Defining success for a lottery marketing campaign is a multifaceted endeavor. It is not a monolithic concept, but rather a spectrum of achievements. In the case of Living Lucky with Luke Combs, success is not only defined by sales, but also in its ability to engage players.
Luke Combs is one of country music’s most beloved superstars, so it’s no surprise to see the program driving social engagement and player acquisition. For the South Carolina Education Lottery’s (SCEL) $5 Living Lucky instant ticket, the priority was getting new players. “With properties like Luke Combs and our partnership with the Carolina Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach, we can bring our product to life in a fan-friendly environment. We can use this property as a driver for all our products and new registrations into our Players’ Club app where we can continue to communicate with these new players,” Ammie Smith, Director of Product Development, SCEL, said. “When you look at the success of the whole package, we consider that to be a game that over indexes.”
Similarly, the Arizona Lottery also used the star power of Luke Combs to attract new players. Instead, players could enter any nonwinning tickets into their Players’ Club for a chance to win an exclusive prize package. “The Living Lucky with Luke Combs promotion was the most successful Players’ Club campaign of FY23. The promotion was offered exclusively through our loyalty platform,” Chris Rogers, Deputy Director, Marketing and Products, Arizona Lottery said.
The Holly Jolly Jackpot promotion has historically been Arizona Lottery’s highest-performing promotion. But this year, the number of unique players participating in the Luke Combs promotion exceeded holiday (107,356 versus 106,107), even though the Combs promotion was active for two months compared to three months.
Lotteries garnered significant media coverage, but one of the most unique aspects was how players on social media shared their stories and purchased lottery tickets from various states selling the custom tickets. They enthusiastically shared pictures of tickets they purchased, even sending tickets to fans across the country. “Tickets are being purchased and mailed for souvenirs. I never envisioned the buying behavior of super fans of Luke,” Derek Gwaltney, Founder & CEO, Atlas Experiences, said.
Now, Gwaltney and the Atlas team face the formidable task of launching an equally impressive, follow-up national promotion. The challenge lies not just in replicating the success but also building on the lessons learned from the success of Living Lucky with Luke Combs.
At the core of the Living Lucky promotion was, naturally, Luke Combs, and Gwaltney envisioned the new promotion to capitalize on the reach of an iconic legacy artist. After an extensive search, Martina McBride proved to be the perfect fit. With an illustrious career spanning multiple decades, McBride remains relevant and loved by country fans and lottery players. Lady Luck – Women in Country Music will appeal to core lottery players and non-players as approximately 25% of her fans are 18-30 years old, thereby aiding the lotteries in attracting the elusive group.
One area Atlas wanted to focus on was making the new promotion easier for lotteries to integrate into their promotion and ticket launch calendar. The previous success of the promotion showed lotteries valued flexibility, the ability to promote any game, reward players for loyalty to the lottery or a custom design Living Lucky with Luke Combs instant ticket.
Numerous lotteries have previously or currently print a Lady Luck ticket annually. “Lotteries already have a core game strategy for Lady Luck tickets,” Gwaltney said. “We want to find ways to add value to their current marketing strategies and drive awareness with an amazing experiential trip and chance to win $500,000 from Martina.”
The proven structure of Atlas promotions is the sine qua non of any Atlas Experience’s promotion is, of course, the money-can’t-buy experiential prize. Winners of the Lady Luck – Women in Country Music promotion will receive an unforgettable, three-night experience held in the scenic setting of Dolly Parton’s Dollywood DreamMore Resort. There will be two unforgettable performances, the first highlighting a to-be-named up-and-coming female artist and the second featuring Martina McBride, which will include awarding $500,000 during her performance.
Dolly’s resort and theme park is the perfect backdrop to honor and uplift the presence of female artists in country music. “The concept of Lady Luck – Women in Country Music leverages 70% of McBride’s female fans and followers, an up-and-coming female artist, and finally, the connection to the iconic Dolly Parton…it’s a feel-good strategy and supporting diversity in country music,” Gwaltney said.
Lady Luck transcends being just another promotion. On one hand, lotteries can use star power to engage with fans of all ages, support female musicians, and give away money in a setting ideal for shareable moments. On the other hand, it is a streamlined concept that effortlessly blends into lotteries’ marketing calendars. While Lady Luck aspires to build on the success of its predecessor, it is also paving a distinct path to being a hit.