FanDuel Super Bowl Commercial ‘Kick of Destiny’ a Success Despite Criticism

FanDuel’s Super Bowl commercial that aired during the third quarter of last Sunday’s big game caused a stir on social media for being heavily produced and possibly not as advertised. But the 30-second “live” spot was apparently a riveting success, market observers say.

FanDuel Super Bowl commercial Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski attempts a field goal live during a FanDuel Super Bowl commercial on Feb. 12, 2023. Gronk’s kick missed left, but FanDuel said it would still award bettors a share of $10 million. (Image: FanDuel)

GeoComply is the leading geolocation technology provider for the legal sports betting industry in the US. The tech firm pinpoints the physical location of an online sportsbook user before allowing them to place a wager.

If GeoComply determines the person isn’t where they say they are and are instead in a location where the sportsbook isn’t permitted to operate, the company blocks the user’s access.

GeoComply monitored betting activity throughout the Super Bowl LVII weekend and during the Kansas City Chiefs’ 38-35 upset of the Philadelphia Eagles. GeoComply told today that despite much criticism of the FanDuel spot starring former tight end Rob Gronkowski, the commercial resulted in FanDuel seeing a flurry of new account registrations.

Prior to the game, FanDuel advertised that Gronk would be attempting a “Kick of Destiny,” a 25-yard field goal “live” from a remote location during the Super Bowl. If the kick was good, FanDuel pledged to hand out $10 million in free wagering credits to its active customers.

FanDuel Dominates Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is annually the most bet single game in the US. The NFL championship is the most important day of the year for sportsbooks, but also for the advertising industry.

DraftKings and FanDuel both sought to use the Super Bowl as a marketing tool to sign up new customers. But GeoComply won the battle against its longtime rival, which dates back to their daily fantasy sports days.

GeoComply said before the FanDuel commercial, DraftKings and FanDuel were splitting the new online sportsbook registrations. But after Gronk’s “Kick of Destiny,” FanDuel’s market share of new account creations across all regulated US states neared 70%.

Gronk’s kick missed wide left, prompting some to call it the “Shank of Infamy.” But FanDuel said it would still be paying out the $10 million in free bets.

FanDuel’s Super Bowl ‘Shank of Infamy’ … actually drove 70% of all new sign-ups to FanDuel nationally for an extended period after it aired,” said GeoComply Co-Founder David Briggs. “Obviously with an $8 million budget for the spot on Fox (plus the production costs), expectations were here but even still, the team behind the campaign must be pretty pleased.”

FanDuel bettors reported receiving a $20 free credit for participating in the marketing stunt. Any FanDuel bettor who had risked at least $5 on the platform from when the commercial was announced on Jan. 9 until the Super Bowl qualified for a sliver of the prize pool.

Fans Perplexed

The FanDuel Super Bowl commercial might have accomplished what the sportsbook set out to achieve — lure in new bettors — but its social media followers said the questionable kick and advertising spot weren’t good.

The commercial that aired during the Super Bowl seemed to show that Gronk’s kick went through the uprights. But on its social media channels, a different angle showed that the kick missed to the left.

Many of FanDuel’s Twitter followers panned the spot, and questioned if it was even live. Responding to the criticism, Gronkowski appeared on “Up & Adams,” a social media show on FanDuel TV.

I really kicked it,” Gronkowski answered host Kay Adams when asked if he actually kicked the field goal and whether the whole thing was fake. “The commercial was 100% live.”

Gronk said there was a five-second television delay, but the event was otherwise live.

“I had one attempt, it was a 30-second spot,” he continued. “It was one of the coolest creatives of all time.”

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