Daily-fantasy-sports website DraftKings is no stranger to spending money.
From August 1st through mid-September, DraftKings spent $81 million on 22,000 ad spots, making it the biggest advertiser on television for a week in September, according toThe Wall Street Journal. In one week alone, DraftKings spent $20 million on ads airing 5,800 times.
It appears that DraftKings is also spending some money – albeit significantly less than $81 million – on an interesting marketing campaign featuring the controversial “King of Instagram,” Dan Bilzerian.
Bilzerian earned his nickname on Instagram after sharing hundreds of photos of his seemingly lavish lifestyle.
Underneath an Instagram picture of Bilzerian surrounded by models, he wrote: “So I guess Draft Kings [sic] figured they hadn’t spent enough money running commercials so they gave me 250k to spend on a 3 day Cabo trip hosted by a bunch of models, I usually spend 150k for 4-5 days, so it will be a bit of a challenge to spend it, but I’m sure I can find a way.”
We reached out to DraftKings specifically to ask about the amount of money in question, but DraftKings’ websitedoes boast a VIP trip to Cabo featuring Bilzerian. In order to win the VIP trip, according to DraftKings, you’d have to beat Bilzerian’s fantasy draft roster this weekend and finish in the top 10.
Though there’s no monetary prize attached to the contest on the website, DraftKings says winners will get to fly in a private jet to Cabo, hang out with the King of Instagram himself, and stay in a “beachside mansion” for a weekend.
Spending so much money on advertising, promotions, and marketing does seem, from a business perspective, a bit crazy, but it may work out if DraftKings can acquire a ton of new customers.
Indeed, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told The Journal that the advertising is working for the website – the company has added “hundreds of thousands of new users per day, growing from 3 million users to 4.5 million users” since the week before the NFL season started.
DraftKings, a $1.2 billion, Boston-based startup, has raised $375 million in venture capital funding from investors like MLB’s venture arm, Melo7 Tech partners, the NHL, and Redpoint Ventures.
The startup is also mired in controversy: Earlier this month,The New York Times reportedthat a DraftKings employee admitted to “inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games.” That same week, the employee won $350,000 at FanDuel, DraftKings’ biggest competitor in the daily-fantasy-sports business.