Play+: Play+ NCAA Basketball Playoffs Promotion


Campaign Summary

Play+ created a mobile basketball game to engage bettors during the NCAA basketball tournament and compel them to fund their bettor accounts.



Play+ had two objectives for its Play+ NCAA Basketball Playoffs promotion. One was to increase the number of Play+ customers placing bets, and the other was to increase the overall amount of wagers placed by its customers during the NCAA basketball tournament.

Target Audience:

Play+ had a narrowly-defined audience for this effort. The promotion was only delivered to existing Play+ account holders who were likely sports bettors at 47 partner casinos and sports book and had wagering activity associated with major sports events in the past year.

Creative Strategy:

This effort was a re-engagement campaign designed to inspire current customers to fund and use their Play+ account to gamble during the NCAA basketball finals. Play+ chose email as the most efficient way to reach this finite audience. Based on prior email metrics, the company expected most of its customers to receive and engage with the email on a mobile device.

Play+ knew from prior promotions that a bettor audience would engage with a game-driven strategy, prompting the company to develop a hoop-shooting mobile game.


This was the first large-scale sports betting audience promotion Play+ ever did. Most of its prior learnings were with more general audiences, so there was a certain amount of educated guessing that informed the campaign.


Overall Campaign Execution:

This direct email approach allowed Play+ to deliver relevant and targeted communication to an audience on the go. The goal was to make entering the contest a seamless mobile experience.

Play+ built this effort with the mobile customer in mind, from its email design to the interactivity of the game. The entire production budget went to the mobile experience. An additional $8,000 in prize money was an out-of-pocket cost for rewarding 16 contest winners with a $500 bonus credited to their Play+ accounts.

Mobile Execution:

The campaign was executed entirely on mobile. Play+ even selected casino and sportsbook partners who offered the best, quickest funding interfaces for mobile customers to make the entire email receipt, game, and funding process simple and easy.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The use of Play+ was sporadic, especially among sports betting customers, with a tendency for use to drop at the end of one sports season causing many accounts to become dormant. This effort was designed to reverse this trend by creating greater engagement and funding at the end of the season.

The campaign was a success, with over 5,200 customers entering the contest by playing the game and subsequently funding their Play+ accounts. As a result, customer deposits for Play+ at participating operators from March 18 through April 5 surged to $78,645,462.53. The results for this effort also helped inform best practices for future mobile engagement and promotions strategies for sports bettors.

With a relatively complicated two-step promotion that required a financial outlay, Play+ saw more than 0.8 percent of all potential recipients of the email completed the steps to enter the contest.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Consumer Promotions | Awards: NA Silver Winner