Real money online poker has been a legally viable option for players in New Jersey for nearly a full year, and yet the lack of awareness throughout the state is still considered one of the biggest hindrances for the market. Getting the word out to those who played online poker prior to Black Friday is no problem, but drawing the attention of the general public hasn’t been so easy. With that said, Party Poker NJ is being praised for being the only operator to think ‘outside the box’ when attempting to reach a new customers base.
Party Poker NJ is part of the Garden State’s leading online poker network, Party Borgata; a position that can be attributed to its issuance of the most innovative and resourceful marketing tactics. In January of 2014, just two months after New Jersey’s online poker market went live, Party Poker was already getting in touch with the masses by signing a partnership deal with several major, local sporting brands.
Through these multi-year sponsorships, the internet poker company was able to implement massive advertisement banners and branded kiosks at the home stadiums of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils. The Devils’ home court, the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, also plays host to over 100 other events throughout the year, including concerts, amateur sports and seasonal events like Disney on Ice. Grabbing the attention of sports fans in the New Jersey area was a huge step in the right direction, but the online poker operator didn’t stop there.
In May, Party Poker signed another deal with Barstool Sports, an online journalism website that focuses on the types of stories that today’s young adults – especially males – will find fascinating. For example, Larry King’s late night Twitter ramblings that included every irrational thought to pass through his brain last night (inducement: over medicated, hack attack, hostage situation, who knows?), or this spiffy title, “Leonardo Dicaprio Puts On A Gorilla Mask For Halloween And Travels With A Full Blown [P***y] Parade”.
Party Poker NJ’s sponsorship commitment with Barstool resulted in an exclusive online poker tournament reserved for readers of the magazine. The $20 buy-in event attracted over 100 entrants, signaling ultimate success for the endeavor. Last week, as a follow up to the first rendition’s triumph in May, Barstool Sports announced the “2nd ever Barstool Poker Tournament”.
“Who’s got the nuts? I got the nuts!,” read the snippet on Barstool. Detailing the festivities of the first Barstool Poker tournament at the online poker room, (and before you read on, please do remember it is not a conventionally worded publication, thus the frequent expletive edits…) “Honestly the first one was a ton of fun. Stoolies [Barstool’s readers] just [s**t] talking everywhere.” The write-up then goes on to detail the terms of the new online poker event, paying $2,500 GTD with a $20 buy-in. And after all, “What better [s**t] do you have to do on a Wednesday Night? Watch the World Series and play poker. Yes please.”
Although unconventional, this is exactly what the New Jersey online poker market needs to increase the volume of players on the virtual felt. If more of the state’s operators can extend their ‘outside the box’ marketing tactics to other demographics, perhaps targeting women’s magazines in the future, the rate of growth could be truly impressive.