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Charles Barkley is helping out DraftKings with its rollout of online New Jersey sports betting.
The NBA Hall of Famer and current commentator is appearing in a series of ads promoting DraftKings Sportsbook. The app is only up and running for NJ sports betting; anyone within state borders who is over 21 can bet on the DraftKings app and website.
“I’m excited to be partnering with DraftKings as they introduce their new sportsbook app,” Barkley said via DraftKings’ PR department. Their products and their advertising are great, and I’m happy to be part of their team going forward.”
Barkley was a star for the Philadelphia 76ers; Philly sports fans are one of the demographics DraftKings — or any sports betting operator — will target in NJ. DraftKings is currently the only company with an app taking real money sports wagers in NJ.
The campaign will launch on Monday, Aug. 13, according to DraftKings.
Here are the spots featuring Barkley and a character that DraftKings has used to promote its daily fantasy sports product in the past, Dr. Aftkings.
There is also a minute-long version of the first one here.
The commercials show a bet being placed on the New York Giants; DraftKings will also seek to target NY sports fans in New Jersey.
Don’t expect DraftKings ads to bombard your eyeballs like they did in 2015, at the height of the DFS wars with FanDuel. At one point three years ago, DraftKings was the biggest spender on TV commercials, with one appearing approximately every 90 seconds.
While there are no details about the ad buy, it will likely be targeted to NJ, the only place where you can use DraftKings Sportsbook currently.
DraftKings is not stranger to working with current and former professional players, including the likes of NFL stars like Rob Gronkowski and Marshawn Lynch.
The use of Barkley in the rollout of legal sports wagering is the most high-profile use of a player by DraftKings to date.
Barkley is perhaps not the most famous athlete known for gambling exploits, but they’re certainly not a secret. A few years ago, Barkley did an interview in which he said he lost in excess of a million dollars on more than two dozen occasions.
After the Supreme Court ruling in the spring allowing for sports wagering outside of Nevada, Barkley had this to say:
“First of all, the notion that people don’t gamble on sports is ridiculous and silly. I mean, I love to gamble. The notion that you have to go to Vegas and bet on sports is silly. It should have been legal a long time ago.”