“Do you want to bet on that? »
Simple words. A question for some, a challenge for others. But for me, it was a phrase uttered out of frustration when I was 13. Little did I know this would trigger my love of sports betting.
My passion started with a simple bet between me and my gym teacher while living in central Indiana. My beloved Kentucky Wildcats were playing this weekend against his alma mater, the Indiana Hoosiers. I loved my ‘Cats, and I told everyone about it. This was in the wake of Rick Pitino leading the Wildcats to the national title the previous season.
Well, my gym teacher was sick of me telling him how badly Indiana was going to lose and how Kentucky was going to ask him “Hoosier dad?” Saturday afternoon. So the gauntlet fell. If the Wildcats lost, I had to do extra laps the following Monday while my classmates played basketball. If they won, I would have an extra slice of pizza for lunch that day. (Yeah, our college had Pizza Hut, it was awesome).
I was all over this bet; until he explained that they had to “cover the number”. I had no idea what that meant. This is the day I discovered how point spreads work. That said, I was still cocky and gladly took the gamble.
I don’t remember the spread, but Kentucky won by 34. I loved this pizza.
More importantly, I enjoyed the feeling of betting on a team and winning. I also appreciated how different it was to watch a game with something at stake. Not just pride or bragging rights, but actually having something tangible that I would win or lose depending on the how a sporting event unfolded. It was a fun ride, one I enjoyed even more after college as I began to understand some of the complex math and data you have to analyze if you want to at least break even in the long run. .
I never got hooked on it, but I can see how this rush could cause others to get completely sucked in with no way out. That’s one of the reasons I’m a big proponent of responsible gambling laws and making sure minors aren’t targeted. That said, I know that like any other vice, as soon as it’s legalized, all bets are off (no pun intended). And with sports betting, the target audience is getting younger every day.
The Washington Post — the journalism entity that covers politics and the like — decided it was time to hunt that demographic last week. Forget to dip in a toe, the Job jumped off the high dive as they threw Odds against. The press release said it would be a sports betting series that would provide “predictive analysis, accessible advice and nuanced reporting on the sports betting industry as a whole” as legalized betting gets are taking root more and more in the sports landscape. More importantly, sportswriter Matthew Vita went on to say, “Readers, especially young readers, are looking for coverage that will help them better understand sports betting and help them bet smarter.”
With overdue and canceled newspaper subscriptions, I can see why The post office would launch such a vertical. Since there is no connection to a sports betting sponsor, I don’t even really see an ethical dilemma with it. That doesn’t make it any less weird, though. Give them credit for thinking outside the box in attracting a younger generation, which is something many players in the media industry are currently struggling with.
That’s a big reason why I think Jake Paul’s Betr has a great chance of succeeding. Paul and co-founder Joey Levy understand that the average sports bettor is getting younger every day, and Paul’s social media reach will be key to breaking into this demographic in a way that FanDuel, DraftKings and other books might not. be able to reproduce organically. .
In their press release, Paul said, “Micro betting is the TikTok ficiation of sports betting and I’m excited to bring it to the masses through Betr.” He will, with over 50 million followers across all social media platforms. The app launched last week as a free service to get started, and they’re giving away a branded Jeep Wrangler to someone who accurately predicts whether Thursday night’s NFL Home Opener will see a run or pass. the first game.
This is the future of sports betting and sports betting media: a world where older people try to figure out how to appeal to younger audiences, without going overboard. The ethical line will be followed, as is the case with cigarettes and alcohol, in the hopes of attracting customers and establishing brand loyalty from the outset. That’s why you see companies moving content from radio and TV to Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter. This is the reason why what used to be one hour shows are now two minute clips. Anything longer than that, and you’ve lost the audience’s interest.
If your goal is to attract listeners or viewers for your content, sports betting is proven to be a great way to do that. One in five American adults enjoy betting on sports right now, and that number will only grow as states like California and Florida join them. There’s no denying that some ethical questions will be raised, and it’s up to each individual to determine what they’re comfortable with.
That said, it should not be overlooked that companies and resorts need to make up their minds quickly. While a company is deciding if it wants to promote sports betting content to its young customers, its competitor is already deciding how it wants to implement the strategy it has laid out. The Washington Post won’t be the first journalistic entity to enter the conversation, and while they’ve indicated there’s no longer a gray area regarding the topic, it’s hard to see why that should stop anyone from thinking. ‘other.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to run. I don’t know why, but suddenly I want pizza.