JACK Entertainment has released two new commercials for its betJACK Sportsbook app that cheekily pay tribute to a couple of Ohio’s all-time great sports legends.
The new 30-second spots, part of betJACK’s “Ohio: Home of Some of The Greatest Athletes in The World” commercial series, comedically nod to iconic native Ohio athletes LeBron James and Jack Nicklaus.
With sports betting in Ohio up and running, JACK Entertainment has been heavily touting its own Buckeye State roots, calling betJACK “Ohio’s sportsbook” and “the only platform built in Ohio for Ohio.” JACK Entertainment is headquartered in Cleveland.
BetJACK basketball spot offers twist on James’ chalk toss
Both commercials never directly name James or Nicklaus, cleverly referencing the greats’ moves and mannerisms in the actions of some regular-Joe sports fans.
The basketball-themed spot opens with a man and woman sitting on a bench and watching three other men playing a pickup game on an outdoor neighborhood court. When the ball rolls off the court and lands at the seated man’s feet, inspirational music swells as he drops his powdered donut.
In slow motion, the man begins dusting off the powdered sugar from the donut, then rises and does LeBron James’ classic pregame chalk toss, dramatically sending the sugar into the air.
The voiceover says “Ohio has given birth to some of the greatest athletes in the world” as the man hoists the ball toward the basket, with a little LeBron flair as the ball rolls off his fingers.
As the ball heads towards the basket, then clunks off the top of the backboard, the voiceover says, “And you are not one of them.”
“Even the odds at betJACK,” the voiceover says at the conclusion, as the poor-shooting everyman does a fist pump while looking at the betJACK app on his phone.
Golf-Themed ad references Nicklaus’ ’86 Masters victory
BetJACK’s golf-themed commercial follows the same concept, this time with three middle-aged golfers.
One of the men, dressed in a yellow sweater the Golden Bear himself would love, asks his friends if they are “ready for the magic?” as he gets set to putt.
The golfer sizes up the putt as Nicklaus used to do, then tells himself it’s a “chance for birdie and a sixth green jacket,” referencing Nicklaus’ legendary Masters win in 1986.
The golfer then mutters “Yes, sir” after he hits the ball, nodding to Verne Lundquist’s call on CBS of Nicklaus’ putt on the 17th hole of the ’86 Masters.
Alas, the putt goes wide right, as the voiceover delivers the “and you are not one of them” line. One of the golfer’s friend then smirks and says, “Nope, sir.”
BetJACK’s first commercial also referenced Ohio greats
BetJACK released its first Ohio commercial a few weeks ahead of Jan. 1, the day legal sports betting launched in Ohio.
That ad followed a similar theme, slyly referencing former Ohio State head coach Mike Tressel’s red sweater vest and Cincinnati Reds legend Joe Morgan’s “chicken-flap” batting stance.
LeBron James was also alluded to in that initial betJACK spot, as a man playing basketball solo in his driveway dunks the ball and mimics James’ “silencer” celebration moves. The man’s license plate reads “LEBRAD.”
Upon the release of that first betJACK commercial, Adam Suliman, JACK Entertainment’s senior vice president of sports & digital gaming, said:
“Ohio is not just a state — it’s a state of mind, a code of conduct, and a badge of honor. For our players, there’s an unapologetic hometown pride.”
JACK also has two Ohio betJACK retail sportsbooks
In February, the online betJACK Sportsbook took in $3,021,375 in bets, with revenue of $378,377. That was good for just 0.5% of the online sportsbook market share in the state and put betJACK 11th in terms of handle out of 17 online sportsbooks currently active in Ohio.
JACK Entertainment also operates two retail sportsbooks, one at its JACK Cleveland Casino location and another at the company’s JACK Thistledown Racino, about 12 miles outside of Cleveland.
In February, betJACK Sportsbook at JACK Cleveland Casino’s handle was $2.2 million, putting it third in the state behind the Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Columbus and the Hard Rock Sportsbook at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.
The combined handles of the betJACK locations at JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino accounted for 22% percent of Ohio’s total retail sportsbook handle in February.