Why Sports Betting Platforms are Turning to Celebrity and Influencer Endorsements

Campaigns around sports gambling are dominating social media platforms

Since the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, 30 states have since legalized sports gambling with New York being one of the more recently legalized states. In doing so, sports-books recognized New York as one of the largest new populations to target in getting the public to join their wagering apps, and took several different approaches in looking to capture this new share of the market. While many books took a promotional approach by creating incentives for placing your first bet (such as awarding them credit to bet with), advertising efforts surrounding this industry have exploded since New York’s legalization this past January.

While the industry first looked to promote their brands through television advertising for awareness and to encourage new users, a deal between Sportradar and Adomni in late 2021 reinvented the way these books could market to the public. The deal allowed for books when showing an advertisement in the middle of a sports game to include live betting odds for the game being shown, at that exact point in the game. Here, books changed their way of advertising not solely to acquire new users, but to further promote active users to consider betting on the game they’re currently watching.

The most popular advertisement utilizing the live odds feature is by bet365, which is led by celebrity actor Aaron Paul (known largely from Breaking Bad). Here, he poses the question “Why aren’t you on the world’s greatest sports-book?” in which he then dives into the live-betting features where he shows the live odds for that particular game.

Aaron Paul’s commercial with bet365

While the use of Aaron Paul was extremely effective in generating buzz for bet365 advertisements, other sports-books have utilized celebrity endorsements as well. Sites such as BetMGM have Jamie Foxx while Caesar’s Sportsbook uses J.B. Smoove and Halle Berry, however several books have begun shifting to marketing through social media influencers as well.

Brands in all industries have recognized the impact influencers can have on raising brand’s awareness and creating loyal customers, as top influencers generally have a very engaged audience. Sportsbooks is no exception to this, with FanDuel leading the charge in signing Pat McAfee. McAfee is a retired NFL punter, who since has become much more famous for his past relationship with Barstool and his podcast where Pat analyzes sports in a unique way that you won’t hear anywhere else.

Since the legalization of online wagering, users have taken to their social media to post their bets in hopes of sharing their “winning picks” with their followers, which has led to a new genre of influencers. TikTok has been arguably the most dominant platform with these influencers, as @bookitwithtrent has quickly rose to over 340k followers through sharing his daily bets, despite losing almost every one. As ironic as it may seem, whoever Trent bets on somehow loses, which has led to people coining him the “Fade God”. PrizePicks recognized this opportunity and immediately partnered with him, as Trent is just one of the many avid sports fans turned gambling influencers.

DraftKings took a very unique influencer approach in promoting their book however, through partnering with the Official Grillmaster of the Buffalo Bills Jack Mancuso (@chefcuso). Cuso’s content differs much from that of McAfee and Trent’s videos, as Jack’s page is populated with delicious grilling videos with a comedic twist to his dishes, however is an avid sports fan as well as is his audience.

Jack Mancuso (@chefcuso) posts a TikTok in partnership with DraftKings

With the next few weeks of sports being filled with the ending of March Madness, NBA and NHL playoff races finishing up their regular seasons, as well as with the unexpected trades occurring in the NFL offseason, be prepared to see more sports book influencer campaigns.

To book a celebrity or influencer for your next campaign, contact The Digital Renegades via email at renegade@celebexperts.com

Famous lovers help Pete Davidson, the ‘dirtbag chic’ comic, clean up as US’s fastest-rising star

Article posted by The Sunday Times and written by Alistair Dawber

Saturday February 12 2022, 6.00pm GMT, The Sunday Times

Pete Davidson with Ariana Grande in 2018 and with Kim Kardashian in Beverly Hills last month

Pete Davidson with Ariana Grande in 2018 and with Kim Kardashian in Beverly Hills last monthKEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES; HAKOP ARSHAKYAN/BACKGRID

Pete Davidson had mayonnaise to sell and news to spread that could help him do it.

Sandwiched between pressing questions about his role in an advert for today’s Super Bowl and his thoughts on a particular brand of doughnuts came a moment when the comedian and actor deftly combined several viral ingredients to whip up a social media storm (and boost mayonnaise sales).

All he did was use the word “girlfriend” for the first time to describe his long-rumoured romantic partner — one of the most famous women in the world.

“I don’t have Instagram or Twitter or any of that stuff,” the 28-year-old star of Saturday Night Live told the presenter of People (The TV Show!) when she asked how fame affected him. “So, like, most of my daily life is getting into cars and showing up to a set. Or, if I’m off, I just either hang with my friends or chill with my girlfriend inside.”

