Why Celebs are Used as Brand Ambassadors by Sportsbooks

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Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

Every sports betting company needs to raise their profile: This is a multibillion dollar industry and one where new operators are getting involved on a regular basis. With so much competition in place, all sportsbooks consider every possible way in which they may gain an edge.

Ambassadors play a key role in many industries and the betting sector is no different. Former sportsmen and famous faces from the wider celebrity world are often employed by betting companies but why is this the case?

Not Just a Pretty Face

It may be easy to think that the betting community will be prepared to follow the crowd. Surely, if one of our favourite celebrities is endorsing one product ahead of another, we would be persuaded to do the same. If it’s good enough for them, then isn’t it good enough for us?

There may possibly be an element of truth there but there are more complex reasons for choosing a former sports personality or an A-List actor. High profile celebrities come with their own powerful PR teams who are employed to boost their ratings. As part of the process, that work will benefit the brands that they are attached to.

Sportsbooks can’t afford to sit back and relax: They will need to do their own share of promotional work but they also have the celeb’s in house team to provide help and guidance.

Key Insight

Any celebrity looking to earn some easy extra income from an ambassador role may get a shock if they try to line up with a sportsbook. It’s true that operators will want a recognisable face but betting companies will generally want more effort in return.

Insight and knowledge are two key factors that a celeb can bring to the table. We may all want to speculate on the biggest teams in sport but what’s it like to actually play against them?

This is the type of valuable information that a sporting celebrity can pass on. We’ve seen it with footballers, and it was also at the heart of an ambassador deal signed by American golfer Paige Spiranac.

Spiranac also gave her name to betting promotions while using her active social media account to spread the word. This is likely to be another contractual element of any arrangement that two parties make. Any endorsement of the betting brand will be carried out via Twitter, Facebook and the rest where there is the potential for millions of followers to see it.

While Allen Iverson, an NBA legend, recently threw his weight behind a sportsbook in the US, promoting legal betting on NBA matches, this was undoubtedly a huge boost for the industry, with users seeing a name they could trust enabling them to feel confident.

Lastly, there is the potential to lay personalised experiences and merchandising on the line. Who wouldn’t want a signed shirt from their favorite NBA player or a meet and greet opportunity with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars?

The face and the name are important but celebs are expected to go a little bit further when they sign up to become a sportsbook ambassador.

A Striking Partner

It’s rare for sports personalities to get involved with brand ambassador betting roles while they are still playing but that was the case when Zlatan Ibrahimovic lent his name to a sportsbook in 2018.

For Zlatan himself, he said that he was driven to work with a company that shared his Swedish roots. As for the sportsbook, they knew that their ambassador would work hard at the partnership and not let his famous face take care of business.

The efforts that Zlatan put in ultimately helped to take the brand in question beyond Sweden and out into the wider world. He’s a global phenomenon and anyone who partners in with him can expect to see their profile raised.

Other Names in the Frame

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paige Spiranac are just two examples but there have been many other brand ambassadors from the world of sport and general celebrity. Top soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr have been joined by MMA’s most recognisable face – Mr Notorious himself – Conor McGregor.

Away from the sports arena, Kevin Hart and Jamie Foxx are two notable celebs who have lent their faces to iGaming brands. All of those involved can expect to use their PR team to help drive their associated partners forward.

Win Win or Win Lose?

While taking in the balance between the sportsbook and the celebrity, it’s easy to think that the betting brands come out of the arrangement as clear winners. Celebs need to offer far more input these days, whether it’s in regard to offering tips, providing signed memorabilia or simply turning up for a meet and greet.

But it should be remembered that significant amounts of money change hands in this type of arrangement. In the vast majority of cases, the exact figures in question are not disclosed but it’s certain that some serious numbers are involved.

For the celeb in question, the PR team will handle most of the work so the contract can be classed as a win-win on both sides. The ability to turn up to events, sign a shirt or two and to be photographed is all part of the process for a celeb so it’s easy to see why they are chosen and why they are happy to be associated.



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