As March Madness has arrived, the excitement and anticipation are palpable, not just in the US but also in Ontario, where the iGaming market will experience its first tournament. This presents a significant opportunity for revenue growth and sponsorship opportunities in the region.
According to the American Gaming Association, approximately 68 million American adults plan to wager approximately $15.5 billion on the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (March Madness) this year, with a significant portion of that population placing bets through online sports wagering, retail sportsbooks or with a bookie. This showcases that March Madness has had and continues to have a lot of impact on the regulated iGaming markets in the US.
Ontario’s iGaming market is relatively new, having been regulated in April 2022. However, the market has seen significant growth in the past three quarters, with various well-known iGaming and sports betting merchants launching their platforms in the province and the growth in the player base. The addition of March Madness to the market can be a game-changer, as it will attract a new player base and increase interest in Ontario’s iGaming market.
Super Bowl LVII brought a lot of excitement for players and operators in Canada, with many provinces reporting a possibility of significant revenue growth due to the sporting event. But after the Super Bowl, there weren’t many sporting events for players in Ontario. So with the addition of March Madness, players have a major sporting event to look forward to. And with the addition of many prominent iGaming and sports betting merchants in the province and awareness being created around regulated online gaming, more players will join in, bringing in more revenue for operators.
Apart from revenue growth, March Madness may also present significant sponsorship opportunities for merchants looking to increase their brand awareness in Ontario’s iGaming market. Recently, FanDuel partnered up with football player, Rob Gronkowski, for the “Kick of Destiny,” a live ad during Super Bowl LVII where Gronkowski would have to make a 25-yard field goal. Players would be able to wager if Gronkowski would be able to make the kick or not. The hype created with this Super Bowl ad brought in a lot of attention to the FanDuel platform. The Kick of Destiny is a good example of how operators can utilize sponsorship opportunities to support brand awareness, a useful tool for March Madness.
In conclusion, a regulated Ontario’s first March Madness could be an exciting one for operators and players. Players will benefit from the diverse iGaming and sports betting platform choices. And operators will have a significant opportunity for revenue growth and sponsorship opportunities. And as the iGaming industry continues to grow in Ontario and across Canada, sporting events such as March Madness will continue to support revenue and brand growth.
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