I’m not saying PointsBet fake-killed Drew Brees because of the impending Ohio sports betting launch, but, I’m not saying they didn’t, either.
While people expressed mixed reactions to the electrifying stunt, the guerilla maneuver focused a shock of attention on the sportsbook.
While I’m not much of a believer in Barnum’s “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” I believe there’s a way to spin most events positively.
When the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve in Ohio, PointsBet Ohio sportsbook will do well to harness whatever energy it can muster. It will be tough competition for Ohio sports bettors, even in a state with dual NFL and MLS rosters.
But, PointsBet has more to offer the Buckeye State than just shocking advertising, so let’s get to the nitty-gritty.
PointsBet Ohio Sportsbook gearing up for a very Ohio New Year
First things first, a little on the company.
PointsBet originally launched in Australia in 2015. By 2018, the Aussie sportsbook offered a full suite of betting options, including fixed-odds racing and sports alongside its unique Points Betting product.
In 2019, PointBet first made land in the United States. Almost four years later, the Australian import is operational in thirteen states, including New York, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey. That total jumps to fourteen on New Year’s day, when Ohio finally opens the door to online sports betting.
In addition to the US, PointsBet Canada launched in Ontario in April 2022. The company celebrated the opening of a swanky office in downtown Toronto in December.
PointsBet prioritizes partners and ambassadors over big ad spend
One thing to be said about PointsBet; they’re scrappy.
In the media, PointsBet often refers to itself as a challenger brand. While it’s true the sportsbook is more David than Goliath in the sports betting narrative, the book punches above its weight often enough to impress its share of sports bettors.
It’s refreshing to see a brand lean into the challenger role. In PointsBet’s case, this often plays out as ‘doing a thing,’ as opposed to buying an ad. When there’s less money to splash around, you need to be smart about where you spend it.
So, PointsBet partners with local personalities and brands in the regions where they operate. In New Jersey, that was Darrelle Revis, and in Illinois, it’s Devin Hester.
Across the US, partnerships extend to teams and leagues like the NBA, WNBA, PGA Tour, Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Bears. They’re also the official partner of NBC Sports.
In Canada, they cornered a holy trinity; the NHL Alumni Association, Curling Canada and the Trailer Park Boys. The NHLAA is self-explanatory, and Curling Canada is the governing body of one of Canada’s favorite sports.
The Trailer Park Boys are even more niche, however. A trio of lovably trashy mockumentary cult heroes that became a wildly successful East Coast cottage industry.
And they’re throwing that weight around for PointsBet all over the Great White North.
But, the PointsBet deal with the most buzz, at least of late: its partnership with retired NFL quarterback Drew Brees.
Brees’ deal with PointsBet Sportsbook not just a flash in the pan
The PointsBet/Brees deal first came to light in July 2021.
Brees would create content for the fledgling sportsbook in return for undisclosed equity. Possibly why the QB, who retired his cleats after the 2020 season, was up for scaring the bejesus out of unsuspecting fans.
Early in the morning of December 2, 2022, filmmaker, Rafael Hernández posted a tweet (in Spanish) from Venezuela.
Included was a video of Brees on location for PointsBet as Catatatumbo lightning zapped around him. (Catatumbo lightning occurs where the Catatumbo River pours into Lake Maracaibo. Active 140-160 nights a year, the storm flashes up to 40 times a minute.)
Near the end of the short clip, Brees appears to be struck by lightning before the video goes dark.
As you might imagine, witnesses to the apparent tragedy on social media were upset.
Several hours later, when PointsBet took to Twitter to say they were “in communication with Brees’ team” and “will not be making any further comment,” it didn’t do much to calm the situation.
So, when Brees turned up fine a few hours later promoting PointsBet’s Lightning Bets, folks were big mad. Fans, rivals, industry wonks, randos from Twitter—everyone had an opinion.
While many takes were far from positive—lightning strike survivors had something to say—the stunt certainly attracted attention.
Two weeks later, on Linkedin, Josh Powell, PointsBet’s brand director, made a long post deeming the stunt a success.
However, the partnership between Brees and the sportsbook didn’t last for much longer.
PointsBet recently ended its partnership with Brees after he signed on to become a college football coach at Purdue University. The move helped keep the sportsbook in line with regulatory and responsible gambling practices.
Regardless, the success of the lightning stunt could mean that similar marketing ploys are on the way.
Whether this means PointsBet will be lighting up an Ohio favorite anytime soon is only a guess. But it seems like a perfect segway into the unique betting markets the company will have for Ohio sports bettors.