Condiment marketing was not the only thing at stake here. Davidson — a heavily tattooed comedian from New York’s least glamorous borough, whose aesthetic appeal could most kindly be described as unconventional — had just cemented his status as Hollywood’s hottest Casanova.

He already had a string of famous exes, including the pop star Ariana Grande, Cindy Crawford’s model daughter, Kaia Gerber, and the British actresses Kate Beckinsale and Phoebe Dynevor, from Bridgerton. Now, by confirming his romance with the 41-year-old reality-TV star, billionaire entrepreneur and mother of four Kim Kardashian, Davidson had thrust himself to the top of the global A list.

“As long as his relationship with Kim continues to grow, he is going to go on a global tour with her, as her partner, that will expose him to a global audience that will fall in love with him,” said Evan Morgenstein, chief executive of CelebExperts, a celebrity booking service. Morgenstein worked as a motivational speaking agent for Kim’s stepfather, Bruce Jenner, for a decade, before Jenner transitioned to become Caitlyn.

Taking in the tennis at Wimbledon with Phoebe Dynevor, one of the stars of Bridgerton
Taking in the tennis at Wimbledon with Phoebe Dynevor, one of the stars of Bridgerton

Taking in the tennis at Wimbledon with Phoebe Dynevor, one of the stars of BridgertonKARWAI TANG/GETTY IMAGES

“People are going to see him and see that he’s not a pompous ass. People are looking for that. That’s a hero, sadly to say. It’s the celebrity you can engage with — it’s where the market is.”

There is plenty more to keep dedicated celebrity-watchers interested. The Super Bowl ad shows that the comedian is able to laugh at himself, especially when millions of dollars are involved.

A picture of Davidson and Kardashian holding hands emerged in October, prompting Kanye West, whom the reality star is seeking to divorce after nearly seven years of marriage, to say that he wanted to “beat” his replacement for her affections. In the ad Davidson jokes that he is indeed “very hittable”.

As his stock rises, there are rumours in Hollywood that Davidson will be named as the host of next month’s Oscars ceremony.

“If he does the Oscars, Kanye is in the audience and he does a Kanye joke, he’s going to become the icon of all icons, that’s how it works,” said Morgenstein.

“All award shows are dying on the vine — TV numbers are historically low. If he’s there, and they start dropping stories that Kanye’s going to be there, it’s perhaps the highest ratings we’ve seen for ever.”

While having Kardashian on his arm is no doubt good for his career, Davidson is a star in his own right, especially in America.

In 2014 he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, one of America’s best-loved shows, at the age of 20. Two years ago his compelling past became the focus of a semi-autobiographical film, The King of Staten Island, which he co-wrote and starred in.

He has spoken in the past about his mental health struggles and his periodically heavy use of marijuana to cope with Crohn’s disease, which he has had since he was about 17. In December 2018 he was contacted by New York police after posting on Instagram that he was contemplating suicide, an episode that led to him leaving the platform.

Davidson, left, joined the cast of Saturday Night Live at the age of 20
Davidson, left, joined the cast of Saturday Night Live at the age of 20

Davidson, left, joined the cast of Saturday Night Live at the age of 20WILL HEATH/NBC/GETTY IMAGES

Until recently he lived with his mother in New York. His father, a fireman, was killed in the World Trade Centerf attacks on September 11, 2001, when Davidson was seven. He has his father’s firefighter’s badge number, 8418, tattooed on his left arm.

He also has a tattoo of Hillary Clinton, who acknowledged his fame and influence in 2017 when she joked, “This makes it significantly less awkward that I’ve had a Pete Davidson tattoo for years.”

Davidson is funny, largely self-deprecating and often acerbic. Sometimes his comedy has landed him in hot water.

In 2018 he joked that Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican and former US Navy Seal who was then running for Congress, having lost an eye in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, looked like “a hit man in a porno movie. I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever.”

The joke tanked, he received death threats and a week later Davidson publicly apologised to Crenshaw.

Often, though, he has shown surer judgment.

When asked on Saturday Night Live in 2019 about the 20-year age gap between him and Beckinsale, Davidson did himself no harm in pointing to the number of famous men who have much younger partners.

“Apparently people have a crazy fascination with our age difference,” he said.

