To some, like ABC business reporter David Chau, it was an expensive gamble from a company who’s usually the one setting the odds.
But in at least one way, Sportsbet’s decision to pay out its US election bet early has already paid off.
The decision received widespread media coverage from many of the country’s biggest players, including ABC Online, the nation’s biggest news website where it’s impossible to buy an ad.
Streem analysis shows in online media alone, Sportsbet was mentioned in 114 stories this week related to the US election, and more than half of those came on Thursday, the day of the Biden payout.
This gave them a whopping 86 per cent share of voice against four other bookmakers in US election stories on Thursday.
It’s important to also note how prominently these stories were running. The US election has absolutely dominated this week’s news agenda, with 50 per cent more media items on Wednesday than the Melbourne Cup received on Tuesday.
Looking at 20 of the country’s most popular news websites, Sportsbet managed to get mentions in stories at the top of nine of their homepages. Those 11 stories (The Australian and 9News published two each) spent a combined total of nearly 100 hours in the leading 10 positions on the homepage.
And that is just online. Throw in broadcast and print and that $23 million “gamble” is starting to look more like a considered investment.
Not to mention the huge shareability of content like this. Four different friends had sent it to me by Thursday afternoon, either on social media or via messaging channels.
There’s no doubting $23 million is a lot of money, but being one of the most talked about brands on the biggest day of one of the year’s biggest news stories may well be priceless.
Conal Hanna is the former digital editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and is Streem’s Media and Partnerships Lead.
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