In July 2015, Indiana sent an RFP seeking a public relations firm to publicize and market their State Lottery – wanting more people to take a chance at winning a golden ticket. The official lottery of the state is the Hoosier Lottery raking in over $1 billion in ticket sales for 2014. The total marketing budget for the same time was a mere $18.5 million (estimated).
If your company is interested in doing work with lotteries, here are some of the things others are doing to promote them, and what you want to know from the outset.
Who are the beneficiaries of the funds?
Aside from the winners, that is. Usually, State lottery beneficiaries include their education systems, teachers, students, new buildings, textbooks, etc. Other beneficiaries may include first responders, such as fire departments, police departments, and emergency technicians. Depending on the location of the lottery, these beneficiaries may differ slightly, but you want to know who they are so you can remind the people buying the tickets there are no real losers in this game.
Are there any programs the Lottery Sponsors locally?
As an example, Massachusetts’ lottery has a close connection with the Boston Celtics and works with them to sponsor an annual “Heroes Among Us” program recognizing military and local heroes. The California State Lottery sponsors a “Read and Ride” program at the Ventura County Fair benefiting public schools in that county. It’s a sure bet whatever lottery you’re considering has some programs they sponsor to keep their name and good works in front of the public.
Know the time limits.
Most lottery contracts with firms last a year, but during that year there can be a variety of different lotteries in play – Powerball, scratch-n-sniff, fast play, or others. You may also help develop a new lottery style for the customer. So, before signing a contract, know the timeframes and if you can meet them.
Tips and Tricks.
Kansas’ lottery allows sales of their tickets at special events with gifts for buying groups of tickets. At a music festival, they give a free t-shirt with the lottery info and the festival info screen printed on the shirts. When people buy $10 of tickets from the on-site vendor at the festival they get the free t-shirt. Recently scratch-n-sniff lottery tickets are making their way into the mix, including the Hoosiers Bacon lottery – where the winner gets 20 years of free bacon, estimated to be about 55 lbs. of bacon per year. The more PR and marketing firms allow the public to interact and “come out a winner” – even if it’s just that free t-shirt, the better the public views the lottery system.
You’ll be working with other teams.
You’ll work with licensing firms, especially if the lottery works with other established brands such as sports franchises. Also, there’s likely to be previously established teams by each lottery including internal lottery marketing team, creative agency of record, and media buying and planning agency of record.
PR and marketing firms become guaranteed winners when they are agency of record for a state-sanctioned lottery, and there are more than a few of them to go around
and if you’re looking to work for a State Lottery doing PR and Marketing services…
Hoosier Lottery, the official lottery of the State of Indiana has issued a detailed request for proposal (RFP) for a full-scale interactive partner to provide a range of promotional and marketing services to the lottery, which in 2014 saw sales of $1.019 Billion dollars. Last year, the total marketing budget was estimated at $18.5 Million Dollars.
According to the RFP, the agency must be able to:
“1. Create purchase intent – Assist in publicizing new games and drive understanding and engagement with Lottery products.
2. Enhance overall image of the Lottery – Aid the Lottery in increasing relevance and understanding of the brand, its mission and beneficiaries in each of the 92 counties across the state.
3. Strategic and creative collaboration – Work collaboratively with the internal Lottery marketing team, creative agency of record and media buying and planning agency of record.”
The assignment will include “digital channel messaging strategy and communication plans”, “Participation in the development of research questionnaires and results presentations as well as coordination of research projects as necessary to better understand the player, product or environment”, Ongoing oversight of creative to ensure brand consistency, “ and to “Provide ongoing industry leading recommendations based on evolving technologies and platforms with quarterly presentations of latest trends. This includes, but is not limited to, mobile, web, influencer networks and social.”
There is creative and brand development work required, including to “Contribute to brand Style Guide, as needed, Develop “Where the Money Goes” beneficiary messaging”, and more including online and offline work, recommendations, strategies and execution.
And in what will surely make the chosen PR firm’s job easier, the Hoosier Lottery recently launched a “Bringing Home The Bacon” scented, scratch-off ticket where someone will win a 20-year supply of bacon – and no one has won yet. Its been estimated as about 55.7 pounds of bacon a year — almost half a pig.
Surely, however, most winners would rather get the money. Hoosier Lottery funds support local cops, firemen and teachers. Since the lottery’s founding in 1989, over $9 Billion was paid out to winners– that’s way better than bacon.
The full document can be read here.