BSSP Gets ‘a Bit Gronky’ in DraftKings Relaunch Campaign

By Erik Oster 

With the NFL season on the horizon, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners launched a new campaign for DraftKings, which it won creative duties on last July.

The new campaign launches after two major developments: the hiring of former Arnold Boston managing director Don Lane as SVP of brand and creative and the effective “legalization” of the service in New York and Massachusetts. See it as a way of reintroducing the company to the public.

The campaign is centered around a pair of broadcast spots featuring New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. In the spot starring Gronkowski, a fantasy owner whose DraftKings name is “HolyGronkamole” feels “a bit gronky” and makes a last minute decision to play the Patriots star in his lineup. This results in a big win, much to the chagrin of his buddy “NewEnglandSamChowder” who wonders why there wasn’t a film crew to capture his win the week before. 

The 30-second spot featuring Hopkins takes a similar approach. Both of the broadcast ads showcase the brands’ mission, which Arnold veteran Lane describes as “bring[ing] fans closer to their favorite athletes and teams.” 


In addition to the spots showing the connection between DraftKings players and their favorite players, the brand also recently rolled out a new Leagues feature, which “allows friends to join together to play their favorite contests.” The campaign also includes an emphasis on original content about Gronkowski, Odell Beckham, Ronda Rousey and NBA rookie Brandon Ingram. 

The brand recently hosted its inaugural Fantasy Sports Fest at Gillette Stadium. At the core of the campaign and other recent efforts is a desire on DraftKing’s part to define its brand in a way that differentiates it from competitors, while aligning itself with popular stars like Gronkowski.

Creative: BSSP (Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners)
Chief Creative Officer: John Butler
Creative Directors: Chris Toffoli & Mark Krajan
Senior Copywriter: Luke Zehner
Senior Art Director: Sinan Dagli
Senior Producer: Lori Pisani
Account Supervisor: Liz Levin
Group Account Director: Cristiano Alburitel
Business Manager: Nihad Peavler
Editor: Pete Koob @ Cut + Run San Francisco
Senior Assistant Editor: Christopher Malcolm Kasper @ Cut + Run San Francisco
Director: Noah Marshall
Mix: Joaby Deal / Eben Carr / Matt Zipkin @ One Union
Colorist: Chris Martin, Mission Film & Design
Flame Artist: Mark Everson

DraftKings Team
Creative Director: Scott Salsbury
Senior Marketing Director: Stephanie Sherman
Marketing Manager: Josh Levin-Scherz

Media Buying: Havas Media