Draw game sales were down double-digit in fiscal 2020 for many U.S. lotteries with no huge bloc lotto jackpots. La Fleur’s Magazine surveyed 20+ U.S. lotteries on what special digital promotions and social media events are being rolled out to bolster in-state and national bloc games in the next three months. Digital programs, such as coupons and mobile apps, were high on the list.
For instance, the Texas Lottery launched its first digital coupon through the official Texas Lottery® App on August 1. “This digital coupon, a QR code scanned at retail, allows players to get $6 of Texas Two Step® Quick Picks for $5. The coupon, only available on the app, is being promoted via homepage web banners, app banners, ticket messages, social media channels and subscriber email and text messages. The coupon benefits current app users and will hopefully also encourage additional downloads. We plan to offer a draw game focused digital coupon on the app once per quarter and expand our promotional efforts to support each rollout,” said Robert Tirloni, Products Manager for the Texas Lottery.
The Iowa Lottery launched its Prize Zone in January 2020. It provides a monthly Play It Again promotional portal where players can enjoy promotions 24/7. It also hosted the lottery’s Summer Cash Bash promotion. “The Iowa Lottery will be using more digital events since marketing and promotional events have been cancelled across the state. “The bulk of our efforts will be focused on the Prize Zone, VIP Club initiatives, and the start of our holiday promotion for the upcoming season,” said Teri Wood, VP, Sales & Marketing, Iowa Lottery.
The Kansas Lottery is offering interactive promotions for its PlayOn loyalty app that are designed for PlayOn members to play from the comfort of their homes. “In July, we offered the Spin to Win promotion, in which players could choose to redeem 50 PlayOn points for a chance to spin a virtual prize wheel. The prizes ranged from 0 to 500 PlayOn points. A total of 150,000 spins were offered, and all of them were redeemed within 20 days! This promotion has shown us that our players are wanting to engage with us in a virtual, fun, and interactive way, especially now with the pandemic keeping people closer to home. We reloaded this promotion with 600,000 in mid-August; we’re sure it will have similar success as before!” said Stephen Ortiz, Director of Sales and Marketing, Kansas Lottery.
The Louisiana Lottery Corp. recently launched its Mobile App. “So we are looking at ways we can incorporate promotions utilizing this new and exciting player platform. Our 1st Quarter is traditionally loaded with a good mix of draw game branding and instant game highlights, such as our New Orleans Saints and Holiday tickets. We are looking at some potential social media and/or digital promotions for our draw-style games, but it will be more for early next calendar year. We are not planning any events at this time, while social distancing is still very much a part of our environment,” said Quinn Dossett, VP of Marketing, Louisiana Lottery Corp.
The popularity of players clubs in the U.S. continues to accelerate as lotteries seek new ways to stay engaged with players during the pandemic when physical events are not possible. Typically this is a time when a lottery’s events teams are busy out at state fair circulating among the attendees and running special giveaways and promotions.
“We consistently connect with our players club members through an e-marketing program that keeps them engaged by offering a variety of opportunities to earn coupons and prizes. We have a partnership with the Baltimore Ravens, and Marylanders are eagerly anticipating the start of the football season because the Ravens had such a strong year in 2019. While we can’t replace the in-stadium excitement of a football game, we are developing ideas to create a virtual tailgate party featuring our Ravens scratch-offs,” said Leo Mamorsky, Managing Director, Chief Marketing Officer, Maryland Lottery & Gaming.
The Maine Lottery offers the RewardME Lottery Club, which provides a direct line of communication with players. “We’re working hard to provide strong messaging through the use of our Mobile App and loyalty program along with social media to communicate with players,” said Michael Boardman, Deputy Director, Maine State Lottery.
The Montana Lottery is continuing to provide players second chance drawing opportunities through its Player’s Club which is available across all product lines. “We consistently utilize our social and digital channels to deliver timely game and winner information. Customer service has been a large focus of our efforts during the pandemic and will continue to be a priority moving forward,” said Anne Charpentier, Marketing & Sales Director, Montana Lottery.
The Nebraska Lottery is using digital and limited in-person events this summer. “During the month of July we did a Facebook live event every Thursday at noon, giving players a chance to win Lottery tickets. We will be doing another round of Facebook live events in September. This was one way to interact with our players that we missed at events this summer. We sent an eCoupon to MVP Club members that attended one of the events at our sales trailer last summer (fairs, festivals, etc…) telling them that we missed them this summer and that we hope to see them soon. Our Street Team has started attending events again. It is a limited schedule and they are mainly focusing on outdoor events,” said Jill Marshall, Marketing Manager, Nebraska Lottery.
The Maryland Lottery continues to evaluate opportunities beyond its traditional promotions for its draw games. “We recently completed a promotion for our Pick 3 game and are about to begin promotions for our monitor games, KENO and Racetrax. For the 2020 holiday season, we are preparing a promotion that will include many of our draw games,” said Mamorsky.
