WynnBet Sportsbook is one of the many online betting brands that have popped up over the past few years. It’s the sports sports betting arm of the larger Wynn Resorts International.
The company has been spreading around the country since it first opened for business in New Jersey in the summer of 2020.
Ohio is the next state in the crosshairs for WynnBet. Sports betting in Ohio kicks off on Jan. 1, 2023.
The company is still waiting on its license from Ohio regulators. Assuming that works out for WynnBet, the sportsbook could start taking bets sometime next year.
UPDATE: WynnBet on Jan. 18 was awarded a license from the Ohio Casino Control Commission to enter the Ohio market.
The Buckeye State will be one of the biggest sports betting markets in the entire U.S. WynnBet will have to get creative if it wants to carve out its own corner of the new industry.
WynnBet changes marketing plans
All things considered, the WynnBet Sportsbook recent history has been about adapting to new challenges.
At first, expansion was the goal for the sportsbook. That meant heaps of marketing spending to try and stand out from the pack.
However, that’s an expensive plan that likely wasn’t sustainable in the long term. It takes a lot of ammo to outshoot huge gambling competitors like DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars.
The company eventually shifted focus away from large marketing buys to focus on cash preservation. It also recently partnered with the GAN Sports technology platform to power its app in future states.
Still, at one point Wynn even floated the idea of selling the sportsbook, although that ultimately hasn’t come to pass. It takes deep pockets to survive in the online gambling world, and things don’t always work out for every company that opens a sportsbook.
Rather than commercials and other traditional types of marketing, WynnBet has been focusing on finding new ways to capture the attention of bettors. The only problem is, some of the strategies the company has tried in other states might not work in Ohio.
Partnering up with sports teams
In states like neighboring Indiana, WynnBet’s strategy has been to partner up with professional sports teams in the area.
Indiana doesn’t have an MLB team of its own, but many Hoosiers in the state are big fans of the Cincinnati Reds. WynnBet signed a special partnership with the team to capitalize on that interest.
That partnership for the 2021 season led to the sportsbook offering special co-branded promotions with the Reds that were only available to bettors in Indiana.
Bettors who took advantage of those special WynnBet deals also became eligible for chances to win Reds tickets and team memorabilia.
That was a creative way to try and snag baseball bettors in Indiana, but it will be much harder to pull off the same strategy in Ohio.
All of Ohio’s professional sports teams are already partnered up with other online sportsbook brands. The Browns work with Bally’s, the Reds work with Underdog, the Guardians work with bet365 and so on.
That could make partnerships with professional teams in Ohio hard to come by for WynnBet. Thankfully, the company has another trick up its sleeve when it comes to marketing in new states.
WynnBet works with local professional players
Another marketing strategy that WynnBet has used recently is signing up new brand ambassadors.
These ambassadors are often former professional athletes that gamblers in the state are familiar with.
On a national level, that’s meant striking deals with big names like Shaquille O’Neal and Julian Edelman.
However, WynnBet has used the same strategy on a much more local level in the past.
Again looking at Indiana, the sportsbook signed a deal with former Indianapolis Colts player Robert Mathis last year to help promote the WynnBet brand.
The company set up its own “Touchdown Zone” near Lucas Oil Stadium to help attract tailgaters. Football fans in the area also had a chance to win prizes and meet Colts ambassadors.
A version of that strategy could work better for WynnBet in Ohio than partnerships with the teams themselves. If you can’t sign a deal with a team, then use notable former players to pitch directly to fans.
Regardless of what the company ends up trying with its marketing, Ohio sports betting will be incredibly competitive. With over 20 online sportsbooks making their way to the state, standing out from the crowd will be easier said than done.
WynnBet has proven it is willing to try new things in order to acquire bettors in a new market. With Ohio sports betting less than a month away, the company will need that creativity more than ever heading into 2023.