FanDuel: Building a Canadian identity in a growing sports betting market

FanDuel: Building a Canadian identity in a growing sports betting market

Entering uncharted territory can often throw up several challenges, but also a unique opportunity to grow a market in your own image. 

FanDuel entered the newly regulated Ontario sports betting market in April 2022 and has since positioned itself as one of the leading online operators in the market, but what has it done differently in Canada to differentiate itself from its operations within the US?

Alannah Della Vedova, Brand Director of FanDuel, spoke to Insider Sport on the firm’s localisation strategies in Ontario, how it has catered to the Canadian sports bettor and what she believes is in store for the market in the future. 

Insider Sport: Firstly Alannah, what are some of the key differences between the Canadian and US sports markets in terms of advertisement opportunities, sponsorship agreements and overall feel for betting?

Alannah Della Vedova: While there are many similarities between US and Canada, some of the local nuances include a heightened interest in hockey betting vs the US market.

We have really seen Ontario sports fans engage in the sports they love and embrace a regulated market that supports responsible gaming and education which we hope to see in other parts of the country.

IS: Can you explain FanDuel’s partnership with Raptors Republic as part of your localisation strategy not just in Toronto, but Canada as a whole?

ADV: We know Ontario sports bettors have heightened interest in their local teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors are unique as they aren’t just Toronto’s team but they represent all of Canada. Working with Raptors Republic in particular is a great way for us to position our brand in content that basketball fans love to engage with.

IS: How important is it to balance focus on local markets in comparison to nationwide campaigns and what are some of the differences?

ADV: Ontario is the only regulated market in Canada so we focus our attention and advertising in one province. We’re very focused on connecting and being relevant with the fanbase of Ontario, and so a hyper focus on our current regulated province is key.

As other provinces explore regulation, we think ultimately our advertising will become more broad.

IS: Have you identified which sports Canadians prefer to bet on the most, and how have you tailored some of your marketing strategies to reflect these trends?

ADV: Ontario – and Canadian – sports fans love to engage with several different sports. Not surprisingly we see the most interest with the Big Four North American, with the NFL and NBA both very popular in Ontario. To that we have a very exciting partnership that we have with TSN.

We have also seen a trend toward engagement with women in sports, which is something we are proud to support.

IS: With many US sports’ off-season overlapping in the summer, how does FanDuel market itself during these downtimes and does this present an opportunity to innovate within branding and marketing?

ADV: We see great interest in many summer sports including baseball, soccer, tennis and golf. Our partnership with TSN gives us a great platform to connect with viewers at all times of the year.

We are proud to be the Official Sportsbook of MLB, as well as one of the sportsbooks of the CFL and Toronto Argonauts and will continue to showcase their league and team IP in advertising this summer.

IS: Lastly Alannah, and thank you for your time, how do you forecast Ontario’s betting landscape over the next several years?

ADV: We have seen a lot of growth since Ontario’s regulated market since it was established in 2022. We expect that to continue, especially as we introduce the FanDuel experience to a broader audience through innovations such as novelty betting.

We are constantly looking to add to the fan experience through technology and closer engagement with fans. It’s a great time to be a sports fan in Ontario.

We also expect to see continued growth in women in sports, and we are delighted to be advocates and partners for strong female athletes.

FanDuel, along with other Canadian and US sports and betting organisations, will be present at this year’s Canadian Gaming Summit from June 18-20, 2024 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 

You can purchase your Early Bird ticket at the discounted price of CA$ 795 and gain access to all three days of the Canadian Gaming Summit, including the Player Protection Symposium, the exhibition, the conference, and exclusive networking parties.

Source: Insider Sport 

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