The New Hampshire Lottery is ramping up promotions across its product portfolio with social media. Simple ticket giveaways are always popular. “It looks like we are in for a lengthy recovery mode yet we are almost back to our full retail network. We will continue to support our traditional products, be more visible with NH iLottery, expand our Fast Play product array and Sports Betting is front and center!” said Maura McCann, Director of Marketing, New Hampshire Lottery.
The Arkansas Lottery is using contests and giveaways to stay engaged with lottery players. A secondary goal was to support local businesses through lottery-owned content and brand partnerships. “Web and social media outreach and contests have helped us engage with our players and capture content for advertising. We also use those outlets to communicate with current and future Arkansas Lottery scholarship recipients,” said Donna Bragg, Director, Advertising/Marketing, Arkansas Lottery.
The Ohio Lottery became a sponsor of a virtual event as a way to stay engaged with players. “The Ohio State Fair went virtual here in 2020 so we sponsored an Ohio State Fair themed Bingo Game online to engage players and give away prizes! We have also utilized the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to leverage over 1 million MyLottoRewards players to mine data, give away prizes, conduct surveys,” explained Sandy Lesko Sabbath, Deputy Director of Marketing, Ohio Lottery.
The Kentucky Lottery is also supporting its partners through sponsorships of virtual events. “We have not yet taken any of our in-person events virtual so to speak, however many of our co-partners have. In lieu of our minor league baseball team having games this season they allowed us to be a sponsor of their virtual concert series, etc. It’s a creative way to stay top of mind,” said Edie Frakes, VP, Marketing, Kentucky Lottery Corp.
The Delaware Lottery is currently working with its ad agency to develop social promotions for the fall time frame. “We are currently experiencing record sales for our daily games, Play 3 and Play 4. We are hoping to maintain the enthusiasm by using social media,” said Cheryl Couvillion, Drawing, Keno and Sports Lottery Manager, Delaware State Lottery.
The DC Lottery will start running a brand campaign to highlight its winners as well as the agency’s impact on the city. Online sales is also ahead. “The DC Lottery will be launching iLottery in the Fall and we will have promotion and digital experiences to support these efforts,” said Nicole Jordan, Director, Marketing & Communications, DC Lottery.
The Maine Lottery is currently working on a social media event to engage players. “But we’re still in the early planning stages,” said Mickey Boardman, Deputy Director, Maine Lottery. “As part of that event, we’ll continue to promote ways to minimize in store visits while still playing our games.”
The Colorado Lottery is offering a Buy $6 Lotto+/Get $2 Powerball Free at two afternoon events each week for two months. “It’s Happy Hour every Tuesday and Friday at the Colorado Lottery. From Aug. 1-Sept. 30, the Colorado Lottery is hosting a terminal Happy Hour event, where from 3-6 p.m. anyone who purchases $6 in Lotto+ receive a free Powerball ticket worth $2,” said Colorado Lottery Director Tom Seaver.
The Massachusetts Lottery extended its annual summer Season Ticket discount through January 2, 2021. “Since January of 2020, we have been able to offer customers the option of purchasing Season Tickets online, which has proven to be very successful, especially since the onset of the pandemic,” said Edward Farley, Chief Marketing Officer, Massachusetts Lottery.
The Hoosier Lottery will be participating in the Powerball® First Millionaire of the Year promotion. “This 2nd Chance promotion, running August 23 – September 14, will award 30 Hoosier Lottery players with $500 each and an entry into the national promotion for a chance to win $1,000,000 during the Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve telecast. This promotion will be featured in numerous digital channels including web, email, social media, and mobile app, as well as at retail,” said Gary Melliere, Senior Director, Marketing, Hoosier Lottery.
The New Mexico Lottery is participating in the Powerball New Year’s Rockin’ Eve promotion for its second year. “Our entry period is in September, and we plan to promote it with digital ads as well as traditional media. We do not have any social promotions scheduled to support it since social promotions will focus on our new Route 66 Road to $1,000,000! Scratcher in September,” said Wendy Ahlm, Director of Advertising & Marketing, New Mexico Lottery.
The South Dakota Lottery is taking part in Powerball’s New Year’s Rockin Eve promotion. It allows players to enter non-winning Powerball tickets for a chance to become 2021’s first Powerball millionaire. “This is one of the many second chance drawings our Players Club offers with the others centered around scratch tickets. Players can enter any of these second chance drawings through our mobile app or Players Club website. In order to garner more engagement on our social media platforms, we have begun using give-a-ways. We recently launched our first one to bolster our new Instagram account, and our players have been receptive to this,” said Wade LaRoche, Director of Advertising & Public Relations, South Dakota Lottery.
The Wyoming Lottery Corp. is currently supporting the ‘Buy one, Get one free Powerball’ promotion by sharing information about the promotion and providing customer service to its players to ensure they fully understand how the promo works. “Since we’ve not been able to interact with our players in person we have been able to do small giveaways for items like gift cards and swag items to keep up the fun and engagement,” said Robin Medina, Chief Operations Officer, Wyoming Lottery.