Lottery's Partnerships With Orioles, Ravens A Win For All
By Tim Richardson
Almost 90 percent of people in Maryland have gambled in their lifetime, according to a 2011 report from the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In the report, the lottery and casino gaming are listed as the most popular forms of gambling.
Approximately 43 states, including Maryland, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, operate lotteries. The Maryland Lottery began operating in 1973, and now offers a multitude of games, including scratch-off tickets.
Two of those scratch-off games are connected to the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens. According to lottery officials, the partnerships with each team have evolved through the years from using the professional sports franchises as an advertising vehicle to promoting the lottery's online games and/or specific scratch-off tickets.
The lottery has a paid advertising and marketing sponsorship with both the Orioles and Ravens. In addition, each team is a licensed retailer of the agency, so they have the ability to earn a commission by selling lottery products at their venues. Lottery officials said tapping into the teams' fan bases provided the potential for reaching a player that may otherwise never buy a lottery ticket.
"Baltimore's major league sports teams are loved by fans throughout the state," said Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery. "Any time we can partner with these franchises to offer our players prizes and experiences that incorporate their love of the game and these teams, it's a win-win for everyone."
Each team has a loyal fan base, which is drawn to almost everything connected to the purple and black and/or black and orange … including the scratch-off tickets. As a result, the lottery's partnerships with both teams have been lucrative for the state, served as significant marketing programs for all three entities and benefited fans via cash prizes and experiential opportunities.
The Strike It Rich promotion between the lottery and the Orioles is mentioned during each TV broadcast of a game. As of April 2, players could start entering non-winning Strike It Rich tickets for a chance to win cash and experiential Orioles prizes.
By entering, players have the opportunity to become the contestant of the game for an Orioles game this season. The lottery selects 162 total winners, one for every regular-season Orioles game. Each contestant automatically wins $500 for being selected for the game, then receives an additional $100 for each strikeout an Orioles pitcher records throughout that particular game.
Maryland Lottery employees also select a monthly experiential prize winner throughout the course of the promotion. Among the six bonus prizes are a catered suite located behind home plate; a one-night stay at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel and tickets for a weekend Orioles home game; a trip for two to see the Orioles play at Fenway Park; and a trip for two to Sarasota, Fla., in March 2013 for an Orioles spring training game. Each of the experiential prizes also includes cash, ranging in value, from the lottery.
"The lottery, a Maryland institution, has been a valuable partner of the Orioles for many years," said Greg Bader, Orioles director of communications. "Over those years, we have always looked for ways in which to provide our customers with unique and memorable experiences, and we always appreciate the creativity that the lottery brings to the table. We are proud to be a part of some of the lottery's most successful campaigns and to have them as an important part of our ballpark and our ballclub."
According to agency officials, there have been more than 115,000 entries in the Strike It Rich second-chance promotion so far this season. The lottery's Orioles promotion in 2011 was the Double Play scratch-off ticket, which generated in excess of $12.2 million in sales.
In 2009, the National Football League approved lotteries and NFL teams working together on co-branded tickets. As a result, the Maryland Lottery created a Ravens Cash Fantasy scratch-off ticket. On June 6, the agency announced that it had renewed its partnership with the Ravens to present the ticket for a fourth consecutive season.
The promotion will offer more than $11 million in instant cash prizes, including five opportunities to win $250,000. The lottery will release the ticket, which features the Ravens' marks and logo, in early August and make it available for purchase at every Baltimore Ravens home game, as well as the more than 4,200 Maryland Lottery retail locations throughout the state.
"The Maryland Lottery is a great partner, and we are very excited to be working with them to launch the Ravens Cash Fantasy IV ticket again this year," said Edward Burchell Jr., Ravens vice president for regional partnerships and sales. "We have an excellent working relationship that, first and foremost, benefits our fans by providing unique, experiential opportunities to them.
"Our partnership is strong because we are able to build, extend and strengthen our two brands together in our market territory. As a result, our fans win. We build our brands and extend our reach to the market together to all Marylanders, and serve the state of Maryland, too. We are excited for the launch of the ticket and start of our season."
As during previous years, the ticket will feature a second-chance promotion, which includes a $1 million cash prize and experiential prizes such as season tickets for life (20 years), tickets for one full season, gameday tickets and away trips with the team. Once the ticket is released, players can visit mdlottery.com/ravens to enter the special code on the ticket to become eligible for the prizes.
Lottery officials said that, in addition to the ticket itself, Ravens Cash Fantasy was one of their biggest initiatives each year and received significant marketing support. The lottery promotes Ravens Cash Fantasy through point of sale and an advertising campaign that consists of television, radio, digital and print media inventory. The lottery develops a micro-site to support the ticket and the second-chance contest, as it does for the Orioles program.
Last season, Ravens Cash Fantasy sales exceeded $16 million, and more than 71,000 players registered online for the second-chance promotion.
In 2011, the lottery generated more than $1.7 billion in sales, breaking a record for the 14th consecutive year. The agency's annual revenues are deposited into the state's general fund and support education, public safety, health and environmental programs.
Last year, the lottery contributed approximately $519 million to the general fund, marking an increase of $8.8 million from 2010 and the second-highest return in the history of the Maryland Lottery. The Maryland Stadium Authority also receives designated proceeds from the lottery's Mega Millions game.
Since its inception, the lottery has generated $12.2 billion in revenue for the state of Maryland.
Issue 175: July 2012