“But it doesn’t really bother us. But then again, I’m new to this, so if you have questions about relationships with a big age difference, just ask Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Statham, Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Jeff Goldblum, Scott Disick, Dane Cook, Derek Jeter, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn and whoever the president of France is, Mel Gibson, Billy Joel, Mick Jagger, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Kelsey Grammer, Larry King, Larry King, Larry King, Rod Stewart and Donald Trump.”

Davidson won fans after he was questioned about the age gap between him and Kate Beckinsale
Davidson won fans after he was questioned about the age gap between him and Kate Beckinsale

Davidson won fans after he was questioned about the age gap between him and Kate BeckinsaleJD IMAGES/REX

Those who have watched his progress say Davidson has navigated the journey to tabloid notoriety without losing touch with his roots in Staten Island, a solidly working-class area of New York. But it was his former fiancée Ariana Grande who perhaps did most for his reputation. Until then, the rest of the world could have been forgiven for assuming that it was Davidson’s wit, charm and sense of humour that had persuaded so many famous women to date him.

A now deleted tweet from Grande revealed another possibility, with the singer apparently blurting out that her former beau was rather generously endowed. “I think she’s just tiny,” shrugged Davidson when the inevitable questions followed (Grande is just over 5ft tall). “I think I have an average-sized penis and she’s tiny. Everything’s big to her.”
Alistair DawberWashington Correspondent

T: 001 (202) 322-4387E: alistair.dawber@thetimes.co.uk@AlistairDawber

Social Media Outage: How FaceBook, Instagram & WhatsApp Went Inaccessible Without Warning

How the Outage Has Implications Extending Beyond The Average Social Media User

When users first reported seeing error messages across Facebook’s apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp at 11:40am Monday morning, no one expected an outage of over 5 hours to begin. Eventually, apps started to gradually come back to functionality, however this outage showed just how dependent the world has become on such platforms. At first, people turned to Twitter and Tiktok to make jokes about these apps being down, however as time passed it became a real issue to many who rely on social media accounts for business.

With Facebook already facing criticism for Frances Haugen, former product manager releasing research regarding Facebook knowing the harms their platforms can have on society, this further angered the public. Now with infrastructure responsible for coordinating traffic between its data centers being interrupted and cascaded to other data centers, the servers were immediately brought to a halt. One of the largest groups affected however was businesses operated through Facebook, as they were blindsided as to the outage and were given no reassurance as to when the sites would be back online.

With the COVID-19 pandemic giving influencer marketing an unbelievably important role in online sales, influencers were at a loss of words during the outage. Many influencers took to TikTok and Twitter to share their concerns for Facebook’s unreliability, as the platforms that allowed them to build a career for themselves unexpectedly shut down with no warning. One of the most popular grilling accounts on TikTok Matt Groark (@Groarkboysbbq) was one such participant, as can be seen in his video linked here.

Expanding past influencer marketing, many businesses use Facebook’s apps to communicate with customers, conduct outreach and further make online sales. With Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp out, businesses were scrambling for an alternative way of conducting business. Whether it be in the clothing, food or professional gaming industry, everyone was affected. Those businesses who heavily relied on Facebook and Instagram were unable to reach customers, and suffered incredible losses in sales despite only being offline for just over 5 hours. Businesses which relied on WhatsApp were typically those in the culinary field, which was used to take orders from customers and contact them upon delivery. Another result of the pandemic was the rising popularity of professional video game players, many of which use Facebook Gaming as their sole source of income, causing frustration and fear that another outage could result in drastic consequences for them.

Additionally, the system outage further affected Facebook employees due to their internal communications platform Workplace being non-functional as well. Here their security systems, scheduling tools, internal calendars as well as means of communicating with other employees and clients were rendered ineffective. 

To make matters worse, Facebook also has become the main login criteria for many unrelated apps and services. This included smart TV sign-in, shopping websites and any other internet-connected devices partnered with Facebook. With the sudden outage accompanied with limited knowledge of how Facebook can prevent an event like this from happening again, businesses have realized that having such a dependence on a site like this while being an enormous opportunity to grow their brand, can encounter the occasional problem as well.


Instagram and TikTok are their hoping new features will help spur higher engagement for influencer and brand’s social media profiles

In 2013, social media platform Snapchat implemented the idea of disappearing stories, which has since become a very mainstream feature in the social media industry. Since then, industry giants such as Instagram have added a story feature to their platform, which allows users to post a story for their followers to see for 24 hours before it is no longer visible.

