ve seen them on TV and in media ads, and maybe you’ve heard them on podcasts or radio programs. Yes, they’re all celebrities, but that’s not what unites the names on our list.
OK, we’ll tell you the answer – they’re all brand ambassadors for gambling operators.
What does a brand ambassador do?
But what does it mean to be a brand ambassador for an online gambling site? It’s clearly not a full-time job, as they are all top athletes, singers, actors and entertainers. And yet, as a secondary hustle, it’s clearly appealing, with stars such as Tyson Fury and Drake managing to nab some gambling brand relationships. Even hip-hop star Nicki Minaj got in on the act with a new deal to be MaximBet’s global ambassador.
Most major online gambling sites have at least one brand ambassador, and they are not limited to the world of sports betting. Casino, bingo, poker and slot sites often have celebrity ambassadors, all of whom are willing to use their public profiles as an additional marketing tool.
Brand ambassador or influencer?
Don’t confuse brand ambassadors with influencers, who are only concerned with short-term deals. Being a brand ambassador is considered a long-term commitment, and the celebrity will have certain contractual obligations to fulfill.
TV and radio commercials are usually a big part of the role – think Johnny Vegas and Leo the lion promoting LeoVegas in 2018. The operator was able to make full use of his comedic abilities to highlight his upcoming promotions.
More recently, Peter Crouch appears in the latest TV commercial for Paddy Power in which he appears naked in a bath full of red cards and holds a referee above his head in a recreation of the iconic lift from ‘Dirty Dancing’!
Exclusive themed games
Some brand ambassadors for casino, bingo or slot sites even have exclusive games created around them. For example, Keith’s Lucky Lemons is a slot game exclusive to 32Red, where he is the brand ambassador. And after signing up Olly Murs to represent Heart Bingo, the operator is offering players the opportunity to explore its exclusive five-reel slot, ‘Olly Murs’ All Stars’. It’s a surefire way to attract new players, with operators hoping they’ll come back and play even more.
But being a brand ambassador isn’t just about working on ad campaigns and having games created in your honor. Celebrities can also expect to participate in voiceovers, in-person meetings and social media campaigns. They may be required to post regular blogs or provide tips for upcoming sporting events. They will have inside information on the latest offers and promotions, so they will have to give details to their subscribers and fans.
But the relationship doesn’t just benefit the gaming operator. According to online news publication European Gaming, Will Bayley recently became Merkur UK’s latest brand ambassador. Having worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges created by congenital disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Bayley went on to become the world number one Paralympic table tennis player.
He will promote the work of the Merkur Initiative, which supports various charitable causes. In return, Merkur will give Bayley his full support as he prepares to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Promote new technologies
And celebrity brand ambassadors are also helpful in promoting new technologies. With the appearance of cryptocurrency gambling sites online, the endorsement of a public figure serves to reassure potential gamblers. A report earlier this year from CasinoBeats, an online publication for the casino industry, announced that Punt Casino had signed Michael Owen, who has a strong personal interest in crypto.
More gambling brand ambassadors on the way
The concept of brand ambassadors for online gambling operators is not new, but it is something that is definitely gaining traction. And according to Inside Sport, part of that is due to the global pandemic. Forced lockdowns encouraged sports and casino fans to head online, where they found themselves faced with a huge range of options.
Fans are looking for a sports betting, casino, slots or bingo site that they can connect and interact with. And what better way to do that than to follow in the footsteps of a favorite sports legend or top entertainer? The right brand ambassador is a major attraction for the operator, while the celebrity in question enjoys an extra moment in the spotlight – it’s a win-win situation for both parties, and we can expect see more in the future!