Even if you're not a fantasy sports fan, you've probably heard of DraftKings and FanDuel. They've been hard to avoid the last few months as their advertising efforts have rivaled Machine Zone in the mobile space, not to mention the fact that they sponsor most sporting events and large television spots. But they've recently found themselves in some legal trouble. Nevada first ruled in October that their business was a form of unregulated gambling, rather than a fantasy sport, and banned the services from operating in the state. This month, the New York attorney general ordered the two companies to stop accepting bets from the state's residents.
In this Ad Intelligence study, we took a look at what happened to their aggressive advertising campaigns in light of these legal roadblocks.
Ad Intelligence allows you to track the advertising trends of any mobile advertiser across more than 20 U.S. ad networks. In the graph below, you can see the immediate halt in spending across every ad channel for FanDuel:
The Nevada ruling was on October 15. In the above graph you can see that, two days after the ban, all of their mobile campaigns were put on immediate pause. The break in advertising has greatly affected their rate of acquisition. Below you can see FanDuel's App Store ranking since October 1 on a steady decline:
The trends for DraftKings mirror that of FanDuel, with one exception. We still found a campaign running on one ad network for DraftKings, but this may be a legacy campaign finishing its run.
This brief study illustrates an App Store phenomenon that we see quite often—one in which a publisher relies heavily on paid user acquisition to drive its growth. When the paid channel is suspended, their organic discovery suffers and their acquisition rates drop substantially. We will continue to monitor these two App Store publishers as the litigation they're involved in progresses.
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