North Carolina Education Lottery Sends $30 Million Account to Wunderman Thompson, Spurrier Group

By Erik Oster 

North Carolina Education Lottery selected WPP’s Wunderman Thompson as its creative agency of record and Spurrier Group, a Richmond-based women-owned consumer engagement agency known for performance-based paid media, as its media agency of record, following a review.

“As with all sales organizations, advertising plays a crucial role in success, especially with the challenge of bringing new games and promotions to the marketplace each month,” North Carolina Education Lottery executive director Mark Michalko said in a statement. “The lottery believes it has found a partnership with Wunderman Thompson and the Spurrier Group that will ensure our ability to continue growing support for education in North Carolina. We’re excited about the creative talent and media expertise our new partners bring to our mission.”

Wunderman Thompson Atlanta will handle creative, advertising and marketing communications services, following a pitch in which the agency was supported by Wunderman Thompson Chicago, Dallas-based Wunderman Thompson Data Management and the Atlanta office of Burson, Cohn & Wolfe. Spurrier Group will be responsible for media buying and planning.

North Carolina Education Lottery spent nearly $25 million on advertising and an additional $5 million on marketing for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2018, according to publicly available information. The contract with its new agency partners runs for three years and began in July.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the folks at the Education Lottery. Any group that contributes so much to furthering the education of its students, all while giving lottery players a chance to dream big, is something we can all stand behind,” Wunderman Thompson Atlanta executive creative director Jeremy Jones said. “I’m ecstatic about the collective team we’ve put together to inspire growth and make this happen; truly the best version of what this company has to offer when it comes to creative, data and technology coming together as one integrated offering.”

“The team at Spurrier Group is ecstatic about the opportunity to work with the North Carolina Education Lottery! We have decades of experience in the category and are anxious to put our performance media approach into play for the wonderful team at the NCEL,” added Spurrier Group founder and CEO Donna Spurrier.

Wunderman Thompson’s first work for the North Carolina Education Lottery is expected some time next month.

One of the youngest lottery systems in the country, the North Carolina Education Lottery was established in 2005. It generated $2.6 billion in sales for the 2017-fiscal year, with 25.7% going to educational programs.