DIGITAL MARKETING RFP ISSUED BY NEW YORK STATE GAMING COMMISSION

The New York State Gaming Commission (the “Commission”), operator of the New York Lottery program (the “Lottery”), on behalf of the State of New York (the “State”), is issuing this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) to invite interested Contractors to submit Proposals for the award of a New York Lottery Strategic Digital Marketing Partner contract to support the Commission’s vision, goals and objectives for the Lottery. One (1) five-year contract will be awarded as a result of this RFP. The firm awarded the contract through this RFP process will provide a full range of strategic digital marketing services to the Commission to promote the New York Lottery brand and the sale of Lottery products throughout New York state.

Background:

The Lottery was established in 1967 as a result of constitutional amendment and is administered by the New York State Gaming Commission. The Lottery is operated in accordance with provisions of the New York State Lottery for Education Law (Tax Article 34) and Article 1 of New York State Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law. The Commission’s mission for the Lottery is to raise revenue for education in the State of New York through the administration of lottery games. On February 1, 2013, the New York State Division of the Lottery merged with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board into a single oversight entity named the New York State Gaming Commission. The Commission has overall responsibility for regulation and enforcement of all gaming activity in New York State including horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering, Class III Indian Gaming, commercial gaming, the Lottery, video lottery gaming, and charitable gaming.

Fundamentally, the Lottery is run as an entertainment business. A dedicated team of Commission employees work with business partners and approximately 15,000 licensed sales agents statewide to provide innovative, fun, and entertaining games for Lottery customers. Games include draw games such as Numbers, Mega Millions, and Powerball, as well as approximately 35-50 instant scratch-off games at any given time. By selling its traditional Lottery games through an extensive state-wide sales agent network and by subscriptions over the internet through its website (nylottery.ny.gov), the Commission generated traditional Lottery sales in excess of $7.7 billion in fiscal year 2019-2020. The Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, earning more than $71.48 billion in education support statewide since its founding over 50 years ago. In the fiscal year 2019-2020, the Lottery’s traditional games contributed $2.32 billion to help support education in New York State. The Lottery has expansive digital offerings. Currently the digital landscape is comprised of three different websites (nylottery.ny.govnycollectnwin.com; and nylextendedplay.com) and three mobile applications (“apps”) (NYL Lottery, NY Collect N Win, NYL Extended Play). The Lottery’s native website averages 5 million page views per week and over one million visitors per week. Traffic does increase on properties during events, such as a high jackpot. During these events the websites can see a volume of over one million people at a given time. Integrity is critical to the Lottery and the conduct of second-chance promotions. The Lottery has instituted an Identity (“ID”) Verification system to confirm user age and identity and eliminate the ability to create multiple accounts, thereby ensuring responsible gaming standards are upheld and fairness in the promotions. Cross-promotion of games and driving customer traffic back to sales agents’ retail establishments has become a pillar of the digital program. Through various websites and apps, coupons are distributed. These coupons can be used to incentivize players to physically go to sales agents’ retail establishments where the players are able to complete a purchase or be introduced to new games. Tracking of the coupon distribution against the player data is important. The Successful Bidder awarded a contract through this RFP process will become strategic partners with the Commission to help develop and implement impactful, innovative, and effective digital marketing programs that will drive business and achieve the Commission’s objectives for the Lottery. Due to the far-reaching effects of digital communications, the Successful Bidder awarded this contract will have a vital role in establishing the future of the Lottery’s digital efforts. As such, the Commission’s selection and management of the digital marketing contractor and the digital marketing contractor’s performance are critical in helping to deliver the Lottery’s business and digital goals.

Scope of Work:

The Lottery’s digital marketing program goals are: 

• Advancement of our current digital communications solutions to fit new digital technology needs as the digital landscape evolves

• Innovation 

• Technology-Driven Digital Marketing Solutions

• Digital Player Engagement 

• Customer Traffic Driven to Sales Agents’ Brick and Mortar Retail Establishments

• Lottery Retail Establishment/Lottery Digital Marketing Partnerships

• Agile Operations The Lottery’s digital marketing program operates using a pilot, measure, pivot methodology with a focus on consumer trends, being relevant and evolving.

Metrics, analysis and insights are critical elements to digital marketing program success. Research projects to gain consumer insights and analytics tracking on all digital platforms is ongoing throughout the year. Additionally, reactive and dynamic efforts to market products require priority attention from the Lottery Marketing and Digital Account Management Teams.

1.3 Minimum Qualifications Any Bidder submitting a Proposal in response to this RFP must meet the minimum qualifications listed below. Information demonstrating the qualifications defined below must be incorporated into a Bidder’s response to Part 4, Proposal Response. 

