- Captain Morgan is partnering with gaming site FanDuel on a contest that offers cash rewards to people who make winning picks on professional soccer games, per an announcement. The "Captain Morgan Soccer Pick 'Em" contest will run every Saturday and other days throughout the regular season and postseason of Major League Soccer (MLS) in the U.S. and the new Canadian Premier League.
- Soccer fans 21 and older with a daily fantasy sports (DFS) account on FanDuel can enter the contest by making predictions about the day's games, earning points for their correct picks. Each week, Captain Morgan and FanDuel will split a prize pool of $3,000 among fans with the most accurate predictions, ending with the championship games.
- The Diageo-owned rum also plans to run a "Sub in the Captain" campaign throughout the season to help perk up the gameday routines of soccer fans, playing off the practice of substituting players during games, per the announcement.
Captain Morgan is zeroing in on soccer fans with its contest on FanDuel that offers rewards for predicting the winners of MLS and Canadian Premier League games, which the campaign doesn't mention by name. The COVID-19 pandemic last year forced MLS to suspend its season for a few months, disrupting the marketing plans for brands whose sponsorships include TV advertising and in-stadium activations. Limitations on fan attendance vary by region, but MLS has worked to restore some sense of normalcy with this year's regular season, giving brands like Captain Morgan a platform around which to activate.
The contest comes as daily fantasy sports grow in popularity and are considered separate from sports betting, which is limited to U.S. states that have legalized the activity. About 45.9 million people in the U.S. said they played fantasy sports, according a 2019 survey by the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association. Fifty percent of those players are ages 18 to 34, an appealing range to advertisers. Captain Morgan can engage those consumers with its contest, while FanDuel aims to register more people to its fantasy sports offering.
Captain Morgan's campaign aimed at soccer fans is another sign that sports-related marketing is making a comeback after last year's disruptions to live sports. While the NFL managed to complete its season on schedule, other sports leagues either canceled or delayed their seasons to adjust to the health crisis. Last month's return of the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament, which was canceled in 2020, was significant not only for restoring the traditional sports calendar, but also because it typically draws millions of viewers and heavy sponsorship. Coca-Cola, Buffalo Wild Wings, Avocados From Mexico and Samuel Adams were among the brands that launched campaigns to reach March Madness viewers.