“The Reign Maker”
Doesn’t that roll right off the tongue? Reign. Maker. I want that two-letter phrase to soon enter the American lexicon.
And here’s exactly how: a brand-new physical product tailor-made for DraftKings and its eccentric brand. A product that checks all the proverbial boxes you want out of a word-of-mouth-marketing sensation — fun, on-brand, and yes, a super catchy name. A product DraftKings can seed and sell themselves (more on this later).
But first, you might be thinking, “what the hecks the Reign Maker anyway?” Welp, it’s a “money gun” that’s branded entirely around DraftKings.
You may have seen money guns elsewhere (also referred to as cash cannons). This accessory serves no real purpose aside from spewing fake dollar bills out in glorious fashion — “making it rain” per se. Money guns are already a staple of bachelor/bachelorette parties, were forever immortalized by Supreme, and are just flat-out fun to shoot in the air to no end.
Money guns also make a ton of sense for the DraftKings brand and its betting consumer. It’s a perfect pairing, matter of fact. Think about it, wouldn’t every bettor want to celebrate their big-money win by firing off the aptly-named Reign Maker in dramatic fashion? I’m convinced they absolutely would.
Reign Maker Prototype
My conviction for the Reign Maker is so strong that I’ve already co-created a prototype for it. With the help of my brilliant graphic designer, we’ve whipped up the following product sketches:
Alright, the money gun’s design is pretty self-explanatory. DK’s branding is in full force with its “Make It Reign” slogan, which of course, ties up nicely to the Reign Maker product name. The phrase is also spelled out in graffiti-like typography that DK has been know to use when using the word “reign” in its marketing efforts. If a grown human-being shooting dolla dolla bills from a makeshift gun wasn’t attention-grabbing enough to onlookers, then the cannon’s heavy use of green, orange, and black should do the trick.
Now, on to the actual “money” being shot from the gun itself. These fake bills will too be likened after DraftKings, just like this:
Where do we start on this one? Perhaps with the tongue-in-cheek “in degens we trust” mantra adorning the back of the bill? How about the “DK2012” serial number as a nod to the brand’s founding year? Or maybe the legal tender phrasing?
Alright, that’s the Reign Maker proof of concept, but the next step is actually creating the product. Yes, you read that correctly — I’m bringing this vision to reality in the very near future with a full-functioning gun. More to come here…
Purpose & Inspo
I’d be remiss to not touch on how the Reign Maker could aid DraftKings. This product is 100-percent a brand play — and one that I believe can be a real market differentiator.
As a nerdy marketer myself, one of the most exciting aspects of DraftKings and the rise of the online betting space as a whole is brand scalability. Traditional casinos have long been regionalized and that’s something I’ve seen first-hand after living in three separate cities in Nevada, the one-time mecca for gambling. For the first time in industry history, betting operators like DraftKings will have true country-wide reach.
Speaking of which, right after operator technology and customer service, branding will be the biggest difference-maker in the crowded marketplace that is online betting. DraftKings must do several things to create its own lane in the eyes of bettors — far and away from the likes of FanDuel, Barstool Sportsbook, MGM, and PointsBet. The ReignMaker is just one of those branding tactics.
I believe there’s a real viral factor to a product like the Reign Maker. Bettors want to share their passion online and posting an image of their betting ticket — humble brag much? — just doesn’t cut it. Firing wads of money via a gun to celebrate a win, on the other hand, that’s definitely an “Instagramable” moment that can spread from user to user.
Furthermore, a real-world product such as Reign Maker can create unbreakable brand loyalty with DraftKings and its consumers. As a digital-based property like DraftKings, connecting with a user through a physical experience can strengthen an existing relationship big time. It also helps that the Reign Maker isn’t a one-and-done type thing either. Believe me, once you unload an entire clip of fake bills, you’ll want to do it again and again.
When coming up with the Reign Maker concept, I actually borrowed heavily from the Tesla playbook for marketing. I’ll go right ahead and say it, I’m a card-carrying member of the Tesla fan boy club. Why, though? Welp beyond its King of Mars CEO (my hero), the brand just knows how to give its fan base second-to-none experiences. That’s translated in the “easter eggs” featured throughout its fleet of cars and by the one-off accessories it sells.
Accessories like a flamethrower (unironically dubbed Not A Flamethrower), branded tequila, and red-colored short shorts (as a dig to the short seller of its stock). Each of those products, and the unforgettable experiences of using them, just have a unique way of bridging a brand with its users — which is the exact goal of the ReignMaker.
We need to spend a moment going over the go-live strategy for the Reign Maker. Simply pushing it out on the DraftKings Shop site isn’t enough. No, we got to build real hype before a customer ever has a chance to purchase.
Take it from someone who spends copious amounts of time, energy, and money chasing limited-edition sneakers and pieces of clothing — society likes to call people like me “hype beasts” but I prefer the term “debt-wallowing fashion enthusiast” — hype is a game-changer when pushing physical products. And what drives hype? Welp, two things mainly, a prominent product co-signer (e.g. Travis Scott or Virgil Abloh) and scarcity. We’ll be leveraging both those hype-driving mechanisms when rolling out the Reign Maker.
First things first, the Reign Maker needs to be seeded out to influencers within the betting industry as part of a “care package” from DraftKings. Each of these packages will be numbered. Say it’s seeded to Twitter personality and human punching bag Darren Rovell. His package can say “12 of 35” to denote its limited supply. Of course, the intent here is for influencers to post about the Reign Maker, which builds product awareness and fires up the hype machine.
Next, DraftKings must slowly tease the Reign Maker on its own marketing channels before announcing the launch date of the product. This announcement must be made ahead of time, thus creating anticipation and you guessed it, more hype for its eventual release on DraftKings Shop. Once the go-live does arrive, supplies for the Reign Maker should be numbered. Doing so will super-charge the supply-and-demand model, for better or worse.
We can always re-release the Reign Maker in spurts afterward to not leave out any DraftKings players from getting in on the money-shooting fun. But at least off the bat, the product needs to be in short supply. For whatever reason, us human beings have a real knack for wanting things we can’t get our hands on. Before you call me the Grinch, I just need to say that I don’t make the rules that govern human nature, I just play by them.
And that, folks, is the Reign Maker in a nutshell. While not any and everything about it is fleshed out, I think the point has been made — this one-of-a-kind product makes a whole lot of sense for DraftKings, its brand, and its consumer.