1. The Bidder must have at least one established New York State office, which must be the primary office for staff assigned to the Lottery account.

2. The Bidder, at the time of its submission of a Proposal in response to this RFP, shall have at least ten (10) years of experience with digital program development and digital marketing.

3. The Bidder must have experience with integrated digital marketing campaigns, development, oversight and maintenance of digital solutions to support digital efforts, digital project management and managing multiple vendor partners.

4. Staffing requirements are described in Section 2.3.C and Section 6.9.

A. STRATEGIC BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP – The Successful Bidder shall be a proactive strategic partner to the Commission in the development, evolution and execution of Lottery digital marketing programs, focusing on advancement, innovation, technology-driven solutions, player engagement, and drive to retail efforts. The Successful Bidder shall be committed to the same goals and objectives as the Lottery and shall create and execute programs that deliver on those goals and objectives.

1. Strategic Planning – As part of the monthly strategy fee, the Successful Bidder shall develop objective-driven digital marketing strategies, breakthrough digital experiences and solutions, and produce and implement each project with high-quality production standards and in a cost-efficient manner. At the start of the Contract, the Commission shall conduct a series of no less than six 4-hour strategy sessions with the Successful Bidder to outline Lottery mission, vision, business objectives, digital vision, consumer segments, segment objectives, sales goals, product overview and overall gaming landscape. These strategy sessions shall set the foundation for the Successful Bidder to develop strategic digital marketing plans. With input from the Commission about the Lottery, the Successful Bidder shall develop and present written, measurable, detailed short and long-term strategic digital marketing plans to the Commission no later than six (6) months from Contract execution date. These strategic digital marketing plans must be approved by the Commission in writing to be accepted by the Commission as the Formal Strategic Digital Marketing Plan. The term of the Formal Strategic Digital Marketing Plan shall be determined by the Commission and shall be no longer than the term of the Contract. The Formal Strategic Digital Marketing Plan shall be updated by the Successful Bidder on a quarterly basis, and as Commission-approved projects are added or completed. Updates to the plan shall be agreed to in writing by the Commission. The Commission may require changes to the Formal Strategic Digital Marketing Plan at any time to align with shifts in market or consumer behaviors and expectations, new technologies, unexpected innovations, or other digital communication influences.

2. Fiscal Year Digital Marketing Plan– As part of the monthly strategy fee, the Successful Bidder shall provide to the Commission, no less than 6 months prior to the start of the Lottery’s next fiscal year (April 1 – March 31) each year, a Fiscal Year Digital Marketing Plan that aligns with the Lottery’s fiscal year business plans. (Exhibit A, Year One – Fiscal Year Digital Plan) A Fiscal Year Digital Marketing Plan shall include:

a. Innovative approaches and measurable Key Performance Indicators (“KPIs”) for the Commission’s planned business initiatives for the Lottery, including how approaches will achieve established goals and objectives for the Lottery.

b. A general breakdown of projected expenses for the fiscal year to include proposed efforts in the Fiscal Year Digital Marketing Plan and any proposed projects in the Formal Strategic Digital Marketing Plan that will be billed during the Lottery’s upcoming fiscal year.

c. Opportunities for digital marketing activities that align with the Commission’s business objectives for the Lottery, and any other digital marketing topics specified by the Commission that are not included in Formal Strategic Digital Marketing Plan. 

d. Plans for the life cycle of the digital marketing solution, if applicable. Example: Digital games or digital engagement programs require continuous planning, continuous development, and addition of new features to keep the product interesting for the consumer. 

B. ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT – As part of the monthly account fee, the Successful Bidder shall proactively manage the business partnership by means of a dedicated full-time account management team that shall be responsible for oversight and execution of all elements set forth in this RFP and resulting Contract. The Lottery shall conduct strategy and fiscal year planning sessions with the Successful Bidder as set forth in Sections 2.3.A “Strategic Business Partnership” and 2.3.A.2 “Fiscal Year Digital Marketing Plan”. The Successful Bidder shall participate in on-site and/or remote meetings, at the determination of the Commission, at the Commission’s offices in Schenectady, New York, at a minimum of once weekly to discuss the state of the business, discuss fiscal year and longterm strategic plans, requirements and implementation plans for upcoming initiatives. The Successful Bidder shall not be compensated for direct unbillable expenses, such as travel and other out-ofpocket expenses that are required as a regular course of business. 

Due Date:

3:00 pm EDT March 17, 2021

Address:

New York State Gaming Commission Contracts Office, 4th Floor One Broadway Center Schenectady, NY 12305officer.contracting@gaming.ny.gov

Relevant agencies to consider include Ketchum PR and Shift Communications.

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