Canadian Open Strong Opportunity For TheScore Bet Connection

Canadian Open Strong Opportunity For TheScore Bet Connection
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The lead marketing executive with theScore Bet, which operates theScore Bet Ontario sportsbook, says the popular “Hole Zero” market activation at this weekend’s RBC Canadian Open at Oakdale Golf & Country Club in Toronto is a good example of how they intend to do things differently in the Ontario market.

And that was even before Nick Taylor’s dramatic, 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole gave him a sudden-death victory over Tommy Fleetwood on Sunday. Taylor became the first Canadian to win the country’s national golf championship in 69 years.

Hole Zero Center of Attention

Up above No. 7 of the Thompson course (Oakdale has three nines), with pros like Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Fleetwood and Canadian Corey Conners playing below, theScore Bet built Hole Zero. There, fans could hit golf balls on an actual 150-yard Par 3 hole. Hole Zero had a clubhouse where you could check into your locker, get a lesson from a golf pro, then tee it up and compete for prizes.

TheScore Bet, one of the Ontario betting apps in the sports wagering market, has an exclusive marketing partnership with Golf Canada.

We spoke with Aubrey Levy, senior vice president, content and marketing, theScore Bet, at Oakdale over the weekend:

Idea For Hole Zero From theScore Bet

Q: Where did the strategy for Hole Zero come from?

A: “The genesis of this was the same as the thought process behind Skyline Seats (last year’s market activation at the RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf & Country Club, where fans got to view the action from 100 feet in the air). In our partnership with Golf Canada so we have the opportunity to lean in and do something interesting, exciting. Our MO as an organization is, how can we empower you as a fan, and bring you closer to your fan experience? Experientially in an activation, how do we bring you closer to the event, game at whatever the location is? Last year we wanted to give you a unique vantage point, which was 100 feet in the air. This was: How do we get you even closer?”

Q: How do you take hundreds of people who took part in Hole Zero this weekend and turn them into theScore Bet Ontario sports betting users?

A: “Not everything we do is intended to be a one-to-one connection from touchpoint to the brand to betting. We have other activations here. We have our members lounge (on the 9th hole) for theScore Bet users. In this case, it starts with being a fan, you’re at the event.

“The position I like to take is: If you have never heard of us as a brand in the market, and this is your first touchpoint with us, then are we doing our job, are we empowering fandom? So there is no direct one-to-one: You play, then you bet. This is an amazing experience to elevate your fandom, brought to you by us as a betting brand. And the hope is we build some brand affinity, that as you think about wagering, we are a top-of-mind brand for you.

“You can only do this by having really great partners and being exclusive with them. Golf is a hugely popular sport, and these events we are partnering with are the marquee events in Canada (theScore Bet also has marketing rights with the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open). If you want to be involved with golf in Canada there’s no better. So it was a pretty easy decision once we started talking to Golf Canada two plus years ago that this was a good opportunity.”

Marketing Strategy for theScore Bet

Q: How do marketing endeavours like this separate you from other operators in Ontario?

A: “I mean, it’s unfortunately in category across North America, there hasn’t a whole lot of creativity. There’s been a lot of marketing blasting, spraying the market (with messaging). There’s been a pretty low bar for what I’ve seen from operators, (in terms of) caring about how they’re showing up. It’s more important that that they show up and do land grab partnerships. 

“That was never going to be our playbook. We were never going to spend the same way those guys do. We were never going to market the way those guys do you, even in a market like Ontario where we do these partnerships. The only way we could justify doing them was if they were more impactful, because we were never going to outspend the competition.”

It will be interesting to see what theScore Bet comes up with at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August – keeping in mind that the event is being held at the Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver, B.C., and not in Ontario.

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(Photo courtesy of Mark Keast)



Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.

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