Instagram stories have become one of the more popular aspects of the site, however companies and influencers realized the potential these stories can have on raising brand awareness as well as directing traffic to a website. One of the most important features Instagram has allowed in stories has been swipe-up links, which allows users to share external links in the frames of their stories. Most recently, Instagram has announced that they are doing away with swipe up links and replacing them with a linked Sticker option. 

This transition from swipe-up links to a linked sticker provides several advantages for both influencers as well as companies who are looking to draw traffic to their own website. From an influencer standpoint, the sticker allows for much more creativity, as the sticker’s size, style and placement is now at the discretion of the user. Social media expert Matt Navarra believes that this will result in influencers being able to maximize the story’s impact through this added creative opportunity when drafting Instagram stories. 

Navarra also has expressed that the sticker provides further engagement in comparison to a swipe-link, as it allows story viewers to give slide-up reactions. Previously stories with a swipe-up link prevented story viewers from doing quick responses or reactions with the post. Now however with the link being in a sticker, viewers now have the ability to swipe-up with quick responses, furthering audience engagement for influencers. 

As of right now, the linked sticker option is only available for verified users or users with over 10,000 followers. The goal is to eventually allow all accounts to have access to this feature, however with concerns regarding users potentially using this feature to spread false information, Instagram has decided to gradually make this feature available for the general population of the app’s users. 

With stories being such a successful feature on platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, the newest dominant social media platform TikTok has just announced their launch of a story feature as well. Similar to other platforms, this story feature allows influencers to share short clips/videos that will disappear 24 hours after being posted. TikTok has become arguably the best platform for social media marketing since it’s explosion of popularity in 2020, and they believe this new feature will help further fan engagement between influencers and their audience. As of right now, TikTok is currently testing stories outside of the United States, however look for this feature to become a large part of social media marketing in the US soon.


The Social Media sensation appeared in a video article on how the pandemic is changing packages

Digital Renegade Mariyah May, aka mooyayah, is one of the most beloved lifestyle and comedic influencers on TikTok. Her content ranges from cosmetic videos such as makeup and nails, to comedy skits, art, and everything in between.

With her wide range of content, Mariyah has amassed 5M followers on TikTok including more than 240M likes. Most recently, her audio was used in Shelby Holliday’s video for the Wall Street Journal, which discusses the effects the pandemic has had on the shipped package industry.

As has been seen across social media, recently many people have been receiving products they ordered online in a much larger box than what is necessary, to which many find is very wasteful. Shelby takes a deeper dive into the reasons behind this mysterious pattern, and uses Mariyah’s audio to express the feeling one might have when receiving a larger than necessary package.

See the WSJ video here, and Mariyah’s original TikTok here!

The cause of this is due to the spike in e-commerce retailers experienced during the pandemic. With people confined to their homes, everyone turned to online shopping for goods, whether that be cleaning supplies, clothing, makeup or items to improve their home. As a result, cardboard boxes were in extremely high demand, causing the prices of cardboard boxes for retailers to soar. Now, companies are looking to accelerate and optimize their packaging and shipping costs.

Here are some of the changes in packaging you may notice in the future:

  1. More Mailers – These are lighter than cardboard boxes, cheaper, and easier to pack. They additionally are much easier to recycle.
  2. Minimization of Boxes – Companies are shifting toward Amazon’s “Frustration Free Packaging” technique. They are hoping to stray away from shipping boxes inside of boxes as it is sent from the manufacturer to the retailer through offering third parties incentives for being more efficient with her packaging. This also helps the retailer save money, however will not affect the prices of the products you order.
  3. Skip the Shipping – Many sites are pushing customers to travel to the store to pick up their order as opposed to having the products shipped to the buyer. They often incentivize this by offering coupons or even discounts. This further has led to many companies partnering with Happy Returns, which allows consumers to drop goods off without being packaged, which has led to a drastic increase in returns.

So now comes the big question: how will retailers make the unboxing experience exciting with no box? A huge trend throughout social media has been influencers unboxing products from certain companies, and sharing with their followers an honest review on the product. 

Unboxing content not only helps grow an influencer’s audience as well as engagement, but further allows retailers to advertise their products to a wide audience in a more genuine and authentic way as opposed to commercials.

While retailers are moving towards a more efficient as well as environmentally friendly way of packaging goods, it’s going to be interesting to see how they will take action to further improve the unboxing experience so many look forward to in anticipation of a delivered package. Industry leaders such as Amazon are leading the charge with some of the techniques described above, and it will be interesting to see how their packaging continues in the future.