PointsBet Ohio Sportsbook to offer Points Betting and Lightning Bets
PointsBet has become known for a few things during its short time in the US.
One, the ‘thunder from downunder,’ controls its tech stack end-to-end, something of an anomaly for a sportsbook. Two, PointsBet offers the aforementioned unique bets, most notably lightning bets and the innocently-titled “Points Betting.”
Let’s start with lightning bets
Lightning bets are PointsBet’s newest betting innovation. The tweaked take on micro-betting allows users to bet on every play or drive in NFL or NBA games. And the book plans to roll out the speedy live in-game betting option to additional leagues soon.
So far, sports bettors seem to dig lightning bets’ near-instant gratification. In October, PointsBet reported a 184% week-over-week rise in unique customers.
Now, let’s do Points Betting
Points Betting is almost the opposite of a lightning bet.
Unlike traditional fixed-odds wagering, Points Betting’s risks and rewards shift until the game ends.
In Points Betting, every point matters, and the payout changes up to the last moment of the game. Winnings (or losses) don’t get locked in until the very end.
Once the game wraps, bets are settled depending on how much you won or lost by.
For example: If your bet wins (or loses) by 1, then your payout is one times the bet. If the difference is 2, then the payout is two times the bet (and so on).
PointsBet calls the Points Betting structure “high risk, high reward,” which feels pretty accurate.
Another example: If you wager $10 on a team with a Points Betting line of +1.5 and that team wins by a touchdown, you’ve won by 8.5 points and take home $85. But, if your team loses by a touchdown, you’re out $55, which is a bit cringe if you ask me.
But, for some bettors, it’s precisely that kind of risk that gets the blood pumping. And who are we to judge if you can afford the loss?
It’s also worth noting that “points bettors” can set limits to curb the potential loss. So, even if you’re out of luck, there shouldn’t be any surprises.
On-demand betting for when Points Betting and Lightning Bets don’t cut it
PointsBet also offers a “Name a Bet” wager. Essentially it’s a parlay you pitch to PointsBet traders that they then price on the fly.
If you want to wager that Jacoby Brissett will throw for more than 300 yards against the Bengals and Kyle Farmer will smash two homers on the same day, you can pitch that parlay and then put your money where your mouth is.
In any case, PointsBet’s Ohio sportsbook will have no shortage of markets for Ohio gamblers.
PointsBet Ohio sportsbook pre-launch promo: $200 in bet credits
To lock in its fair share of Ohio sports bettors ahead of the New Year’s Day launch, PointBet has some great pre-launch deals on offer.
Should an Ohio bettor want to try lightning or Points Betting, now’s a great time to sign up.
New PointsBet sportsbook Ohio customers can access a couple of early-adopter promos, and the first offers $200 in bet credits.
You don’t even need a promo code. Just click the link above, sign up and the free bets will appear in your account in four $50 increments on January 1st.
Early signup is doubly beneficial because, on top of the bet credits, you’re ready to roll as soon as the ball drops.
But not so quick!
New Pointsbet Ohio players who use bonus code WELCOME with their first deposit will also earn five $100 risk-free bets. Of note: risk-free bets are different from bet credits. A risk-free bet is more like gambling insurance or an extra life in a video game.
In this case, you deposit into your PointsBet Ohio wallet using the WELCOME bonus code. Then, over the next five days, you place five bets of up to $100.
If you win, you win as usual. But, if you lose, PointsBet will credit your account with a bet credit of the same amount.
However, there’s a caveat: as with most bet credits, the payout won’t include the original stake. So, on a $20 free bet that wins $15, only the $15 is returned to your account.
Also, these credits expire in seven days, so be sure to use them before you lose them.
Sign up for PointsBet Ohio sportsbook in a flash
You might be hesitant if you’ve never registered for a sports betting app, but PointsBet makes it easy. Most can even get from signup to ready-to-wager in five minutes or less.
Your first step: click the link at the top of this page and claim the new player deal.
Next, you must answer a few questions to help PointsBet meet all the legal requirements that help keep you and your money safe. You can expect to share your name, address, and the last four digits of your social security number.
From there, it’s just a few more clicks, and your account is active. Then you’re ready to take advantage of PointsBet’s WELCOME first deposit bonus and signup offers.
And, with New Year’s Day on a Sunday, registering now means you’ll be ready to bet on the Bengals or Browns in Week 17 of the NFL. There’s not much humbug about that.
Happy New Year!