Campaign Teardown

Campaign Teardown: How FanDuel Conquered Fantasy Sports

By Editorial Staff

What’s measured gets improved. 

With marketing, things are easier to measure since the objective is to acquire more sales and do so efficiently. Here’s how NeoReach helped FanDuel reach the next level.

From Influencing to Performance

Metrics display the only thing that matters: performance.

FanDuel is a leader in daily fantasy sports (DFS). In 2015, the New York-based company hired NeoReach for a U.S. advertising campaign. They wanted to scale user-generated content at the start of the NFL season.

Here are the benefits of great content:

  • Attracts users
  • Improves engagement
  • Makes vibrant the DFS ecosystem. 

All of which leads to growth in revenue.

Acquiring New Signups

FanDuel wanted to increase paid signups on the platform; to have more users make deposits and play fantasy sports. But the client also wanted to lower customer acquisition costs. That would allow the company to grow without sacrificing profitability.

Two weeks into the NFL season, FanDuel and rival DraftKings had spent a combined $107 million on advertising. A slugfest between the industry’s two biggest players would reduce margins on both sides. 

The recent promotional campaign dragged down FanDuel’s return on investment (ROI). Moreover, DraftKings had just raised $300 million, giving it enough resources to compete on attrition. 

Customer acquisition cost is a crucial KPI (key performance indicator), and the client wanted cheaper ways to attract new signups. It, therefore, wanted to grow more efficiently and effectively.

YouTube Influencer Campaign

Businesses aren’t made sustainable by one-time purchases. Thus, customer retention is another important KPI.

In daily fantasy sports, the initial sign-up is crucial for capturing repeat revenue, which leads to customer lifetime value (LTV). It keeps fans engaged within FanDuel’s platform, rather than visit competing sites.

NeoReach designed an influencer campaign that gave cost-per-action (CPA) rewards for sign-ups, as well as revenue share. Players who referred new users also received incentives. 

“We chose influencers who would play fantasy sports beyond the promotion window,” says Brian Sorel, chief operating officer of NeoReach. “We felt that ongoing integration was a better approach and would provide better long-term results than just a one-time sponsorship.”

The NeoReach team also sought influencers who would play fantasy sports outside of football, such as basketball, soccer, and other sports. 

Influencers (who used affiliate tracking links) included YouTube personalities who broadcast season-long fantasy football on FanDuel. They invited viewers to play along. Influencers included Mikey Bolts (comedian), Matt Stonie (competitive eater), Jimmy Tatro (actor), and Chris Smoove (gamer), whose content often receives hundreds of thousands of impressions or more per video.

By leveraging YouTube channels that had millions of subscribers, the client immediately tapped into a large male audience, between 18-45, interested in sports. And by establishing CPA and rev-share agreements, the client eliminated the risk of losses from ad campaigns that don’t perform.

NeoReach took an “always on” approach that cultivated partnerships and long-term relationships. The evergreen arrangement allowed influencers to participate in FanDuel’s success via long-term brand advocacy and repeat endorsements over time. 

Influencer Results

FanDuel closed the year with over $1.8 billion in entry fees. They beat DraftKings by a $600 million lead, and did so by spending less.

Here are some KPIs:

  • 115 influencer posts that led to 38 million impressions
  • 5:1 ROI as measured against LTV
  • 10 times cheaper than previously contracted management teams

“The FanDuel campaign had a download rate of about 5%” says Sorel. “And the conversion rate to actual deposits were 5% of users who downloaded the app.”

The 5% download rate was higher than usual, as free apps typically have a 2-3% conversion rate.

The Takeaway

Football is exciting. For fans, being crazy actually shows team loyalty.

Marketers shouldn’t find it difficult to tap into such passion. The key is to align with partners who have an existing audience and to incentivize them. Everyone wins.

This article was written by Editorial Staff

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