How the Cincinnati Bengals used gamification to power fan engagement in the lead up to the Super Bowl

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About The Bengals

A team that is on the rise in the world-famous NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals have launched
themselves into football stardom following their ‘Cinderella run’ to Super Bowl
LVI.

The AFC North franchise based in Ohio stunned their critics in the 2021 season with Joe
Burrow and co. registering a 10-7 record and claiming a first division title
since 2015.

Zac Taylor’s team ended their playoff hoodoo as they landed their first postseason success
in over three decades before going on to record shock successes on the road
against the Titans and the Chiefs to land the AFC Championship for the first
time since 1989.

The Who Dey Nation just fell short in the Super Bowl at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams,
but it was still a remarkable ride for all those connected to the Bengals
nevertheless.

The franchise had set itself a target of becoming ‘a championship football team
with a culture built on high standards and competitive hunger’ and they have
pushed themselves incredibly close to achieving that goal in a short period of
time.

Last season’s performance sets up a bright future for the Cincinnati Bengals, both
on and off the field.

The Task: Broadening Fan Engagement and Monetising the Audience

Ahead of the 2021 season, the Bengals were seeking to create unique ways of engaging with
their incredible Who Dey fan base to enhance their experience on game days and
allow supporters to feel they can create a connection with the team that they
love and support.

With the huge number of fans that eagerly watch the AFC North team each week, the team were looking at potential ways of creating more links to the franchise with the aim
of driving revenue back to the team.

The Ohio-based side approached Low6 with this challenge in hope of developing an answer to these two strategies.

The Answer: Offering iGaming solutions with Bengals Picks and Ultimate Bengals

After the success of several official pick’em games in the UK, Low6 offered up two
free-to-play games that featured the Bengals brand – Bengals Picks and Ultimate
Bengals.

Bengals Picks gave users the opportunity to make predictions on the upcoming Bengals
game, posing an array of questions to fans to correctly try to predict and gain
points. The higher the score, the better the chance of claiming a prize such as
match tickets and autographed merchandise.

Ultimate Bengals mirrored the company’s successful next-level fantasy football game, Ultimate Fan. Bengals fans would be given packs to open each week, revealing a handful of NFL stars to add to their personal roster. Using the cards they had in their squad, users would be able to build a team to pick up as many points as possible. The higher the scoring, the more chance players had of winning weekly prizes including tickets to upcoming games, signed merchandise and money-can’t-buy experiences.

The Result

The games proved to be a hit among Bengals fans, with tens of thousands of users signing
up during the season to partake in Bengals Picks.

While the majority of players signed up from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, the game amassed users in every US state suggesting widespread appeal across the country.

The Super Bowl saw a spike in first-time players, with over 5,400 new signups being
registered in the first week of February.

Cincinnati fans also left their mark on Ultimate Fan with Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Tee
Higgins, Drew Sample and the Bengals Team Card all being among the most used cards
in the game this season.

The two Bengal-focused games have shown to be a success to date, with the 2022 season holding even more potential for Bengals Picks and Ultimate Bengals to reach further into the Who Dey fanbase.

If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can use gamification to amplify engagement and increase revenue please get in touch with [email protected]

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