Charles Barkley to be the New Face of DraftKings Sportsbook Ad Campaign

The Round Mound of Rebound and entertaining commentator on Inside the NBA has become the new spokesperson for DraftKings national ad campaign. In addition to advertisements, Barkley has also helped with a series of videos “Barkley Knows Bets,” which released on August 13th. 

It’s a big move for DraftKings who get one of the most popular sports personality voices on television. Emory Marketing professor Mike Lewis believes DraftKings receives two main benefits.

“First, [DraftKings] gets some publicity benefits.  Barkley is a major sports personality that the media loves to cover.  It’s almost like a stadium naming deal in that it generates massive sports press coverage,” Lewis explained through an email. “Second, there is likely a brand benefit.  Sports fans perceive Charles as cool, irreverent and smart.  The draft king brand likely gets “some” of this cool by association.”

These are the kind of partnerships allowed by the Supreme Court decision last April. Betting is still the massive business it was before but now is being pushed out through mainstream channels. 

For Barkley he is able to align himself with DraftKings who appears poised to be a major player in the new US sports betting landscape. Barkley has been appearing on more advertisements recently, a move that may in part come from him sharing the Inside the NBA desk with Shaq, a notorious brand spokesman. 

[In addition to the payday], I also suspect that Barkley is trying to follow the Shaq business model,” Lewis wrote. “Shaq has created a business empire through being an interesting pitchman. My guess is that the plan is use these types of partnerships to also build the Barkley brand. Both these guys are verbally adept and have charisma so it’s a natural way to build their brands.”

Expect to see more mainstream crossover from large sportsbooks with retired household athletes. In addition to “Good News, Bad News” above, DraftKings has also released “Something’s Wrong.” If you are a new bettor who wants to get the basics for sports gambling, who better to provide the lesson than Barkley. The full series of “Barkley Knows Bets,” can be found here