What If Iowa Sportsbook Ads Were Like Political Ads? Here Are 5 Fictional Examples

Posted on January 19, 2021 - Last Updated on January 22, 2021

It seems like Iowans just got through a hotly contested US Senate election, which consumed advertising space on their TVs. Now they are surviving the seemingly constant barrage of Iowa sportsbook advertising.

Because one directly followed the other, we at PlayIA thought; what would it be like if those ads for Iowa sports betting were like political ads. Obviously, it’s a good thing that they aren’t. However, it can be amusing to imagine what if?

5 ‘political-style’ fictional Iowa sportsbook ads

In reality, sportsbook ads focus on deposit bonuses and free bets. Free money is something that all bettors can get behind, no matter which book they prefer. The competition for your sports betting buck can be fierce. However, it’s never gotten ugly.

Political advertisements tend to be about all the bad things that might happen if a candidate is elected rather than the good things the opposition promises to do. For that reason, most of these fictional ads will center around “mud-slinging.” The first of these imaginary ads revolve around the figure at the center of one Iowa sportsbook’s branding.

Where is Betfred?

Betfred has been taking bets in Iowa since last September, but has anyone actually seen him? Why is this foreign sportsbook hiding him away from the public? Where does Betfred stand on the issues? Do we even know for sure that Betfred’s name is really Fred? How do we know he really understands what life is like for everyday Iowans?

The Coalition to Use American Sportsbooks paid for this message.

DraftKings Sportsbook: Iowa sports betting is a democracy, not a monarchy

DraftKings comes in from Boston and has spent a lot of money to run ads and offer promotions in IA. It purports to install itself as the perpetual king of our state’s sports betting market because of its riches. Here in Iowa, we know that the people, not elites on the East Coast, decide which sportsbook will represent them. DraftKings is not our king.

The Partnership for a Free and Fair Sports Betting Marketplace paid for this message.

BetRivers and BetMGM Sportsbooks: Which sportsbook is more eco-friendly?

BetRivers likes to pretend that it’s the sportsbook most friendly to the environment because it has the word “river” in its name. But that’s just not true. The reality is that BetRivers never says which rivers it wants people to bet on.

BetMGM uses one of the most majestic animals in the world, featured in entertainment classics like the beloved Lion King franchise, in its branding. BetRivers has refused to refute allegations of being anti-lion, choosing instead to use a body of water that could drown a lion in its branding.

BetMGM Loves Happy Puppies is responsible for the content of this message.

FanDuel Sportsbook: Promoting social order, not violence

Some have said that the use of the word “duel” in our name means we want bettors to settle their sports debates in unfriendly confrontations. Well, that’s not how we see it at FanDuel. In fact, if you look at the history of duels, it was actually how genteel society settled its disputes in a way that minimized unpleasantry. Instead of dragging a lot of people through drawn-out conflicts, two people would agree to the terms of a resolution and carry it out quickly. We like to think we stand for a better way to settle debates like whether ketchup belongs on hot dogs.

We’re FanDuel, and we approve this message.

Elite Sportsbook: What really makes a sportsbook elite?

Do you want a sportsbook that holds its nose in the air and insists that you hand your ticket over the counter on a perfume-scented lace doily? Or do you want a sportsbook that you can have a beer with? Elite Sportsbook says, “Let them eat cake,” while working-class Iowans struggle to put food on the table. If you want proof of Elite’s haughty opinion of itself, it’s right there in its name.

The Joe the Plumber Sports Bettors Guild paid for the content of this message.

As ridiculous as these parodies may be, the number of Iowa sportsbook ads filling the airwaves is no joke. That’s simply because, with tens of millions of dollars in handle at stake on a monthly basis, these books’ struggle to gain a share of the market is serious.

For bettors in IA, it’s important to remember not to take what should be an entertainment form too seriously. This is a reminder to bet with your head and not over it, and that wagering on sporting events is supposed to be fun.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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