State lotteries can provide valuable marketing support through property-themed instant-win tickets.
Although their budgets may have taken a hit over the past several years, state lotteries continue to expand their sponsorship portfolios.
Indeed, much of the category’s recent activity has been with the NFL following the league’s decision in 2009 to loosen restrictions on team deals. But lotteries are increasingly aligning with other types of properties as well.
Case in point: The Pennsylvania Lottery this year has inked new partnerships with the Wawa Welcome America 4th of July celebration in Philadelphia and the AFL Philadelphia Soul and Pittsburgh Power. The ties add to existing deals with pro sports teams, collegiate teams and community events.
The deals follow a slew of new ties between lotteries and NFL teams over the past two years. Those include the Missouri Lottery and the St. Louis Rams; the California State Lottery and the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers; and the Florida Lottery and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Lotteries largely use sponsorship to accomplish three main objectives: gain platforms to develop instant-win tickets, engage new audiences and access on-site sales rights.
The California Lottery activates the Oakland Raiders and other sponsored teams by creating team-themed scratch-off tickets.
“The NFL has a very passionate fan base. Sponsorship gives us an opportunity to tap into that passion and reach new audiences,” said Alex Traverso, the lottery’s assistant deputy director of corporate communications.
The lottery pays each team $450,000 and 1 percent of ticket sales, he said.
The California Lottery also uses sponsorship to access season tickets and other inventory that can be used in second-chance drawings.
For example, the lottery’s San Francisco 49ers ticket dangled season tickets, autographed merchandise, a trip to an away game and other prizes as part of a second-chance drawing. Consumers entered the drawing at www.Calottery.com/Replay.
Other lotteries leverage pro sports teams to access promotional platforms for second-chance offerings. The Ohio Lottery in May rolled out Boot for Loot, a second-chance drawing promotion around its sponsorship of the MLS Columbus Crew. The promotion dangles the chance to win $10,000 by kicking a field goal at the team’s Sept. 10 home game.
“The lottery category has turned from branding to activation over the last ten yeas,” said Chris Previte, the Crew’s vice president of corporate partnerships.
Property-themed lottery tickets aren’t limited to pro sports teams. The Kansas Lottery this year leveraged its sponsorship of the Wichita Riverfest with the Riverfest Riches! instant-win ticket.
In addition to the ticket’s $25,000 grand prize, the lottery offered a $40,000 second-chance prize to play up Riverfest’s 40th anniversary. The lottery held the drawing at the event on June 11, the last of day of the festival, said Meg Bieberle, advertising coordinator with the Kansas Lottery.
The Riverfest Riches! ticket also dangled a free admission pin as a secondary instant-win prize, said Bieberle, adding that winners could redeem the ticket at the lottery’s on-site trailer for the actual pin.
Partnerships with state lotteries can provide valuable exposure for pro sports teams and other types of rightsholders.
For example, the St. Louis Rams attributes a scratch-off ticket launched last year to building exposure in non-traditional marketing channels.
“The ticket gave us exposure at retail outlets where we didn’t have a presence. It helped start a conversation about our brand,” said Bob Reif, the Rams’ executive vice president of sales and marketing and chief marketing officer.
The ticket’s second-chance drawing also has helped the team gain fans, he added. The Rams last year converted two non-fans into fans after they won a trip to fly with the team to Seattle for the last game of the season.
“We had an opportunity to convert them into fans, and now they’re season-ticket holders.”