Kevin Hart, Charles Barkley Most Recognizable Brand Ambassadors For Maryland Sportsbooks

Written By Dan Holmes on June 5, 2023
Sportsbook brand ambassadors

You don’t have to wait until the Super Bowl to watch commercials, they run every day. Some would say sportsbook commercials are blanketing the states where sports betting apps are popping up.

As a result, spokespeople are on our screens imploring us to find the best Maryland sports betting promos.

The best sportsbook commercials and ad campaigns combine an appeal to Joe or Jane Fan with a sprinkle of the magic from celebrities. In Maryland, we’re seeing many superstar actors, comedians, and former athletes in sports betting commercials for mobile apps.

Which Maryland sportsbook has the most recognizable brand ambassador? We consulted Google and its search engine data to find the answer.

Most search traffic for sports betting ambassadors

  1. Kevin Hart
  2. Charles Barkley
  3. Peyton Manning
  4. Jamie Foxx

This data comes from Google, for the period of March 1 through May 31, 2023.

The rankings here do not represent the actual popularity, goodness, or overall physical strength of these people. Heck, it doesn’t even account for searches only related to sports betting, which is probably why comedian Hart ranks so far ahead. He’s touring, making movies, and appearing on talk shows and commercials. Kevin Hart is pint-sized but a huge presence in American culture.

List of Brand Ambassadors by Sportsbook in Maryland


Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, JB Smoove, Vince Vaughn

Standup comedian, actor, and former Saturday Night Live writer JB Smoove is the primary face of Caesar Sportsbook, portraying the Julius Caesar in commercials for the brand. But Caesars has not one, not two, not three, but four Manning’s in the fold too: former NFL quarterbacks Peyton, Eli, and Archie, as well as brother Cooper. Last October, they added actor Vince Vaughn to the roster of celebs.

Google Trends rating: Peyton Manning (12), JB Smoove (10), Eli Manning (9), Vince Vaughn (7)

Google Trends factors search data with interest over a span of time. In this case we’ve narrowed the data to searched performed in Maryland over the last 90 days.


Jamie Foxx, Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Garnett, Barry Sanders, Connor McDavid

At BetMGM they love to have former superstar athletes hawk their product. We’re talking some real GOAT representation here, with The Great One (Gretzky), Sanders, and Garnett. Add in current NHL megastar McDavid, and you have an impressive roster of MVPs and Hall of Famers.

But the biggest and most famous face of BetMGM’s sports betting brand is Foxx, who has won an Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe Award for his performances on the big screen. But even on the little (handheld) screen of a cell phone, Foxx stands out in the many entertaining BetMGM commercials.

Google Trends rating: Jamie Foxx (11), all others (1)


Charles Barkley, Rob Gronkowksi, Jordan Spieth

One of the two largest sportsbooks in North America, based on total handle, FanDuel keeps it surprisingly low key with its brand ambassador and media partner program. The focus here is on athletes, clearly. Seeing as how Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson do not have a betting sponsorship deal (yet), Spieth is arguably the most famous golfer to lend his name and image to a sports betting app.

Google Trends rating: Barkley (17), Gronkowksi (6), Spieth (12)


Kevin Hart, Jerry Rice, David Ortiz, Tony Hawk, Emmitt Smith

NBA legend Michael Jordan is a special advisor to DraftKings, but as of yet his famous bald head and wagging tongue have not appeared in ads for the sportsbook. Like rival FanDuel, DraftKings likes to tap athletes primarily for its brand advertising.

We loved the 2023 Super Bowl commercial campaign from DraftKings that featured Hart hosting a party with a bevy of celebrities.

Google Trends rating: Hart (21), Hawk (4), others (2 or less)


Joakim Noah, Julie Stewart-Binks, Bobby Valentine, Bob McCown

No question that the BetRivers crew of brand ambassadors is weaker than its competition. Who is Bob McCown? You’d be justified in asking that question. McCown is a famous broadcaster in Canada, which is sort of like being a great baseball player in Turkey. Not many people know about you.

Google Trends rating: Noah (4), Stewart-Binks (4), McCown and Valentine (less than 1)

Photo by Ashley Landis / Associated Press
Dan Holmes Avatar
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, casino and sports betting legislative matters for several of the Play sites, including PlayMaryland, PlayMichigan and PlayMassachusetts. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters.

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